BELMONT – With a single run and a little help from their rivals, the Belmont Braves softball team pulled right back into the lead in the Six Rivers West.
Highland forged a three-way tie atop the West last Tuesday when they defeated front-running Potosi by a score of 10-4, but the #4-ranked Lady Braves knocked the Cardinals out of first with a thrilling 1-0 victory in Highland on Thursday, May 10.
Things got even better for the Braves after Cassville/River Ridge defeated the Chieftains, 8-1, in Potosi on Thursday evening to thrust Belmont into sole possession of first-place with just two games remaining on the conference schedule.
“I am excited about the conference race that we have our destiny in our own hands. We played well at Highland and played great defense. We need to continue to improve,” said Belmont head coach Jeff Hodgson.
Senior shortstop Molly Bockhop gave the Braves a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when she lined a two-out triple to bring in third baseman Emma Lee.
That would turn out to be the only run they would need as junior pitcher Kalyn Kamps did the rest, tossing seven scoreless innings and striking out 14 Highland batters.
The Cardinal’s lone threat came in the fourth frame when they had a runner at third with just one down, but Kamps cut down Highland’s Taylor Wienkes at the plate when she tried to score on a comebacker and the hosts never threatened again.
At Shullsburg, on Tuesday, May 8, the Braves began their busy week by pounding out 10 hits with four doubles on the way to a 12-2 five-inning victory over Shullsburg-Benton.
Katelyn Schobert went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two runs batted in to lead the Braves. Emma Lee, Molly Bockhop, Kalyn Kamps and Emma Eastlick each had a RBI-double for the guests.
Holly Rennert went 2-for-3 to pace the Miner-Zephyrs, while Nicole Champion scored both the hosts’ runs.
At Belmont, on Saturday, May 12, the Lady Braves had to settle for a second-place finish at their own tournament after falling to Mineral Point, 5-4, in 11 innings in the championship game.
Belmont advanced to the title game by pounding River Valley, 19-8, and Cuba City, 13-3, during pool play.
Molly Bockhop went 6-for-8 at the plate during the first two games of the day with a home run in each game, while Audrey Wedig went 6-for-7 for the Braves.
In the championship game, the Braves rallied from an early 4-0 deficit to tie the game at four all in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the Pointers plated the winning run in the top of the 11th to claim the tournament title.
Niki Jenkins went 3-for-5 and Kalyn Kamps was 2-for-4 to lead Belmont.
At Cobb, on Saturday, May 12, Shullsburg/Benton was bullied by host the Panthers, 11-0, and nipped by Platteville, 8-7, during the 2012 Iowa-Grant Tournament.
Lauren Malone and Molly Blackbourn each had two hits for the Miner-Zephyrs against the Hillmen.
Belmont hosts Shullsburg/Benton at Bond Park on Monday, May 21, in a Six Rivers West make-up game from April 19.
The Lady Braves also have upcoming non-conference games at Hazel Green against Southwestern on Friday, May 18, and at Juda against Juda/Albany on Tuesday, May 22.
The Miner-Zephyrs travel to Potosi on Thursday, May 17, starting at 5 p.m. They also have a non-conference game scheduled at Monticello on Tuesday, May 22, at 5 p.m.
Belmont…….. 303 42 - 12 10 1
Shulls/Bent… 001 01 - 2 3 5
Leading Hitters: Belmont– Katelyn Schobert 3x4, Ali Linneman 2x3. 2B- Emma Lee, Molly Bockhop, Kalyn Kamps, Emma Eastlick. Shulls/Bent– Holly Rennert 2x3.
WP- Kalyn Kamps. LP- Melissa Brant.
At Belmont on Tuesday, May 8
Belmont…. 100 000 0 - 1 4 0
Highland… 000 000 0 - 0 3 0
Leading Hitters: 3B- Molly Bockhop. 2B- Ali Linneman.
WP- Kalyn Kamps. LP- Wolfe.
At Highland on Thursday, May 10
River Valley… 101 132 - 8 6 2
Belmont…….. 344 107 - 19 19 1
Leading Hitters: Molly Bockhop 4x5, Audrey Wedig 3x4, Katelyn Schobert 2x5. HR- Bockhop, Schobert. 2B- Bockhop.
WP- Kalyn Kamps. LP- Voss.
Cuba City… 000 111 - 3 4 2
Belmont….. 350 203 - 13 16 1
Leading Hitters: Audrey Wedig 3x3, Niki Jenkins 3x4, Molly Bockhop 2x3, Kalyn Kamps 2x3. HR- Bockhop.
WP- Kalyn Kamps. LP- Tranel.
Mineral Point… 101 002 000 01 - 5 9 1
Belmont……… 000 003 100 00 - 4 12 1
Leading Hitters: Niki Jenkins 3x5, Kalyn Kamps 2x4.
WP- Wood. LP- Kalyn Kamps.
At Belmont on Saturday, May 12
SM/RR…..….. 000 020 0 - 2 2 2
Shulls/Bent… 001 700 x - 8 11 4
Leading Hitters: Lauren Malone 2x3, Molly Blackbourn 2x3, Whitney Teasdale 2x3, Melissa Brant 2x4. 3B- Holly Rennert, Malone. 2B- Brant, Anna Doyle-Chandler.
WP- Melissa Brant. LP- Steele.
At Shullsburg on Monday, May 7
Iowa-Grant….. 210 53 - 11 6 1
Shulls/Bent… 000 00 - 0 5 3
Leading Hitters: 2B- Melissa Brant.
WP- Stanton. LP- Melissa Brant.
Platteville…… 100 401 2 - 8 8 3
Shulls/Bent… 200 211 1 - 7 8 1
Leading Hitters: Lauren Malone 2x4, Molly Blackbourn 2x4.
WP- Holmes. LP- Emma Neis.
At Cobb on Saturday, May 12