BELMONT – Heading into key conference games against Potosi on Tuesday and Highland on Wednesday, the Belmont Braves softball team got its offense back on track by bashing the visiting Shullsburg/Benton co-op, 12-0, in Six Rivers West action on Monday, May 14.
Junior pitcher Sadie Willborn tossed a one-hit shutout and helped her own cause by ripping a homer and driving in four runs in the game. Junior shortstop Nikki Knebel knocked in five runs and scored three times after going 3-for-3 at the plate with a home run and a double for the Braves (16-5 overall, 9-2 SRC).
Belmont had dropped four of their last five games entering Monday’s contest, including getting no-hit in a 2-0 loss to Juda/Albany last Thursday and falling 13-1 to River Valley in a non-conference game on Saturday, but the Lady Braves remained tied atop the Six Rivers West standings with Highland with three games remaining on their league schedule.
Knebel got the Braves’ bats off to a hot start by lining a two-run double in the bottom of the first inning to put the hosts ahead to stay. Willborn followed with a RBI-single to put the Braves up 3-0 after one inning.
Belmont added five more runs in the second stanza– with three coming on a home run by Willborn– and the hosts tacked on another run in the third on a RBI-double by Brianna Ernst.
Knebel ended the game by the mercy rule in the bottom of the fifth inning when she launched a towering three-run home run to centerfield.
Caitlyn Cushman scored four times for the Braves, while Abby Althaus doubled and scored twice in the win.
Senior Kindle Cook broke up Willborn’s no-hit bid with two outs in the fourth inning when she lined a single to left for the only hit for the Miner-Zephyrs (4-11, 3-8). Layla Alt was hit by a pitch and walked in the game, while Brianna Jones reached on an error for their other base runners.
Willborn (16-4) struck out five batters on the way to the win.
The Braves defeated River Ridge/Cassville, 4-1, in Patch Grove on Tuesday, May 8. Cushman drove in two of the team’s runs, while Ashley Knebel drove in a run and scored twice for the Braves.
Willborn twirled another one-hitter and yielded an unearned run in the circle, while fanning nine batters and walking two.
At Juda, on Thursday, May 10, Panthers’ ace Nikki Becker got the best of the Braves all day long, firing a no-hit shutout and striking out 14 en route to a 2-0 victory that helped the defending Division 4 state champions locked up their fourth straight Six Rivers East championship crown.
A two-out walk to Ernst in the top of the first inning was the lone baserunner allowed by Becker all game.
Shullsburg/Benton split four Six Rivers’ games over a span of five days last week. The Miner-Zephyrs opened last week with a 12-2 five-inning victory over River Ridge/Cassville at Badger Park on Monday, May 7, and then fell to Potosi, 8-3, back at home on Tuesday, May 8, and dropped a 10-1 decision at Barneveld on Thursday, May 10. Finally, back at home on Friday, May 11, the co-op exploded for a season-high 17 runs en route to a 17-1 shellacking of the Monticello Ponies.
Cook went 2-for-3 with a home run, a triple, two RBI and two runs scored in Monday’s win, and she drilled three doubles, drove in seven runs and scored a run in Friday’s victory. She also had two RBI against Potosi.
Sarah Fluhr went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and three RBI against the Timberwolves, while Alt went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI and a run in that game.
Maggie Gleason had a double in all four games, scoring three times against RR/Cas, once against Barneveld and twice against Monticello. Brianna Jones doubled and drove in three runs against Monticello, while Savannah Hilby scored three times and drove in one in Friday’s win and scored twice and drove in one in Monday’s win.
Madi Jerry scored twice against Monticello and had a double against Barneveld.
Alexis Redfearn (3-3) earned the win on Monday, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and five walks with two strikeouts in five innings in the circle.
Lydia Jones (1-8) notched the victory in Friday’s game, surrendering one unearned run on just hit over five innings of work, walking five and fanning one in the win.
Belmont will host Highland on Wednesday, May 16 (5 p.m.), and close the regular season against Pecatonica in Blanchardville on Thursday, May 17 (5 p.m.).
Shulls/Ben has upcoming Six Rivers’ games scheduled at Black Hawk on Thursday, May 17 (5 p.m.) and at River Ridge/Cassville on Friday, May 18 (5 p.m.), and the co-op will compete in the rescheduled Southwestern Tournament in Hazel Green on Saturday, May 19, starting at 11 a.m.
The WIAA Division 5 tournament will begin with regional quarterfinal games on Tuesday, May 22, regional semifinal games on Wednesday, May 23, and regional final games on Friday, May 25. The results of the seeding meetings will not be released until Wednesday, May 16, or Thursday, May 17, on the WIAA website.
Shulls/Ben… 000 00 – 0 1 2
Belmont……. 351 03 – 12 11 2
Leading Hitters: S/B– None. B– Briana Ernst 2x4, Nikki Knebel 3x3, Sadie Willborn 2x3. HR– Willborn, N. Knebel. 2B– N. Knebel, Ernst, Abby Althaus, Callie Douglas.
W- Willborn (5IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 5K, 1BB). L- Lydia Jones (3IP, 10H, 9R, 3ER, 1K, 2BB).
At Belmont, on Monday, May 14
Belmont… 020 011 0 – 4 7 3
RR/Cas…. 100 000 0 – 1 1 3
Leading Hitters: B– Caitlyn Cushman 2x4, Sadie Willborn 2x4. 2B– Willborn, McKenzie Reuter, Callie Douglas. RR/C– None.
W- Willborn (7IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 9K, 2BB). L- Vogt (7IP, 10H, 4R, 3ER, 1K, 4BB).
At Patch Grove, on Tuesday, May 8
Belmont…. 000 000 0 – 0 0 1
Juda/Alb… 200 000 x – 2 3 0
Leading Hitters: B– None. J/A– None.
W- Becker (7IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 14K, 1BB). L- Sadie Willborn (6IP, 3H, 2R, 0ER, 7K, 3BB).
At Juda, on Thursday, May 10
River Valley… 131 233 – 13 10 2
Belmont…….. 000 100 – 1 4 4
Leading Hitters: RV– Hood 2x5, Nelson 2x4, Hoffman 2x3. HR– Emberle. 3B– Hoffman. 2B– Johnson, Brown. B– None.
W- Emberle (6IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, 3K, 1BB). L- Sadie Willborn (6IP, 10H, 13R, 8ER, 5K, 8BB).
At Belmont, on Saturday, May 12
RR/Cas…….. 101 00 – 2 5 0
Shulls/Ben… 215 4x – 12 11 1
Leading Hitters: RR/C– Mason 2x3, Moravits 2x3. 2B– Moravits. S/B– Savannah Hilby 2x4, Kindle Cook 2x4, Layla Alt 2x4, Alexis Redfearn 2x3, Sarah Fluhr 2x3. HR– Cook. 3B– Cook. 2B– Alt, Fluhr (2), Maggie Gleason, Hilby.
W- Alexis Redfearn (5IP, 5H, 2R, 0ER, 2K, 5BB). L- Vogt (3.33IP, 6H, 12R, 6ER, 3K, 5BB).
At Shullsburg, on Monday, May 7
Potosi……… 421 010 0 – 8 17 1
Shulls/Ben… 002 000 1 – 3 7 0
Leading Hitters: P– Noonan 2x4, Udelhoven 2x4, Langkamp 2x4, S. Siegert 3x4. 2B– Noonan, Vosberg. S/B– Savannah Hilby 2x3, Layla Alt 2x3. 2B– Alt, Sarah Fluhr, Maggie Gleason.
W- Noonan (7IP, 7H, 3R, 2ER, 10K, 0BB). L- Lydia Jones (7IP, 12H, 8R, 8ER, 3K, 2BB).
At Shullsburg, on Tuesday, May 8
Shulls/Ben… 000 001 0 – 1 6 4
Barneveld…. 313 021 x – 10 11 4
Leading Hitters: S/B– 2B– Maggie Gleason, Madi Jerry. BA– Barsness 3x4, N. Leahy 4x5, Kelly 2x3. 2B– Kelly, Hogan.
W- Hendrickson (7IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, 12K, 0BB). L- Alexis Redfearn (6IP, 11H, 10R, 9ER, 0K, 8BB).
At Barneveld, on Thursday, May 10
Monticello…. 100 00 – 1 1 0
Shulls/Ben… 516 5x – 17 8 1
Leading Hitters: M– 3B– Siegenthaler. S/B– Kindle Cook 3x4, 2x3. 2B– Cook (3), Layla Alt, Maggie Gleason, Brianna Jones.
W- Lydia Jones (5IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 1K, 5BB). L- Brokop (3.33IP, 6H, 15R, 13ER, 3K, 12BB).
At Shullsburg, on Friday, May 11