BELMONT — With wins over Shullsburg/Benton and Highland on the softball diamond last week, the Belmont Braves have locked up at least a share of the Six Rivers West crown for 2013.
The Braves (14-2 overall, 7-0 in SRW) edged Highland, 5-4, on a chilly afternoon in Belmont on Thursday, May 2, to secure a share of their fifth straight conference championship.
“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.”
Belmont held a 5-1 lead heading into the sixth before the Cardinals made things interesting by tallying three runs to cut the deficit to 5-4.
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 advantage.
Senior Kalyn Kamps worked her way out of the jam in the sixth, and then tossed a scoreless seventh to preserve the victory.
Kamps allowed four runs, one earned, on six hits in seven innings. She struck out 11 and walked two for the Braves, who also posted wins over Wauwatosa East, 10-6, and De Forest, 7-3, over the weekend at the Poynette Jamboree.
At Benton, on Tuesday, April 30, Belmont ace Kalyn Kamps tossed a two-hit shutout and her teammates put runs on the board in each of the first four innings to send the Lady Braves to a 13-0 win over Shullsburg/Benton (0-9, 0-5) in five innings.
Lead-off hitter Katelyn Schobert and pinch runner Brianna Riechers each scored on wild pitches in the first inning to stake the Braves out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
That was all the cushion Kamps needed as she retired the first 10 batters she faced until Nicole Champion singled with one out in the fourth inning to spoil her no-hit bid.
Schobert drilled a run-scoring double and scored another run on K. Kamps’ two-run single during the Braves’ six-run, second inning outburst, and she reached on an error and scored on Audrey Wedig’s RBI-triple in the four-run third.
K. Kamps drove in her third run of the game with a fielder’s choice in the third, while Jordyn Kamps scored in the second, third and fourth frames for the Braves.
Whitney Teasdale also singled for the hosts in the fifth, however Kamps struck out the final two batters she faced to preserve the shutout.
Kamps allowed just those two hits, did not walk a batter and struck out six to earn the win.
S/B pitcher Melissa Brant yielded just four earned runs on 12 hits and two walks, and she also struck out six batters in the loss.
At Benton, on Monday, May 6, the Miner-Zephyrs were tied with Highland at 2-2 at the end of the first inning, but were outscored 7-1 the rest of the way to drop a 9-3 decision for their 24th consecutive conference loss.
The Lady Braves will host the 2013 Belmont Tournament on Saturday, May 11, starting at 9 p.m. The Braves also have non-conference games against Southwestern at home on Friday, May 10 (5 p.m.), and against Juda/Albany at Juda on Tuesday, May 14 (5 p.m.).
Shullsburg/Benton has a SRW game at Potosi on Thursday, May 9 (5 p.m.), and a non-conference doubleheader against Scales Mound/River Ridge on Friday, May 10 (4:30 p.m.). On Saturday, May 11, the co-op will participate in the Iowa-Grant Tournament at Cobb.
Belmont…….. 264 10 – 13 12 0
Shulls/Bent… 000 00 – 0 2 5
Leading hitters: Bel– Katelyn Schobert 2x4, Audrey Wedig 2x4, Emma Lee 2x3, Emma Eastlick 2x4, Jordyn Kamps 2x2. 3B–Wedig. 2B– Schobert. Shulls/Bent– None.
WP- Kalyn Kamps. LP- Melissa Brant.
Highland… 000 013 0 – 4 6 2
Belmont…. 201 020 x – 5 6 3
Leading Hitters: 2B–Daisy Cunzenheim.
WP- Kalyn Kamps. LP- McMannes.
Belmont…... 121 15 – 10 9 1
Tosa East… 010 05 – 6 7 2
Leading Hitters: Audrey Wedig 2x4, Kalyn Kamps 2x3. 2B– K. Kamps, Jordyn Kamps, Mallary Ray.
WP- Kalyn Kamps. LP- Miller.
Belmont…. 151 000 0 – 7 9 2
DeForest… 200 001 0 – 3 7 1
Leading Hitters: Katelyn Schobert 2x4, Audrey Wedig 2x2, Kalyn Kamps 2x3. 3B– Schobert.
WP- Kalyn Kamps. LP- Klein.