The El Campo Ladybirds hammered the North Forst Lady Bulldogs 17-0 to become bi-district champions Thursday night at Legacy Field, winning their fourth straight first-round game.
Fearing of injuries with the rain starting to come down and not wanting to let the game get out of hand, the Ladybirds opted to quickly end the game. Rather than keep scoring, El Campo base runners stepped off bases before pitches giving up five of the six outs North Forrest recorded.
The win over North Forrest was a vast departure from their warmup game a 2-0 loss against Columbia, losing only their third game of the year, Tuesday night at Legacy Field.
“Going into the playoffs you never know who you are going to see, who you are going play and, I’ve got to give credit to our kids, they had a better plan at the plate (than against Columbia),” Ladybirds coach Roxanne Cavazos said. “They weren’t swinging just to swing at pitches and they were actually taking pitches.”
The Ladybirds used three different pitchers against North Forrest, with senior starter Mackenzie Matlock playing in the field than throwing in the circle.
Sophomore Bridget Dorotik and juniors Carleene Rawlings and Abbie Stehling made quick work of North Forrest throwing 43 pitches between them and striking out seven of the nine batters they faced allowing no hits.
Stehling and sophomore Kate Bubela both had inside-the-park-home runs. Bubela also added a second home run, a no-doubter over the left field wall. The Ladybird bats only had eight hits against North Forrest, but several walks, hit-by-pitches, and errors helped them amount their large lead.
“It’s really difficult to stay focused in a game like this. I think the main part (is we) stayed excited,” senior Allyson Rioux said. “We went into the (batters) box with a plan and don’t just swing at random pitches. (We) did our job, got in and got out.”
Rioux was one of the three Ladybirds with multihit games getting a double and a triple. Bubela and senior Madisyn Matlock also had mutlihit nights.
In the first inning, the Ladybirds sent 18 batters to the plate. The first 15 batters reached base before El Campo started to step off the base.
All four teams in District 24 won their first round game beating District 23 81-2.
With bi-district under the Ladybirds’ belt, they will now head on to area where they will meet the winner of Lumberton and Huffman Hargrove. The two teams are playing a three-game series. Huffman picked up a 6-0 win in game one.
Outside of the three seniors, junior Jaleena Macias is the only other Ladybird who has played in the playoffs before this season.
“We just all have to really stick together, we’re all playing for each other,” Rioux said. “As a senior, it’s really exciting you want to keep winning because you never know when your last game is going to be. We’re really excited to keep playing hard and see how far we can go.”