Lady Red blank Tornadoes

BELLEVUE – A day after shutting out Columbian, 10-0, in Bellevue, the Redmen did it again.

This time, the stakes were a little higher.

Bellevue’s win over the Tornadoes on Tuesday came in the Division II sectional semifinals, and advanced it to the finals, where it is to play Friday at top-seeded Edison.

It was the third time this season Bellevue defeated the Tornadoes. Tuesday’s 10-0 victory was polished off in five innings, and concluded in weather that looked like a cross between the final scene of Casablanca and an early scene from the Wizard of Oz.

But with the wind whipping and the skies threatening – there was a brief delay in the third inning when a downpour arrived – Bellevue starting pitcher Morgan Andrews kept her composure. She allowed five hits, struck out five and stranded five TC runners.

“She’s got a variety of pitches and she mixes the speeds up,” said Bellevue coach Walt Snyder, “and I think that’s what makes her effective. She can throw it by you, or she can roll it softly up there.”

Bellevue jumped on Columbian in the bottom of the first inning. It hit the ball out of the infield only twice, but managed to push five runs across. The big hit was Hannah Ruffing’s two-run double to left.

“It’s very hard to beat a team three times, it really is,” Snyder said. “I don’t care what the record is. Tom (Artino)’s a pretty good coach; he used to be one of my assistants, and he knows the game. I was expecting anything today, and jumping on them early, you feel a lot better.”

The Tornadoes committed an error in the first that aided the Lady Red. Artino, Columbian’s coach, said he team did a better job against Andrews, but were playing catch-up all game.

“The thing is, these girls gotta learn, you can’t dig a hole against a good team,” Artino said. “We did a good job. The first (game) we batted against her, she threw a no-hitter against us. The next time she threw a 1-hitter. This time we came out and adjusted, but we dug too big a hole.”

Roni Daughenbaugh and Brittany DuMonte had two hits each for the Tornadoes, who fell to 2-19. Morgan Schalk took the loss in the circle for the Tornadoes. She was hurt by two big innings – the first and the third. The Lady Red scored five runs in the third, an inning that had about a 10-minute interruption due to rain.

Snyder said the Redmen may be coming around. He said it was tougher earlier in the season, as the program recovered from losing eight seniors.

“Finally we got a set lineup going and they started playing better,” he said.