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Lady Bulldogs sweep Phillips, remain unbeaten in area softball action

By Staff
Scot Beard
BELGREEN – The Belgreen softball team moved one step closer to hosting the Class 1A, Area 15 Tournament Thursday when it defeated Phillips in a doubleheader.
The Lady Bulldogs improved to 9-2 overall and 4-0 in area play. Teams with the best area record at the end of the season host area tournaments.
Belgreen dominated both game's, winning the first 7-1 and the second 15-0.
In the first game, the Lady Bulldog's pitching and defense dominated through the first four innings, facing only 12 Phillips batters. The only Phillips player to reach base during that span was thrown out trying to steal second base.
Belgreen, on the other hand, had no problems getting the offense rolling.
Katy Britton led off with an infield single and moved to second on a passed ball. Deborah Billingham followed by drawing a walk.
Britton stole third and scored on a wild pitch.
Billingham moved to second on the wild pitch and stole third before scoring on another wild pitch to give the Lady Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage.
Belgreen added to its lead in the second when Lauren Oliver reached on a fielder's choice and moved to second on a single by Britton. Billingham then drew a walk to load the bases. Martha Billingham drew another walk to push Oliver across the plate and Britton scored on a passed ball.
Katelin Barber finished the second-inning scoring for Belgreen when she singled to drive in Deborah Billingham.
Jessica Welton led off the third with a double, but the next three Belgreen batters were retired to end the scoring threat.
Deborah Billingham reached on a fielder's choice in the fourth and advanced to third on a pair of passed balls before Martha Billingham singled to drive her home.
Martha Billingham scored on a triple by Barber to push the score to 7-0. Amber Smith popped out and Britton was called out after she failed to tag up before advancing home.
Phillips scored one run in the fifth to round out the scoring.
Belgreen continued to dominate in the second game, which only went three innings due to the mercy rule.
Phillips sent 14 batters to the plate, with six reaching base.
Belgreen scored seven runs off five hits in the first inning and added six more runs in the second.
Belgreen used its subs in the third inning to get its final two runs.
Sara McMahan led off the inning by reaching second. Kayla Byrd followed by drawing a walk. Both runners advanced on a passed ball and McMahan scored on a sacrifice by April Presley.
Byrd added the final run when she scored on a passed ball.
Martha Billingham picked up both wins on the mound for the Lady Bulldogs while Bridget Thompson and Smith pitched relief.
Britton had a total of five hits during the doubleheader with three singles, a double and a triple. In the second game, she was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle.
Deborah Billingham had only one hit, but drew four walks and reached on a fielder's choice while Martha Billingham singled, drew one walk, reached on two fielder's choices and took first after a pitch hit her.
Barber hit a pair of triples, a single and drew a walk while Smith had a pair of singles and reached on an error.
Welton doubled, singled and reached on a fielder's choice while Erica Smith drew a pair of walks.
Thompson singled and drew two walks and Oliver reached on a pair of fielder's choices. Kim Pace also drew a walk.
Belgreen will travel to Tharptown Monday and host the Lady Wildcats Tuesday in a key series in the Class 1A, Area 15 race.