Beloit claims undefeated NCAA League title / Lady Trojans to host Class 3A softball regionals
BELOIT – The Beloit Lady Trojans put the stamp of perfection on their regular season last week while celebrating their two seniors, Grace Marozas and Lizzie Overmiller. With a win over Russell and a double-header sweep on the road at Republic County, Beloit ran their league record to 11-0 and laid claim to the outright NCAA League championship.
The Lady Trojans dissected Russell’s pitching on Tuesday in game one with a 16-1 victory in three run-rule shortened innings. During game two, play was suspended 30 minutes, by rule, due to lightning in the bottom of the second inning. There was no score and Karson Brown was at the plate for Beloit with no outs. The game was then called due to rain and hail. It was determined that the game will not be completed.
Beloit erupted for six first-inning runs only to be outdone by a 10-run aftershock in the second. Five of the six runs in their opening at-bat came with two outs after a lead-off single by Lizzie Overmiller. She stole second base, followed by a pair of fielder’s choice groundouts by Jessica Meier and Breezy Schroeder which scored her for run number one. Brown hit a triple, and Grace Marozas singled her home. Darby Odle reached on an error, and Jessica Drum walked before Paige Goddard hit a three-run inside the park homer on a blast to right field to make it a 6-0 game.
In the second inning, Beloit put the game away offensively. They batted around the order in the first and sent 14 hitters to the plate in the second inning on their way to a 16-0 lead. Goddard struck out four in her three innings of work for the win. Russell got one unearned run in the top of the third on a steal of home after a walk and a Lady Trojan's error. Marozas led the way at the plate going 3-3 with two singles, a triple, four RBI and two runs scored. Meier and Goddard also added three RBI to the Lady Trojans total. Every player with an at-bat either drove in or scored at least one run in the blowout.
On Friday in Belleville, against Republic County, Beloit capped their perfect league season. The Lady Trojans scored in bunches, early and late, to easily out-dual the Lady Buffs 11-1. In the first inning, Meier reached on an error with one out. Schroeder laced a ball to center to put runners at second and third. Meier scored on a passed ball, and Schroeder advanced to third with Brown at the plate, who eventually walked, to give Beloit runners at the corners. Odle later reached on a two-out error which scored Schroeder and Brown for a 3-0 lead. Drum moved Odle over a base with a single to left, and Goddard popped an RBI single to center to score Odle and make it 4-0 Lady Trojans.
Run number five came in the top of the third thanks to an RBI infield single by Drum after Marozas and Odle led off the inning with base hits of their own. Republic County got their lone run in the fourth, but Beloit had scored less than half the runs they would tally in the end.
In the top of the sixth, Overmiller singled to lead off the inning followed by a single from Meier. Schroeder brought them home with a triple for a 7-1 advantage. She scored by way of an error on a groundball hit by Brown to make it 8-1. Brown later scored on an RBI fielder’s choice groundout by Odle.
Leading 9-1 in the seventh, Beloit got a double from Meier, Schroeder walked on four pitches and Marozas later brought them both across the plate with a single to right.
Odle finished off a complete game, three-hitter with a 1-2-3 seventh. She allowed one earned run, struck out five and walked just one.
It was a more competitive affair in game two as the teams played each other run for run through the first three innings. Overmiller led-off the game with a double to left. She later scored on a one-out RBI single from Schroeder to take a 1-0 lead. Marozas kept the line moving with a single to center before Odle cleared the bases with a two-RBI double to set the score at 3-0. The Lady Buffaloes answered in kind with three in the home half of the inning.
Beloit added another run in the third after two-out singles by Brown and Odle and an RBI single to center by Drum to score Brown. Republic County answered with a run in the bottom of the third. After going down in order in the top of the fourth, Odle came to the mound for Beloit in relief. The Lady Trojans fought off a threat from the Lady Buffs with a double play and a 10-pitch strikeout after allowing a hit and a walk earlier in the inning.
Beloit put the game away in the top of the seventh, adding three runs to their total. Schroeder led off with a single, Marozas reached on an error, and Brown singled to fill the bases with nobody out. Odle brought home all three, hustling around the bases, with a single to left to make it a 7-4 game.
Odle then helped her own cause by finishing off the Lady Buffs in order, on seven pitches in their final at-bat, to pick up the win. Goddard took a no decision after leaving the game tied at four at the end of three innings.
The Lady Trojans dominated the NCAA this season. They outscored their league opponents 111-34. An average margin of victory at an eye-popping seven runs per game. In only two games did they win by less than three runs. Both were extra inning affairs against Sacred Heart and Southeast of Saline. The offensive highlight of the year, so far, occurred in the win over SES. It came in the bottom of the ninth on a two-out, two-run, walk-off triple to right by Paige Goddard at home in Beloit.
Goddard hit .474 in league games with nine RBI and three runs scored, including a home run, in just 19 plate appearances. She also went 3-0, with two no-decisions, as a hurler in five league starts with an ERA of 2.13 and 18 strikeouts in 23 innings pitched.
Darby Odle was ace of the staff with a 7-0 record. She started just five league games but picked up another pair of victories in relief appearances. Over 40 innings, Odle had a miniscule ERA of 1.22 with only seven earned runs allowed, and a mere three walks issued in contrast to 26 strikeouts.
Junior slugger Breezy Schroeder was the undisputed offensive MVP for the Lady Trojans during league play. In 43 plate appearances, she posted ridiculous numbers including a .571 average, 18 RBI, 19 runs scored, eight doubles, four triples and a staggering OPS (combined on-base and slugging percentage) of 1.605 to go with just one strikeout. All team highs.
Senior Grace Marozas led the team in singles with 16 while hitting .429 with both 13 RBI and runs scored. Jamie Drum also eclipsed the .400 mark at the plate with a .421 average. Every Lady Trojan with 40 or more plate appearances hit .333 or better in league play. Including the only other senior on the squad, Lizzie Overmiller. Among their top 9 hitters, Beloit had an impressive team batting average of .393.
The well-rounded Lady Trojans will be back in action next week as they open and host Class 3A Regional Tournament play. Beloit will be the No. 1 seed at 17-2 and will have earned a first round bye in the seven-team field when the bracket is made official later this week. Southeast of Saline is currently in the No. 2 spot at 12-6 followed by Ellsworth at 10-6. SES plays Republic County on Tuesday to finish out their regular season as Ellsworth will take on Sacred Heart. Other teams competing in the Beloit Regional next week include Lyons (10-8), Minneapolis (10-10), Russell (5-12) and a combined Plainville/Stockton squad with a season record of 3-11.
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