Hazel Eaton belted two home runs Saturday to lead Belgrade to a pair of victories at the Laverne Combo Softball Invitational.
Eaton’s first homer — a two-run shot that also marked her first-ever varsity dinger — helped the Panthers rally from a 3-run deficit to rout Stevensville 13-3. Then she added a solo homer later in the day against Frenchtown to lift Belgrade to a 3-2 victory.
“We call her hammer. Hammer time is back,” Panthers assistant coach Joey Roberts said. “She had a great approach at the plate, hit the ball really well at practice this week, and tagged the ball at practice yesterday. Went up with a great approach and was finally able to barrel up.”
The victories capped the first-ever unbeaten regular season for Belgrade, which takes a 17-0 record into next week’s Central A Divisional. It also extended the program record win streak to 36 dating back to last year.
“It’s a great team accomplishment, no doubt about that. But at the same time we’re not super concerned with it right now. We’re focusing on our next games at divisionals,” said Roberts. “Hopefully getting through that has helped us prepare for postseason play.”
Stevensville took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second before Eaton trimmed the deficit to one. Then the Panthers took a 4-3 lead in the third before halting the contest via the 10-run rule with a 9-run fourth inning.
Kaleigh Bauerle scattered six hits and struck out four in the circle, while Kamie Gorrell finished 3 for 3 at the plate with a double. Belgrade tallied 13 hits in the game.
“The win today against Stevi was a great team win,” said Roberts. “A ton of people contributed and made great plays in the field, everyone hit the ball well, and Bauerle pitched a great game.”
Gorrell smacked a two-run single in the second inning against Frenchtown to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead. Then Eaton hit the game-winning home run in the fourth en route to finishing 2 for 3 at the plate.
“She’s shown flashes of that the last couple of years and it came together today,” said Roberts. “She came up clutch both games for us, huge home runs.”
Erin Elgas tossed a 4-hitter and struck out 14 against Frenchtown en route to improving to 12-0 in the circle.
Belgrade 13, Stevensville 3
Stevensville 120 0 - 3 6 0
Belgrade 022 9 - 13 13 1
A. Hiller, S. Morrison (3), J. Oyler (4), J. Newman (4) and D. Tangmue. Kaleigh Bauerle and Haylee Curry. W - Bauerle (5-0). L - Morrison.
STEVENSVILLE (13-4) - K. Berning 1-2 (2B), S. Paul 2-2 (2B), H. Kampka 0-1, Hiller 1-2, Trangmue 0-2, T. Springer 0-2, M. Newman 1-2 (2B), M. Sims 0-2, C. Kopsa 1-2, J. Newman 0-0.
BELGRADE (16-0) - Kenna Thomas 2-4 (2B), Maddisen Tomasetti 1-2, Arin Eaton 0-0, Madi Kreiger 0-1, Sheridan Smith 1-1, Olivia Cook 1-2 (2B), Lanie Morgan 1-2, Shaylis Osler 0-1, Haylee Curry 1-2, Paige Krob 1-1, Hazel Eaton 1-2 (HR), Alexys Settlemire 1-1, Ellie Milesnick 0-1, Kamie Gorrell 3-3 (2B).
Belgrade 3, Frenchtown 2
Belgrade 020 100 - 3 9 0
Frenchtown 020 000 - 2 4 0
Erin Elgas and Ellie Milesnick. Sadie Smith and Kendra Williams. W - Elgas (12-0). L - Smith.
BELGRADE (17-0) - Kenna Thomas 0-3, Maddisen Tomasetti 1-2, Madi Kreiger 0-2, Elgas 0-1, Olivia Cook 1-2, Lanie Morgan 1-3, Haylee Curry 2-3, Hazel Eaton 2-3 (HR), Milesnick 1-3, Kamie Gorrell 2-3, Arin Eaton 0-0.
FRENCHTOWN (14-6) - Cassidy Bagnell 0-3, Mikaela Field 0-3, Layne Bauer 1-2, Taylor Garren 0-3, Cassidy Moen 0-2, Claire Bagnell 1-3, Hailey Arthur 0-2, Hallie Habeck 2-2 (HR), Shelby Miotke 0-0, Charity Rebich 0-0, Kendra Williams 0-1.