It didn't take long for catcher Robin Landrith and Ironwood Ridge to knock off the rust following their first-round bye in the Division II state softball playoffs.
After giving up two early runs to No. 14 Sahuaro in the top of the first inning, the third-seeded Nighthawks scored 13 straight runs Tuesday, finishing the game in five innings and advancing to the third round with a 13-2 win.
Landrith, a senior, went 3 for 3 with two homers, including a grand slam, and six RBIs.
"I think for us, not that we wanted an extra game, when you don't play for a week it can be tough to pick up where you left off," Ironwood Ridge coach Randy Anway said. "We started off a little shaky, but I thought we responded well.
"It was a good win and what you want to get going in the playoffs."
Landrith answered Sahuaro's two early runs with a two-run homer over the right field wall in the bottom of the first, sparking the Nighthawks offense.
Host Ironwood Ridge tacked on two more runs in the inning, giving pitcher Makayla McAdams a nice cushion to work with.
The Nighthawks added three more runs in the the second when shortstop Erin Satterfield launched a three-run homer to dead-centerfield, making the score 7-2.
But Ironwood Ridge's biggest moment was yet to come.
Robyn Porter led off the third with a single, and back-to-back bunt singles by Merrilee Miller and Jordan Rocker loaded the bases for Landrith.
Sahuaro opted to change pitchers, but it didn't matter as Landrith took the first pitch from Sahuaro's Gina Snyder over the right field wall for a grand slam, giving the Nighthawks an 11-2 lead. They went on to score two more runs in the inning.
"I was seeing the ball well today," Landrith said. "It was the best game I've had all year. The extra practice during the bye week helped, and we felt a little more rested coming into this game.
"Now it's all about preparing for Thursday."
The Nighthawks will face No. 22 Casa Grande Vista Grande on Thursday in a third-round game at the Rose Mofford Complex in Phoenix.
The loss bumped Sahuaro from the tournament. The Cougars found their momentum at the end of the regular season, winning eight straight and playing their way into the playoffs.
Despite the tough way the season ended for his team, Sahuaro coach Scott Nielson still saw some positives.
"We had to win out to get into the playoffs and we did, so that's something to be proud of," Nielson said. "We won our first-round game, and we got here."
Canyon del Oro 11, Queen Creek 1 (5 innings): Stanford-bound Kayla Bonstrom hit two home runs and earned the win in the circle lifting the Dorados, who had four home runs total, into the third round.
Sabino 7, Scottsdale Notre Dame 2: Alyssa Fletcher improved to 14-5, pitching a complete game, and her Sabercats teammates backed her up on offense with a four-run third inning.
Glendale Mountain Ridge 3, Cienega 2: Mountain Ridge took the lead in the bottom of the sixth with a three-run home run and held on to beat the Bobcats.
Yuma Cibola 1, Sierra Vista Buena 0: Cibola pushed one run across in the fifth inning off Colts ace Caitlin Wilson to eliminate Buena.
Scottsdale Horizon 11, Tucson 1 (5 innings): One game after pulling an upset over Lake Havasu, the Badgers were eliminated from the D1 tournament in five innings.