BENTON – The top of the Belmont batting order has been doing the heavy lifting for the Lady Braves’ offense this season, but the bottom of the order showed they could be just as potent.
The bottom five batters in the Belmont order combined for eight hits, scored nine runs and had six runs batted in on the way to an 11–0 Six Rivers West victory over host Shullsburg/Benton on a sunny afternoon at Swift Park on Monday afternoon.
Designated player Dakotah Meylor-Seeber went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and a RBI out of the number eight spot in the line-up to lead the Braves 12–hit attack.
First baseman Caitlyn Gilbertson had two singles and scored four runs, while left fielder Ali Travis doubled in two runs and scored twice and center fielder Lydia Leahy added two hits and two RBI for Belmont.
Leahy got the Braves (7–3 overall, 5–1 SRW) started with a two-out RBI-single in the top of the second inning, while Meylor doubled and came in to score on an error in the third inning to extend the lead to 2–0.
“The bottom of the order made up for some mistakes we made coaching-wise and at the top of the order,” said Belmont head coach Jeff Hodgson, who earned his 350th career coaching victory on Monday night. “It’s just a number. I’m excited about it because we’ve had a lot of great kids contribute to that total.”
Senior catcher Katelyn Schobert launched a three-run home run with two down in the third to extend the lead to 6–0.
Travis drilled a two-run double and came around to score in the fifth to push the lead to 9–0, while Leahy had a RBI-single and second baseman Brianna Ernst walked with the bases loaded in the seventh to drive in the final two runs.
“This is a critical stretch for us,” said Hodgson. “We were about here last year and it didn’t go right. I feel good with where we are after tonight. We beat a good ball team. We’re starting to become the team I think we can be.”
Belmont battled cold and rain to pick up a pair of 10-run rule victories on the diamond last week. Gilbertson and Nolan each smashed a home run to lead the Lady Braves over Barneveld, 15–4, in a Six Rivers crossover game at Barneveld on Thursday, and Nolan blasted two more home runs in the Braves’12–2 five-inning, non-conference win over Southwestern at Bond Park on Friday, April 24.
“We played well and hit the ball well in both games. We handled poor weather conditions on Friday much better than we did last Monday at Lancaster. We need to keep improving because we have a big week ahead of us,” said Coach Hodgson.
“We let one get away from us against Lancaster. I was pretty upset with them. They’ve come back and responded with two nice wins.”
The Braves are back in action at Argyle on Thursday, April 30, and at home against Cassville/River Ridge on Monday, May 4. Both those games are scheduled to start at 5 p.m.
Belmont will also participate in the 2015 Poynette Jamboree on Saturday, May 2.
Belmont 15, Barneveld 4
(from Thursday, April 23 @ Barneveld)
Belmont 412 44 — 15 15 2
Barneveld 101 20 — 4 5 5
Leading hitters — Bel: Katelyn Schobert 2x4, Brook Knebel 3x4, Paige Nolan 3x4; Caitlyn Gilbertson 4x4, Barn: Owens 2x2. 2B — Bel: Schobertl; Barn: Owens. 3B — Bel: Schobert, Knebel. HR — Bel: Nolan, Gilbertson. W — Paige Nolan (5–3, 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 SO, 2 BB). L — Shave (3 IP, 7 H, 11 R, 5 ER, 2 SO, 0 BB).
Belmont 12, Southwestern 2
(from Friday, April 24 @ Belmont)
Southwestern 000 02 — 2 4 4
Belmont 200 73 — 12 13 2
Leading hitters — S: Mueller 2x3; B: Katelyn Schobert 3x4, Maddie Rand 2x4, Brook Knebel 2x4, Paige Nolan 3x4, Briana Ernst 2x3. 2B — B: Schobert, Caitlyn Gilbertson. 3B — B: Rand. HR — Bel: Nolan 2. W — Paige Nolan (6–3, 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 5 SO, 6 BB). L — Kemp (4.2 IP, 13 H, 12 R, 2 ER, 3 SO, 2 BB).
(from Monday, April 27 @ Benton)
Belmont 011 430 2 — 11 12 1
Shulls.Benton 000 000 0 — 0 4 2
Leading hitters — B: Maddie Rand 2x4, Caitlyn Gilbertson 2x2, Lydia Leahy 2x4, Dahkota Meylor–Seeber 3x4; S/B: Gile 3x3. 2B — B: Meylor–Seeber 2, Travis. HR — B: Katelyn Schobert. W — Paige Nolan (7–3, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 SO, 0 BB). L — Rennert 7 IP, 12 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 3 SO, 6 BB).