BELMONT — Winning never gets old, just ask Jeff Hodgson and his Belmont softball team.
With last Thursday’s 5–4 victory over visiting Highland, Hodgson’s Braves improved to 7–0 in the Six Rivers West and clinched at least a share of a fifth consecutive conference title.
“I’m very happy for the girls and proud of the consistency we have displayed as a program,” said Hodgson. “This group of seniors has now won or at least shared a conference title in all four years.
“While I know there are only five teams in our conference, two of them [Potosi in 2010 and Highland in 2011] have been to state in the past three years so it’s still quite an accomplishment to win a conference title in this league.
The Braves crushed the Cardinals 18–3 at their place on April 16, but were pushed to the limit last week.
Belmont took a 2–0 lead in the first inning on an RBI squeeze bunt by junior shortstop Emma Lee and an RBI single by senior center fielder Emma Eastlick.
Senior Daisy Cuzenheim smacked a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth to give the Braves a 5–1 lead.
But Belmont’s comfortable lead soon disappeared.
The Cardinals scored three in the sixth and pulled within a run on Kosharek’s RBI double.
Highland drew a walk to load the bases, but Belmont ace Kalyn Kamps struck out Bomkamp to escape the jam.
Kamps picked up the win to improve to 12–2 on the season after allowing four runs, one earned, on six hits in seven innings. She struck out 11 and walked two.
Saturday the Braves traveled to Poynette and scored a pair of non-conference wins over much larger schools at the modified Poynette Jambroee.
The Jamboree was originally scheduled to play host to more than 40 teams and 60 games. But due to a lack of available dry fields, a large portion of the Jamboree was cancelled and only 18 games were played by 13 teams.
Belmont notched victories over Division 1 Wauwatosa East, 10–6, and Division 2 DeForest, 7–3.
Against Tosa East Kalyn Kamps went 2-for-3 and smashed a three-run double in the fifth to give Belmont a 8–1 lead.
Junior first baseman Mallary Ray smacked a two-run double in the fifth to make it 10–1.
East scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth, but the game was called after reaching the 90-minute time limit.
Audrey Wedig also went 2-for-4 in the win.
In an improbable victory over the Badger North leading Norskies the Braves scored five runs in the top of the second inning and held on for a 7–3 victory.
Katelyn Schobert (2x4), Wedig (2x3) and Kamps (2x3) each had two hits for the winners.
Kamps drove in three runs in the game, one on a squeeze bunt in the first and two more on a two-run single in the second.
Cuzenheim and Eastlick also had RBI singles in the Braves’ five-run second. Wedig added and RBI single in the third.
Hodgson considered Saturday’s win over DeForest a banner win. Earlier this year the Norskies beat Division 1 power Stevens Point, 1–0.
“We are ecstatic with how we played this weekend,” said Hodgson. “DeForest is tied for first in the Badger North and even though it was early in the year they beat Spash. And Tosa East has an enrollment of around 1,200 kids, so it was a really good day for us.”
After wrapping up the Six Rivers West season at Potosi this past Tuesday, Belmont (14–2, 7–0 SRW) will host Southwestern on Friday before hosting the Belmont Tournament on Saturday.
Belmont 13, Shullsburg/Benton 0
(from Tuesday, April 29 @ Shullsburg)
Belmont 264 10 — 13 12 0
Shulls./Benton 000 00 — 0 2 5
Leading hitters — B: Katelyn Schobert 2x4, Audrey Wedig 2x4, Emma Lee 2x3, Emma Eastlick 2x4, Jordyn Kamps 2x2. 2B — B: Schobert. 3B — B: Wedig. W — Kalyn Kamps (11–2, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 6 SO, 0 BB). L — Brant (5 IP, 12 H, 13 R, 4 ER, 6 SO, 2 BB).
Belmont 5, Highland 4
(from Thursday, May 2 @ Belmont)
Highland 000 013 0 — 4 6 2
Belmont 201 020 x — 5 6 3
Leading hitters — H: Ramsden 2x3. 2B — H: Kosharek, Stanek; B: Daisy Cunzenhein. W — Kalyn Kamps (12–2, 7 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 11 SO, 2 BB). L — McMannes (3 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 SO, 2 BB).
Belmont 10, Wauwatosa East 6
(from Saturday, May 4 @ Poynette)
Belmont 121 15 — 10 9 1
Tosa East 010 05 — 6 7 2
Leading hitters — B: Audrey Wedig 2x4, Kayln Kamps 2x3. 2B — B: K. Kamp, Jordyn Kamps, Mallary Ray. W — Kalyn Kamps (13–2, 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 7 SO, 0 BB). L — Miller.
Belmont 7, DeForest 3
(from Saturday, May 4 @ Poynette)
Belmont 151 000 0 — 7 9 2
DeForest 200 001 0 — 3 7 1
Leading hitters — B: Katelyn Schobert 2x4, Audrey Wedig 2x2, Kalyn Kamps 2x3. 3B — B: Schobert. W — Kalyn Kamps (14–2, 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 6 SO, 1 BB). L — Klein.