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Belgreen wins tournament opener

BELGREEN — The Belgreen Lady Bulldogs kicked off their 2013 season by winning a kickoff tournament they hosted Monday afternoon.

The Lady Bulldogs, who are extremely young this season after graduating four seniors last year, came from behind twice in order to take home the first-place trophy.

The first win for Belgreen came against the Phillips She Bears. Things looked grim for the Lady Bulldogs in the early goings of the tournament’s first game.

Phillips went up 3-0 in the top of the first inning after picking up an RBI triple and two runs off of fielder’s choices.

Belgreen closed the gap just a little in the bottom of the inning when starting pitcher Bailey Clark hit an RBI double to left center field.

The She Bears extended their lead in the top of the second and third with a three-RBI double and a RBI double.

It was in the bottom of the third inning that the Lady Bulldogs got hot on offense and started stringing hits together in order to close the gap.

Clark once again picked up an RBI double, this time to straight away center. Another run was scored after a walk by Allyson Bragwell led to some trick base running. Jasmine Martin, the courtesy runner for Clark, stole home plate when the catcher for Phillips attempted to throw out Bragwell at second base.

Shellie Barber followed this with a two-RBI double to center field. Cournty Williams stole home plate on a wild pitch for another run, and Abriana Presley completed the comeback with a 2 RBI triple.

Belgreen managed to keep the 8-7 lead to pick up the win in the time-shortened game.

Clark had four strikeouts in the game, including one caught looking.

Next up came a contest between the Vina Lady Red Devils and the Covenant Christian Lady Eagles.

Vina only had in the neighborhood of five wins last season, but this year’s group, led by new head coach Cassie Wisdom, came out swinging early.

The Lady Red Devils left no doubt by winning 15-2 and run-ruling Covenant in the fifth inning.

“The girls have hustled in practice and have put in good, hard work,” Wisdom said. “I’m proud of them. This win is a good confidence booster.”

Vina actually scored enough runs to win the game in the top of the first inning. Walks and singles led to Skyler Smith getting things started for the Lady Red Devils when she stole home plate on a wild throw.

Taylor Tucker then hit a RBI single to center field, followed by Tucker stealing home plate on a wild pitch shortly thereafter.

The final run of the inning came on a sacrifice ground ball by Summer Taylor.

Covenant Christian would not score a single run until the bottom of the fifth, but those two runs came too little too late.

Vina came out firing again in the top of the second when Brooke Brown stole home plate on a wild pitch, making it 5-0.

Tucker hit another RBI single, this time past the shortstop. The Lady Red Devils then had a run come in on a balk by the Lady Eagles’ pitcher.

Things continued to go Vina’s way for the rest of the game, until it was up 15-0 going into the fifth.

The two runs posted by Covenant Christian were not enough to continue the game, and the Lady Red Devils picked up the 13-point blowout win.

After the Phillips She Bears and Covenant Christian Lady Eagles played the tournament’s consolation game, all that was left was for Belgreen and Vina to meet in the nightcap for the tournament championship.

In the end Belgreen won 6-1, but the game was in a dead heat for the first third of the contest.

It was not until the third inning that either team put a run on the board. The first came after Vina pitcher Erica Cantrell got a hit that led to a RBI single by Smith in the top of the third.

The Lady Bulldogs answered in the bottom half of the inning. Abby Hester led off with a single and followed up stealing second and third base. Barber then walked and stole second. Clark then came up to bat and brought both runners home.

Kylie Murray hit a triple bringing in a run before Bragwell brought her in on a single.

Barber scored one more time in the bottom of the fourth to set up the final at 6-1.