With a crazy finish in extra innings, the Belmont softball team lost its season opener 3-2 to the Butler Bulldogs at Rose Park Friday evening.
While sophomore pitcher Taylor Moon carried a no-hitter through six innings for Belmont, Butler was able to capitalize off an error in the top of the eighth to earn the victory.
“Taylor Moon pitched one of the best games in Belmont history with the no-hitter going into the seventh inning,” said Belmont coach Chris Kuhlmeyer. “But we played pretty well in all phases of the game and gave ourselves opportunities to score on offense. We just didn’t come through.”
In the bottom of the third, the Bruins got the first hit of the game after centerfielder Heather Turner ripped a ball into left field for the single.
After junior Kirbie Ferrell walked on the following at-bat, senior Ashley Hammer sent a bunt over the top of the pitcher’s head to bring in Turner and put the Bruins up 1-0.
“One thing about Heather Turner is she can find a good pitch early in the count. She can usually hit the ball pretty hard and she did and got it rolling,” Kuhlmeyer said. “Ashley Hammer with a power bunt came through. Their defense wasn’t expecting us to come around and score.
Two innings later Belmont tried to capitalize on a hit from Ferrell and a Kat Hollingsworth walk but came up empty handed and left two stranded on base.
Moon’s no-hitter was broken up by Maria Leichty when the pinch hitter sent a double into left centerfield. The next at-bat, Brandyce Sallee hit a deep pitch into left field to bring around Leichty to send the game into extra innings.
After the Bulldogs scored two runs in the eighth, Belmont tried to force another inning as Hollingsworth scored off a sacrifice bunt to pull the Bruins within one. But it wasn’t in the cards for the Bruins and dropped the contest 3-2.
“We just got to close the door sooner. That’s one of the things we struggled with last year and it’s come back to bite us again,” Kuhlmeyer said.
Belmont continues the Music City Classic with games tomorrow and Sunday at Rose Park. Tomorrow’s first game against Detroit is set for 9 a.m.