SPRINGFIELD -- The team colors (blue and white) and mascots (Bulldogs) were the same, but the similarities ended there between Springfield and Red River on Tuesday in a Class 2A bi-district playoff game.
No. 15 seed Springfield put up 11 runs in the 1st inning and six in the 2nd to rout 18th-seeded Red River 17-0 in 3 innings and advance. Springfield (9-18) will travel to northwest Louisiana to face No. 2-seed Many at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Lady Bulldogs’ pitcher Morgan Sibley threw 35 pitches and gave up just one hit, an infield single in the top of the 1st inning. Caleigh Steele was 3-for-3 with two singles, a triple, six RBIs and three runs scored.
In the top of the 1st, Sibley got the first two batters out on a strikeout and a groundout, before Ziaya Drakes popped a ball up to the infield that was just out of Sibley’s reach. Drakes was safe at first and immediately stole second.
When Steele’s throw down to second dribbled into center field, Drakes took off for third, getting there safely. But Drakes overran the bag and was tagged out to end the inning, ending the positive part of Red River’s day.
Springfield sent 14 batters to the plate in the bottom of the 1st. Steele highlighted the inning with two hits and four RBIs, two on a triple. Bree Saxon also had two hits in the inning along with an RBI, as did Madison Huszar.
Steele said confidence was the key.
“This kind of game builds our confidence a lot,” Steele said. “We needed a win to get us going.”
All in all, the Lady Bulldogs scored 11 runs in the frame on six hits. Red River committed two errors and hit two batters in the inning.
Sibley threw seven pitches in the top of the 2nd in sitting down Red River in order.
Springfield effectively ended the game in the bottom of the 2nd, scoring six runs on three hits.
Steele again provided the highlight, hitting a bases-loaded single to right field that Red River right fielder Laynie Scott misplayed for an error that allowed all three base runners and Steele to score, pushing the score to 17-0.
All Sibley had to do was keep the lead at 15 or more runs in the top of the 3rd to end the game on the mercy rule. While she did allow two base runners on a walk and a hit batter, two strikeouts and a pop out to shortstop did the trick and put Springfield in the second round.
Springfield coach Ashley Ledet said getting offensive output against Red River was a good thing.
“I just told them to be smart at the plate,” Ledet said. “If (the ball) was in the strike zone, we had to swing and make contact and they did just that.”
Ledet was also pleased that Springfield didn’t have to use too much energy in getting the victory.
“We have a small team (10 players) so that really helped us out,” Ledet said. “The less pitches (Sibley) had to throw, the better it is for her to be prepared for what’s up ahead.”
SPRINGFIELD 17, RED RIVER 0
Red River 000 -- 0 1 4
Springfield (11)6x -- 17 9 0
Madison Castello and Jenny Loftin; Morgan Sibley and Caleigh Steele. W – Sibley. L – Castello. 3B: Springfield – Steele. Records: Red River 22-9, Springfield 9-18. Up next: Springfield at Many, 4 p.m. Thursday.