It was not looking good for Ridgeline on the first day of the Championship Rounds at the 4A softball state tournament Wednesday in Spanish Fork.
The Riverhawks had given up eight runs in the sixth inning to drop their first game of the day to Canyon View, 13-10. Having to play right after, Ridgeline was facing elimination against Stansbury.
Then the second game went to extra innings. The Riverhawks surrendered three runs in the top of the eighth and had their backs to the wall. It was truly do or die.
Undaunted, Ridgeline plated four runs and survived to play on Thursday.
Despite giving up three runs in the top of the eighth, it could have been worse for Ridgeline (22-7). The Stallions (16-11-1) left the bags juiced when Markessa Jensen picked up her third strikeout of the game for the final out.
The Riverhawks went to work immediately in the bottom of the eighth, with Kenzee Hale starting on second due to the international tie-breaker rule. Abbie Banning led off with a single. Brinn Anderson followed with a single, her fourth hit of the game, to fill the bases with no outs. Jensen then helped her cause with a two-run single to left to pull Ridgeline within 11-10.
With Ellie Pond up to bat, the Stansbury third baseman had very costly error. Anderson and Jensen were able to score to end the game.
Eight players had a hit for the Riverhawks, who had 16 for the game, and nine different athletes scored at least a run. Ridgeline also committed three errors. The Stallions had 13 hits and two errors.
Ridgeline scored first when Pond had a two-run single in the bottom of the first. Pond finished with two hits, including a solo home run in the fifth, and three RBIs.
The lead would trade hands four times in the game.
Allie Williams had three hits, three RBIs and a double for the Riverhawks. Banning and Jensen joined Pond with two hits each. Kaylee Smith had a triple.
Ridgeline began the day taking on Canyon View (23-5). The Riverhawks built a 9-2 lead through three innings. They scored seven run in the third to take what looked like a commanding lead.
Heading to the bottom of the sixth, Ridgeline still held a 10-5 lead. Then the Falcons exploded for eight runs off six hits and three errors by the Riverhawks. Canyon View used two home runs — it had four for the game — and a pair of doubles to power its way into the lead.
For the game, the Riverhawks had 11 hits, but also eight errors. The Falcons had 16 hits and four errors.
Banning and Pond had three hits each for Ridgeline, while Anderson and Jensen had two each. Anderson had two doubles.
The Riverhawks and Falcons will meet again Thursday morning, with the winner then facing top-seeded Tooele later in the day. The loser will be done. Tooele beat Canyon View 4-3 in a nine-inning nailbiter.