The Bear River softball team knew going into the 2019 season it would be a bit of a rebuilding year after losing three seniors in 2018, including Ms. Softball 2018, Kapri Toone. Toone’s shoes were hard to fill for the Lady Bears (she now plays softball for Utah State University), but a handful of underclassmen and junior Bailey Theurer did their best in the pitcher’s circle, and in the end, they didn’t do too shabby.
As the team entered the 4A state softball tournament on Thursday, May 16, in Spanish Fork, they kept their winning streak going strong until Tooele High bumped them into the loser’s bracket. The Bears fought hard in the semifinals against Spanish Fork High to reclaim their spot in the finals but, extra innings and controversial calls handed Bear River their final loss of the season and a third place finish in state.
Bear River 11, Snow Canyon 1
When the Bear River Bears first played Snow Canyon High at the beginning of the season, March 7, to be exact, the Warriors out hit the Bears and outscored them 8-2 but two months later the Bears were a much fiercer team. Facing each other in the 4A state quarterfinals in Spanish Fork on Thursday, May 16, Snow Canyon couldn’t catch up to the Bears, putting only one run on the scoreboard.
The Bears out-hit the Warriors 7-4, which included junior Oaklee Trapp’s three-run home run in the fourth inning. Senior Ashley Hess went 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs and sophomore Olivia Taylor hit a double.
On the mound Bailey Theurer earned the win in five innings off of a mercy rule, striking out two. Theurer gave up four hits, including a home run from Snow Canyon’s Emma Bingham, the granddaughter of Bear River head coach Calvin Bingham.
Tooele 1, Bear River 0
Kati Gibbs was the only Bear to hit off of Tooele’s strong defense, a bunt in the top of the fourth inning, but Tooele shut down Bear River in a double play, eliminating their chances of putting any runs on the scoreboard.
The Buffaloes had five hits and scored their only run at the bottom of the third inning with bases loaded and two outs, taking advantage of a Bear River error.
Theurer took the loss on the mound, striking out two.
Spanish Fork 8, Bear River 6
The semifinals were déjà vu for the Lady Bears and the Lady Dons, almost replaying last year’s state finals to a tee. This time around, however, it was Spanish Fork that nabbed the last minute lead and their spot in the finals against Tooele.
Spanish Fork claimed a 4-0 lead after one and a half innings of play before Bear River put three runs across the board in the bottom of the second inning, starting with a base hit to right field. With two runners on, Kati Gibbs hit a homerun over the left field fence, bringing the score up to 4-3.
Trapp wanted in on the home run action, hitting a two-run homer over the right field fence in the seventh inning and tying up the score, 6-6.
Going into extra innings, Spanish Fork brought in two runs at the top of the eighth inning with a double and a single and kept the Bears from getting on base, earning the win.