Barlow exploded for eight runs in the sixth inning, routing visiting Sheldon 9-0 in Monday's opening round of the state playoffs.
For the most part, the Bruins let their gloves do the talking. Barlow pitcher Alexia Geary only threw two strikeouts, yet Sheldon only had 23 at-bats through seven innings -- and not a single base runner beyond first base.
The Bruins took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when freshman Emily Virell scored on sophomore Alexa Bailey's bunt.
That would have been enough.
But then came the bottom of the sixth that saw Timber Swindell come to the plate twice. She sent a lead-off single to center field and scored when Karenna Soukup hit a high bouncer over the pitcher.
Swindell finished the inning with a line drive to deep center field that brought in teammates Alexia Geary and McKenzie Pierce.
The rally produced eight runs and turned the game into a 9-0 blowout.
With the win, Barlow (19-8) travels to Metro co-champ Glencoe (23-5) in Wednesday's second round.
Look for expanded coverage ahead in our Friday, May 26, print edition.