Season sweep: Broncos advance with third win over Tors

Warren Arceneaux

MOSS BLUFF — Erin Ardoin sparked the Sam Houston offense early and Broncos pitcher Lexi Dibbley handled the rest in a 3-0 Class 5A bidistrict round win over Sulphur.

The No. 6 Broncos (25-5) advance to host No. 11 Live Oak in the regional round. Live Oak (21-12) advanced with a 14-4 win over No. 22 Zachary.

Sam Houston swept three games from District 3-5A rival Sulphur this season.

Ardoin doubled, stole third base and scored when the throw bounced away in the first inning. Ardoin has ignited the Broncos offense since returning from injury a few weeks ago.

“I love competing and being on the field, so not being on the field wasn’t fun, not being able to compete was the worst part,” she said. “I have good speed so putting the ball in play helps me out. I like hitting, being able to compete in the box and help the team out.”

Dibbley allowed three hits struck out seven. The Tors generated traffic, getting at least one baserunner in every inning but the seventh. The Broncos turned an inning-ending double play in the first inning. Gracie Higginbotham singled to lead off the sixth for Sulphur, but Dibbley struck out the next two batters and induced a ground ball to end the inning.

Ardoin said Dibbley has been the key to the team’s success.

“When she is on, she gives us a good chance to win games if we can back her up at the plate,” she said.

Tors pitcher Sophia Tanner limited the Broncos to seven hits and walked just one. She left five Bronco base runners stranded and kept the Tors in the game.

Sam Houston added runs in the third on squeeze bunt by Dibbley and in the sixth on a Maci Baldwin single to score Brylie Fontenot.

Kaylee Cooper, Madelyn England and Kamryn Lafosse had hits for the Broncos.

Sulphur ended the season at 9-17. Vega Tower and Payton Prince each had a single for the Tors. Higginbotham also stole a base.

Sam Houston has won 13 of its last 14 games and have now won 18 consecutive first round playoff games. The Broncos last lost an opening round game in 2002, falling 2-1 to Tioga in Class 4A bidistrict game.””

Sam Houston’s Erin Ardoin hits a double against Sulphur during the first round of the Class 5A softball playoffs at Sam Houston High School Monday. Sam Houston won 3-0 to advance to the regional round.

Kirk Meche<

SportsPlus

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