MILLVILLE — It was a business-like approach by Ridgeline Tuesday afternoon on the softball diamond.
Green Canyon kept it close and minus a few errors, it may have been even tighter. However, the Riverhawks got some timely hits, took advantage of a few miscues by the Wolves and got another solid performance from Markessa Jensen in the circle. Ridgeline tightened its grip on second place in Region 11 with a 8-3 victory.
“We are trying to refine a little bit and get state ready at this point,” Riverhawks head coach Mike Anderson said.
Ridgeline (17-5, 6-2 region) finished with 14 hits as the middle of the order, consisting of Abbie Banning, Brinnley Anderson, Katelyn Leishman and Kori Palmer accounted for 10 of those base knocks. Anderson and Leishman had three hits each.
“That was good to see from our four, five, six and seventh hitters,” coach Anderson said. “Brinn did well today. She was aggressive and got down two good bunts. And that throw by her from center field to get the girl out at second was big (in the second inning). We need all parts of our order to help us win.”
“We were seeing the ball today,” said Brinnley Anderson, who also scored three runs and had an RBI. “We (those in the middle of the order) just seemed to be able to pick up on the pitches.”
Jensen struck out the side to begin the game on just 12 pitches. She went on to strike out 11 Green Canyon batters in the complete-game win. However, the Wolves (7-16, 2-6) did have seven hits and drew two walks against the Ridgeline ace.
“Ridgeline is a great team, just solid all the way around,” GC head coach Joe Astle said. “We made some changes with the starters today to switch things up, and they held pretty strong against a good team.”
Seven different Wolves recorded a hit, but none were bigger than the blast from Kennedy Conan. The sophomore took a 1-2 pitch and sent it over the fence in center field for a two-run home run.
“She (Conan) is going to be a force to be reckoned with,” Astle said. “She just needs to keep up her confidence. That definitely helped us stay in the game.”
The bomb by Conan cut the deficit in half. The Riverhawks plated three runs in the bottom of the first off an RBI double by Kaylee Smith, an RBI single by Jensen and an RBI single by Leishman. Ridgeline tacked on one more run in the third when Brinnley Anderson swatted a triple down the right field line all the way to the fence and then scored off a passed ball.
“I thought it was going to be a single, but it just got through,” Brinnley Anderson said.
After the Wolves had gotten within 4-2 in the top of the fourth, the Riverhawks responded by doubling their score with four runs in their half of the fourth. All four came with two outs, and the Wolves committed two of their four errors for the game.
Kenzee Hale reached base on an error, stole second and then third. She scored on a wild pitch. Banning had an RBI triple, followed by an RBI bunt single by Brinnley Anderson and an RBI single by Leishman to make it 8-2.
“Once again errors killed us,” Astle said. “... We are going to make mistakes, but I thought the girls came back from them and kept fighting.”
Green Canyon pitcher Rylee Ericson needed just three pitches to get out of the bottom of the sixth, getting some help from her defense as the Wolves turned a double play. Ericson struck out three and didn’t issue a walk in the game.
The Wolves added a run in the seventh off an RBI single by Morgan Gittins, scoring Jentry Nava.
“Green Canyon played a good game today,” coach Anderson said. “They were aggressive at the plate and attacked Markessa a little different than they have in the past.”
It was Senior Night for the Riverhawks as they honored their lone senior in Smith.
“She has meant a lot to our program,” coach Anderson said of Smith.
The Riverhawks were also playing for starting catcher Psadi Takis, who suffered a concussion last week against Bear River.
“We wanted to win for her (Takis) today,” Brinnley Anderson said. “We wanted to be business-like for her.”
OTHER REGION GAMES
Mountain Crest won a slugfest with Logan, 14-7, while Sky View went the full seven innings with region-leading Bear River in a 10-1 loss.
At Hyrum, the Mustangs (8-10, 5-3) scored five runs in the bottom of the first and never trailed against the Grizzlies (1-23, 0-8). Logan did get within 5-3 at the end of three innings, but the hosts scored five more in the fourth. Each team had 10 hits.
Sophia Bodily, Kaylie Peterson, Morgan Chase and Sami Petersen each had two hits for Logan. Peterson had three RBI. The Grizzlies had one error.
The Mustangs had eight different batters record a hit. Kennedy Peapealalo and Jocelyn Bradford had two base knocks each. Aspen Leishman scored three runs, while Halle Maddock had four RBI and hit a home run. Maddock and Leishman also teamed up in the circle for MC.
At Smithfield, the Bears (19-4, 8-0) scored three runs in the top of the first and two more in the second to take a lead the Bobcats (11-9-1, 3-5) would not be able to overcome. Bear River finished with 13 hits and committed one error. Olivia Taylor had four hits, while Kate Dahle struck out 10 batters.
Sky View had five hits the game, two by Morgan Hernandez, which included a double. The Bobcats had five errors, and two pitchers combined to issue 10 walks.
REGION 11 BASEBALL
A trio of three-game series began on Tuesday. Ridgeline continues to be the team to beat as it blanked Sky View, 6-0. Mountain Crest began the week with a 7-2 win against Logan, and Bear River beat Green Canyon, 11-3.
At Millville, the Riverhawks (14-5, 9-1) got another outstanding outing from pitcher Jaden Harris. He finished with 12 strikeouts, walked two and allowed just four singles to get the win on the mound.
“Jaden is so steady on the mound,” Ridgeline head coach Paul Bowler said. “He is really good out there and just keeps going even if he walks someone.”
Harris also had two hits, including a double, and brought in three runs with his bat. Jaxen Hollingsworth also had two hits for the Riverhawks, who had seven for the game and did not commit an error.
The Bobcats (5-13, 3-7) used two pitchers, who issued four walks and hit a batter. Sky View also had an error.
Ridgeline plated a run in the first and got five more in the third. Harris had a two-run double, while Davis Fullmer and Carter Gill each had RBI ground outs. Kole Jensen had an RBI triple.
“We started out good in this one, then went a little flat the second half of the game,” Bowler said. “But I like how they have been getting things done. It’s really important to get the first win (in a series).”
At Hyrum, the Grizzlies (4-15, 1-9) scored first with a run in the top of the first. The Mustangs (14-6, 6-4) responded with three in the bottom of the first and never looked back.
Five players had the 11 hits recorded by Mountain Crest. Nathan Rowley led the way with three hits and four RBI, while Lance Welch, Kolmyn Foulger, Dax Roundy and Caden Jones each had two. Braydon Schiess went the distance on the mound, striking out three and walking just one.
Logan had five singles. Jack Fjeldsted scored twice.
At North Logan, the Bears (12-8, 6-4) scored three runs in the second and six more in the third to take a commanding lead. They had eight hits in the game and took advantage of seven errors by the Wolves (13-7, 5-5).
Easton Lish, Taden Marble and Rhett Christensen each had two hits for Bear River. Lish got the win on the mound, striking out three.
Green Canyon had five hits as Nick Bouck had two of them and scored twice. Ryker Ericson had two RBI. The Wolves used two pitchers, who combined for six strikeouts and issued two walks.