HYRUM — It took just one inning for the Mustangs to get all the runs they would need Tuesday afternoon to notch their fourth straight softball win.
Mountain Crest got a handful of hits and took advantage of couple Logan errors in the third inning to plate all of its runs in a 5-0 Region 12 victory. The Mustangs played error free and got another strong performance from pitcher Haylee Brown.
“Both pitchers threw great, defenses were solid,” MC coach Courtnee Maughan said. “Our goal was to keep the pressure on them the entire game, which is exactly what we did. We made them earn every out they got.”
Nya Laing also had an efficient outing in the circle, but the Grizzlies (9-8, 2-4 region) couldn’t give her any run support and only had three hits on the day. Laing had nine strikeouts and did not issue a walk.
“It doesn’t matter that much on defense if you can’t score a run,” Logan coach Kim Laing said. “We need to go to work and see what we can do to get better. ... We’ve been struggling offensively the past three games. We are struggling to push runs across, and I think it is a mental thing.”
The Mustangs (11-5, 6-1) finished with nine hits as seven different athletes had at least one base knock. Brooklyn Clarke and Brown each had two hits apiece.
“I was really trying to focus on the ball and stay loose,” Clarke said. “Our team has been staying good in tight situations.”
Mountain Crest went three up, three down in the first two innings as Nya Laing had three strikeouts, enticed two fly outs and pop-up. But the Mustangs came to life in the third.
Maysen Bryson reached base on an error, Emma Child laid down a bunt that hit a Grizzly in play, and Clarke loaded the bases with a bloop single. Ana Tidrow brought the first run home with a single up the middle, and Madison Bertagnolli followed with a ground ball that Logan tried to go home with, but Child scored and the bags remained juiced.
Brown smacked a ball to deep center field that caused runners to hold up. It hit the fence for a RBI single as Clarke scored. An RBI bunt by Lindzee Steinmetz kept the bases full with no outs. The Mustangs would get one more run on a ground out.
“It’s just the little things that is holding us back,” coach Laing said. “Nya pitched a great game. Nya can’t do anything more. We need our defense, and we need to put runs on the board.”
Mountain Crest threatened again in the fifth, picking up three hits, but not being able to score.
Logan’s best chance of scoring came in the sixth. Mia Marin singled, Kam Laing drew a walk, as did Saige Hansen to load the bags with two outs. Brown was able to get a pop-up to end the Grizzly scoring threat.
“You have to stay confidence and focused and just make every play,” Clarke said. “We were fine.”
In the seventh, Brown struck out the side to end the game.
“Haylee was awesome today, and we handled the pressure,” Maughan said.
Mountain Crest is a half game behind Bear River in the region standings. The Mustangs host the Bears this Friday.
“We go into every game with the same mindset,” Clarke said.
And that is win the next game, but don’t look ahead.
WOLVES 4, BOBCATS 3 (8)
The second meeting between former teammates was a wild one and took extra innings to decide at North Logan.
Knotted a 3-3, the game went to extra innings before Green Canyon (3-13, 1-6) ended a seven-game skid and picked up its first region win in thrilling fashion.
After retiring Sky View (4-8-1, 1-4) in order in the top of the eighth, the Wolves began the bottom of the eighth with Kenna Peterson at second due to the international tie-break rule in extra innings. Kourtney Calderwood blasted a 1-2 pitch to center for a game-ending double.
“We knew going into it, it would be down to the wire, which it was,” GC coach Joe Astle said. “... I’m proud of these girls who stayed tough the entire game. I knew the girls wanted this win bad and they went for it.”
The Wolves had eight hits and overcame three errors. Jerica Blotter led Green Canyon with two hits.
The Bobcats finished with six hits and just one error. Mikelle Sorensen had two of the base knocks.
“Defensively, we played great,” SV coach Amanda Robinson said. “One of the cleanest games we’ve played this year. It’s great to see the work they are putting in paying off. What hurt us today were all the runners we stranded on base. We need to string some of those hits together. All in all we are very optimistic about our progress.”
The Bobcats held a 1-0 lead and a 3-2 lead in the game. The Wolves just kept coming back. Morgan Gittins tied it at 3-3 on a solo, inside-the-park home run in the fifth.
“Morgan came up big for us today,” Astle said. “Without her homer today, the result may have been different.”
BEARS 8, RIVERHAWKS 0
Bear River had one big inning at Millville and it was plenty enough to stay perfect in region play.
The Bears (9-8, 6-0) scored seven runs in the fourth with two outs. Ridgeline (10-7, 3-4) committed all three of its errors in that frame as well.
“We had to get six outs in that inning,” RHS coach Mike Anderson said. “I feel like the parrot that says the same thing every time he is sitting on the perch. I feel like we are close. We are waiting for someone to step up. I don’t care if that is a freshman, a sophomore or someone on our bench.”
Ridgeline was held to three hits in the game, but had some scoring opportunities as two runners were on in the fourth with no outs when Aree Kidman had a single and Tia Washington drew a walk. The Bears got out of the jam.
“When Bear River rolls in, to their credit, they get off the bus thinking they are better than you,” Anderson said. “That is part of the battle. When you don’t get fired up about that, you are going to get intimidated. Their history gets off the bus with them. People get freaked out on this side of the mountain.”
After a wild first game, the second was not so close. Pocatello swept a twinbill from Preston in Franklin County, 16-15 and 11-5.
In the first game, both teams had 22 hits. Pocatello scored five runs in the top of the seventh to rally and hold on for the win.
“We played really well in the first game and hit the ball extremely well,” Preston coach Larry Morrison said. “I’m proud of the way the girls played. We just had a couple of plays that didn’t go our way. Pocatello is an excellent team and we hung very tight with them.”
Kyler Cole went 5 for 5 in the game with five RBIs, while Vanessa Griffeth had four hits. Ashlynn Sparks and Jessika Alder each had three hits.
Errors proved costly in the second game for Preston. The hosts led early, but Pocatello scored five in the third and never looked back.
Saydie Larson and Keri Despain each had three hits for Preston.