COLLEGE STATION — Bailey Tindell tossed a one-hitter and Salado scored in every inning Saturday in a 14-1, six-inning rout of Navasota that gave the Lady Eagles a sweep of their best-of-three Class 4A first-round playoff series.
Salado (21-4) begins a best-of-three area-round series Thursday against China Spring.
“That’s our goal, every inning to score runs and they did what we asked them to,” head coach Ashton Cooper said.
“We kept them to one, so I couldn’t ask them to do better than what they did.”
Looking to avoid a doubleheader and a decisive Game 3, the Lady Eagles quickly put a run on the board in the top of the first inning when Piper Randolph (2 for 4) scored from third base on a pitch that got away from the Navasota catcher.
Salado pitcher Bailey Tindell began the bottom of the first with a walk but quickly retired the Lady Rattlers with two of her six strikeouts and a pop fly.
The Lady Eagles added two more runs in the top of the second.
Salado’s Breigh Oliver doubled in the third inning. She stole third and scored when the throw bounced off the third baseman’s glove toward
the dugout. That gave the Lady Eagles a 4-1 lead.
Salado added two more runs in the top of the fourth. Reese Preston’s sacrifice bunt scored Marissa Gonzalez, and Piper Randolph blooped a single into right field to bring in another run.
“I’ve kind of been in a slump lately,” Gonzalez said, “so coming back from that and hitting those runs made me feel really good.”
Tindell lost her no-hitter and shutout in the bottom of the fourth inning when Navasota shortstop Samantha Harris doubled and scored on an error.
“One changeup,” Tindell said.
But the Lady Eagles answered with a four-run fifth to stretch the lead to 10-1.
Gonzalez, the No. 6 hitter, hit a two-run double to left field that led to a pitching change.
Moving from left field to the circle, Alyssa Bustamonte couldn’t slow the Lady Eagles’ momentum as Erika Faske hit a ground ball into left field for a single to put runners at the corners.
The Lady Rattlers tried to nab Faske stealing second, but as soon as second baseman Reyna Wilkie had the ball Gonzalez darted home to put Salado up 9-1.
Preston added double to right field to score Faske.
“I always tell these girls that hitting is contagious,” Cooper said. “When one person does it, it just gets contagious after that.
“If we just put the ball in play, it makes things happen.”
In the sixth, Rylee Oborski drove in two more runs with a triple into right field.
“That felt awesome,” Oborski said. “As soon as I saw (Cooper) waving Wilson to go four in front of me, I knew I could make it to third because I already had my momentum going.”
Salado’s 14-1 lead brought the 10-run mercy rule into play in the bottom of the six inning and the Lady Rattlers were unable to keep the game going.
Avoiding the doubleheader was an added benefit, according to Tindell.
“It feels good, especially compared to last year where almost every time we had to play three games.”
SATURDAY'S SOFTBALL SCORES
Class 6A bi-district
- Duncanville 3, Copperas Cove 0, Duncanville wins series 2-0
Class 4A bi-district
- Caldwell 12, Lampasas 6, Caldwell wins series 2-0
- Salado 14, Navasota 1, Salado wins series 2-0
Class 3A bi-district
- Natalia 6, Florence 1, Natalia wins series 2-0