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It was a good start to the 2020 season for the Ridgeline baseball and softball programs.

The Ridgeline baseball team traveled to Lehi on Wednesday afternoon and left with a 5-2 victory over the Pioneers. Meanwhile, Ridgeline’s softball team only needed five innings to dispatch of Northridge, 12-0, Tuesday on the road.

Dax Purser put the clamps on Lehi in the first five innings and the Riverhawks manufactured three runs in the top of the sixth to take control.

Purser only allowed four hits — all singles — in five and two-thirds innings on the mound. The senior gave up one run, struck out 11 and walked three. Purser also belted a RBI double in the seventh frame.

Mason Bowler doubled twice, walked and scored three runs for Ridgeline, which also got a double from Jace Ward. The Riverhawks plated their first run in the top of the fourth.

“Purser pitched a great game,” RHS head coach Paul Bowler said. “Threw a lot of strikes early and kept his pitch count down. Bowler had a couple big hits to get on, and then helped us score some runs. We played pretty good for the first time out, but we have some things to work on. Overall, a good start.”

Ridgeline completely dominated Northridge in the softball opener for both teams. Eight different Riverhawks accounted for 15 hits, while Tia Washington held the Knights to three singles. Washington, who fanned six and walked none, was also unstoppable at the plate as she went 4 for 4 with three doubles and three RBIs.

“Tia was dominant from the moment she got off the bus, both in the circle and (with her) hitting,” RHS assistant coach Mike Buttars said. “Her leadership set a drum beat that the rest of the team found and followed. This will be critical all year long.”

Kenzee Hale doubled twice, singled and scored four times for the Riverhawks, who got two hits — one two-bagger — two runs and two RBIs from Laci Leishman. Abbie Banning also doubled for Ridgeline, which didn’t commit any errors and had seven different players score a run.

The Riverhawks pushed three runs across in the third and fourth frames, and slammed the door with a six-run sixth inning.

PREP BOYS SOCCER

Mountain Crest kicked off its season Wednesday afternoon at defending 6A state champion Weber and fell 2-0. The Mustangs limited the Warriors to one goal in each half.

A pair of Cache County teams were in action Tuesday — both on the road. Logan came from behind twice and beat Box Elder, 3-2, in overtime on a 22-or-so-yard free kick by Nate Perez. Ridgeline conceded four goals in the second half in its 6-0 setback to 6A American Fork.

Johan Velazquez equalized for the Grizzlies in the 26th minute, shortly after the Bees jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Box Elder went ahead 2-1 midway through the second half, but Perez pulled the visitors even 12 minutes later when he buried a penalty kick.

Logan goalkeeper Chris Calvillo “made some huge saves for us in the first half” to keep his side with striking distance of Box Elder, LHS head coach Natalie Norris said.

“The boys came out and played hard,” Norris said. “It was a very physical game, but they stepped up really well. We had a lot of new faces on the field and I was really impressed with everyone who went in. ... I was proud of the boys for battling back the whole game. Overall, great first game with a lot of things to build on going forward.”

American Fork found the back of the net three times in a 14-minute span of the second half to pull away from Ridgeline.

“I scheduled two 6A, three 5A and one 4A opponent this year (in the preseason),” RHS head coach Dale Buchanan said. “I’d rather set the bar early and get through the struggle than win too easily and struggle later. This AF team is super senior heavy. I bet they go final four, maybe even deeper in 6A. We have three returning seniors and I have five freshmen playing varsity time right out of the gate. It should be a good season.”

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at jturner@hjnews.com or 435-792-7237.

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