LAREDO, Texas - No. 15 Blinn College softball was explosive on offense and solid on defense in the Region XIV conference opener after claiming two run-rule wins over Laredo Community College on Friday afternoon. Tori Alvarez-Lopez drove in six runs in the doubleheader opener to help lead Blinn to a 17-3 victory in five innings, while Kassidy Rhoudes threw a shutout for Blinn to win the finale 8-0 in five innings.
Blinn's overall record moves to 13-9 and its Region XIV record starts out at 2-0.
Blinn 17 - Laredo 3
The Buccaneers came out strong on both sides of the ball as they defeated Laredo 17-3 in five innings to open the first conference doubleheader of the season.
Alvarez-Lopez knocked out two home runs to drive in six runs and lead Blinn's offense, while Amber Langston and Sydney Gutierrez each hit a home run in the victory and scored three runs each. Abby Olejniczak and Alivia Villarreal each went 3-for-3 at the plate and combined for five RBIs.
Meghan Morris sealed her eighth win in the circle after throwing her ninth complete game of the season. She surrendered three runs on seven hits, while striking out three.
Blinn scored the first run of the game in the first inning after Gutierrez scored on a one-run single by Villarreal. However, Laredo erased the damage by evening the score 1-1 in the bottom of the inning.
In the second inning the Buccaneers' offense produced five runs to give Blinn a 6-1 lead. Olejniczak drove in the first run, while Alvarez-Lopez followed with her first three-run homer of the game. A one-run double off the bat of Villarreal scored Blinn's final run of the inning.
The offense continued to heat up in the third inning as Blinn scored eight runs to hold a 14-1 advantage. Olejniczak kept the offense rolling with a two-run single, while Alvarez-Lopez followed with her second three-run blast of the game. Gutierrez joined in with a solo home run, while Sarah Cedillo and Morgan Gray hit back-to-back singles to drive in the final two runs of the inning.
In the fourth inning Blinn tacked on two more runs after Langston scored on an error and Gutierrez scored on a pop fly.
The Buccaneers scored their final run in the fifth inning after Langston hit a home run to give Blinn a 17-1 lead.
Laredo managed two runs before being run-ruled in the fifth inning, 17-3.
Blinn 8 - Laredo 0
Kassidy Rhoudes shutout Laredo to help Blinn close out the doubleheader with an 8-0 win in five innings.
Rhoudes clinched her fifth win of the season after only surrendering one hit, while striking out three.
Alvarez-Lopez led Blinn's offense with two runs and three RBIs after manufacturing three hits including a home run and triple. Amy Alexander and Georgina Gonzales each drove in two runs, while Olejniczak scored two runs in the win.
Blinn opened the game with one run in the first inning after Alvarez-Lopez led off with a solo home run.
In the second inning Blinn's offense heated up to score six runs. Alvarez-Lopez and Alexander each knocked in two runs for Courtney Ogle, Olejniczak, Alvarez-Lopez and Gray to score. Gonzales finished up the inning with a two-run blast.
Blinnâ€™s final run came in the third inning after Olejniczak scored on an error for Blinn to lead 8-0.
Rhoudes continued to shutdown Laredo's offense for Blinn to claim the win in five innings.
The Buccaneers look to remain undefeated in conference against Coastal Bend College in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 10 on the road.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 36 NJCAA national championships since 1987.