Whether it is in baseball or in softball, the cycle hit hard to achieve.
Caleigh Robinson made it happen on Tuesday afternoon at Waco ISD Softball Complex, as the Lady Tigers took on the Waco High Lady Lions.
Robinson hit walk-off two-run homer over the centerfield wall to complete the cycle to help the Lady Tigers run-rule Waco, 12-2. She now has 20 runs batted in over the last four games.
The win lifted Belton’s District 12-6A record to 7-0 to remain in a first-place tie with Midway, who defeated Temple on Tuesday afternoon 6-1. The two will renew their rivalry at Pantherette Field on March 19 at 7 p.m.
Belton put three runs on the board in the first inning off Waco starting pitcher Jaiden Graham. Avery Drake was hit by a pitch, moved to second on Miranda Davila’s bunt single, and the pair scored on a triple by Robinson. Paige Nunes reached on a fielder’s choice that got Robinson into a rundown. Nunes scored on Madison Ward’s sacrifice fly to put Belton up 3-0.
The Lady Lions scored a pair of runs in the second. Mariaya Mason and Dominique Rodrigues singled. An error plated the both of them and Belton’s lead was cut to one run, 3-2.
The Lady Tigers responded with three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Payton Cook was hit by a pitch with one out and Izzy Gutierrez walked. Drake reached on a bunt single. Davila’s sacrifice fly scored Cook and Robinson’s two-run double scored Gutierrez and Drake to make the score 6-2.
Meanwhile, Taylor Tubbs went into shut down mode and Waco produced just one more hit in the game.
Belton hung three more runs in the fourth inning. Drake walked and stole second base. Davila singled home Drake and Robinson singled. With one out, Ward’s double scored Davila and Robinson to make the score 9-2.
Drake reached on a fielder’s choice with one out in the bottom of the fifth. She stole second base and Davila reached on an infield single that scored Drake. On the next pitch, Robinson drilled a fastball that hit flagpole at the baseball field, approximately 50 feet beyond the centerfield wall to end the game.
Robinson went 4-of-4 with two runs scored, one home run on six runs batted in. Davila went 3-of-3 with three RBI, Drake 1-of-2 with four runs scored, and Ward had three RBI. The Lady Tigers left five runners on base.
Tubbs got the win in the circle. She went five innings, allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits, walked none and struck out six.
Graham took the loss for Waco, as she pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowed 12 runs on 12 hits, and issued three walks.
“I was really impressed with how both teams played defensively,” Belton head coach Matt Blackburn said. “Waco’s outfielders robbed us on some lasers hit out there. Most games, those are in for hits. The centerfielder and leftfielder made some nice grabs. Their third baseman and shortstop made several good plays on hot shots. It was refreshing to see a good defensive ballgame. I feel like we had to earn some of the runs throughout the game.”
Tubbs pitched solid in the circle, though she was not feeling her best.
“She told me before the game that she wasn’t feeling quite the same as normal,” Blackburn said. “I asked her what was working and she threw her hands up. I told her that we would figure it out as the game goes on. I know as being a former pitcher that some days that the ball doesn’t feel right in the hand. She did a great job today. Our big stressing point is no walks and she didn’t have one today.”
The Lady Tigers now will take a breather for a week before their showdown with the Pantherettes next Tuesday in Hewitt.