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Lake Belton sweeps El Campo, punches ticket to Regional Finals

Posted at 1:37 AM, May 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-21 02:46:50-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — As Lake Belton approached the softball Regional Semifinals in 2021, Head Coach Matt Blackburn said he had to convince his team they belonged on that stage.

Fast forward one season, and the Broncos do not need convincing any more.

Playing at Davis Diamond, the home of Texas A&M softball, Lake Belton looked the part of a regional finalist. The Broncos jumped out to an early lead and cruised to an 8-1 win over El Campo. With the win, Lake Belton completed the sweep and now will return to the Regional Finals for the second straight season.

"These kids are good," Blackburn said. "This has been the goal since May. So, to finish the series like this is not what I expected. I thought it would be a lot closer. But I'm super proud of the kids."

After pitcher Zakayia Frederick got out of a first inning jam, the Lake Belton offense came to life in the home half of the inning.

Casey Schultz opened the scoring with a three-run home run to left center field, scoring Shelby Schultz and Madison Lux. Later in the inning, Hannah Jensen drove in a pair with a two-run single to extend the lead to 5-0.

Lake Belton would add three runs in the fifth inning.

Frederick did not allow a run until the final frame. El Campo pushed a run across on an RBI single with two outs. However, that would be their only run of the game.

On the final out, Frederick caught an easy pop up and was swarmed by her teammates in the circle.

The Broncos will now turn their attention to a rematch with the reigning state champions, Liberty, who beat Taylor 7-0 to punch their ticket to the Regional Finals. Liberty beat Lake Belton in last season's Regional Finals.