By Brandon Speck
BALDWYN – South Delta drove nearly four hours to get swept in two hours.
In what has become a common occurrence in the opening round of the MHSAA softball and baseball playoffs, Baldwyn’s Lady Bearcats beat South Delta 16-0 and 15-0 Friday in a pair of three-inning wins.
Both were no-hitters, the first as senior Jorda Waters (10-4) struck out the nine batters she faced, the second as senior Shelby Blackwell struck out seven and Waters threw a runner out from right field.
Baldwyn will face Strayhorn in the second round beginning Monday.
“We haven’t scored a lot of runs the past few games and that’s okay because our defense has been so strong and we haven’t had to scored a bunch of runs,” Baldwyn coach Jessica Taylor said.
Baldwyn (20-6) scored two runs in a divison-closing win against East Union and four in a loss against Saltillo.
It won seven of its last nine games to close the regular season and allowed more than two runs only twice in the span. Strayhorn (13-8) won Division 2-2A.
“Defense is keeping us in everything,” Taylor said.
Friday, Baldwyn took advantage of nine Bee Jackson (0-5) walks and got inside-the-park home runs from leadoff hitter Mackenzie Riley and Sheneria Tyes in Game 1. Its 16 runs came on five hits.
In Game 2, the Lady Bearcats had 10 hits, two from Riley and an RBI triple from Waters. Haley Sandlin had two doubles, one to drive in a run in the third inning. Riley had two of the hits, including a double. Samantha Phillips doubled.
South Delta finished the season 0-5. Jackson walked nine more batters, five in the second inning, followed by an RBI double from Kali Nanney and an RBI single from Blackwell. Blackwell, who improved to 10-2, walked to score the winning run.
Baldwyn and its seven seniors won the school’s first slow pitch title in October. Waters said the goal is to add a fast pitch ring.
“We want to really bad,” she said. “Our defense is solid right now.”