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Lady Raiders pick up first win, beat Inter-Lakes

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

Belmont leadoff hitter Rowan Harris takes a lead after a pitch during action against Inter-Lakes on April 26. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
April 30, 2012
BELMONT – It took longer than they would've liked, but the Belmont High School softball team finally picked up that elusive first win on April 26.

Behind the pitching of senior Kim Allen and a steady offense that scored in every inning but one, the Red Raiders captured their first victory of the season with a 12-0 run-shortened win over visiting Inter-Lakes High School in Division III action.

Allen struck out four I-L batters and walked three while allowing three hits and no runs in the circle, as Belmont improved to 1-5 on the season in its only game over spring vacation week.

Allen and I-L starting pitcher Melissa Martin traded zeroes in the first inning, as both allowed one baserunner but managed to get out of the opening frame unscathed. Alexandra Brewer singled to lead off the top of the second for the Lakers (1-5), but she was erased at second base on a force play from Belmont's Megan Bailey to Sam Phelps two batters later.

The Raiders came back with two runs to get on the board in the bottom of the second, as Mary Kate Russo led off with a walk. Bailey followed with a ground ball to shortstop, but Brewer got the lead runner at second on a nice flip to I-L second baseman Brooke Tillson. With two outs and a runner at first (Bailey), the Raiders staged a little two out magic. Bailey moved up to third on back-to-back wild pitches and Chelsea Lima walked. Freshman catcher Chayleigh Cadarette followed with a popup that fell in for a base hit in front of the pitching circle, and Bailey scampered home for the game's first run and a 1-0 Belmont lead.

Leadoff hitter Rowan Harris came through with a single one batter later, driving in Lima and putting the hosts ahead 2-0. But Martin was able to get out of the jam, as she induced a ground ball out to Tillson at second base for the third out of the frame.

"Those first couple of innings, (Martin) looked about as good as I've seen her so far this year," said Lakers coach Roland 'Beaver' Jutras of his starting pitcher.

While Allen was able to get a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the third, her Raiders put another run on the board in the bottom of the inning. Britni Spaulding reached base on a leadoff walk, and Phelps followed with a hot shot to third base. The throw to first was wild however, and went into foul territory. That allowed Spaulding to come all the way around to score for a 3-0 lead. Phelps tried to come in behind Spaulding on the play, but I-L catcher Brittany Little tracked the ball down and was able to tag the speedy Phelps just in time to prevent another run from crossing.

Trailing 3-0, I-L threatened to score in the fourth inning as first baseman Kaitlyn Frazier singled with one out. Brewer followed with a grounder to shortstop, but the throw into second was wild and the Lakers had something brewing with two on and one out. But a heads up play by Cadarette behind the plate put a stop to the rally, as the freshman picked off Frazier at first base, stopping things right in their tracks and allowing Allen to get out of trouble with a strikeout to the next hitter.

While Belmont tacked on two more in the fourth inning when Lima (error) and Allen (wild pitch) scored to make it 5-0, the Lakers had one more chance to put some runs on the board in the top of the fifth. Sam McGrahan walked with one out and Little followed with a single to again put two runners on base. But Allen was once more up to the challenge. The senior got back-to-back ground outs to the left side of the infield to escape the jam and keep the shutout alive.

The Raiders would finish off their first win of the season with three runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth, as Cadarette's two-run single made it 12-0 and brought the game to its conclusion via the 12-run rule.

Lima reached base all four times she batted for the Raiders (single, three walks) and the right fielder scored three runs in the win.

Frazier and Brewer were each on base twice for I-L, which left six runners on base in the loss.

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