SULPHUR — Junior first baseman Andie Edwards continued her late-season surge with a pair of big hits Tuesday to lead No. 1 Sam Houston to a 7-1 win over No. 17 Sulphur in the Class 5A regional round.
Edwards hit an RBI double with two outs in the top of the first inning and put the finishing touch on the Broncos' win with a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning on a laser to left field.
In her last five games, Edwards has a .438 batting average.
"She is having a lot better at-bats," Sam Houston head coach Beth Domingue said. "Sometimes she gets out, but she is hitting the ball a lot harder. The last third of the season she has turned it around."
Sam Houston (28-3) advanced to the quarterfinals where it will host No. 8 Walker (23-9).
After scoring five runs in the first five innings, Sam Houston didn't score again until Edwards' home run. Domingue knows the Broncos will need more consistency on offense to beat Walker a second time this season.
"I think that we need to compete better innings one through seven," Domingue said. "I am just waiting for that fire to be lit.
"We have played like a No. 1 team most of the season; hopefully, they are just waiting to turn it on. I think that in every aspect of the game there is room for improvement."
Sulphur committed four errors, including two in the first inning, but made big defensive plays that kept Sam Houston from pulling away.
Third baseman Bri Elam made a diving catch on Kimber Hamilton's bunt attempt with one out and one runner on base in the fourth inning and left fielder Chrislyn Ryan was able to chase down a fly ball hit deep in the left-center field gap by Jil Poullard. Second baseman Lanie Burleson turned a 4-3 double play in the sixth inning to keep Sam Houston from adding to its 5-1 lead.
The biggest problem for Sulphur was that it went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Chrislyn Ryan scored the Tors' lone run when she stole home in the bottom of the second on a double steal after leading off with a double to center field.
"One of our goals was to play them better than the last time and I think that we did that," Sulphur head coach Julie Mancuso said. "I just wish we had more hits with runners on. We got them on, but we just didn't push them across. It is just one of those things, but you can't do that in the playoffs."
Senior Jenny Griggers (27-3) held Sulphur to three hits while striking out five batters and walking two.