Region 9 softball: Dixie bunts its way to stunning upset of Snow Canyon

Dixie pitcher Summer Simkins (10) delivers a pitch as Snow Canyon's Shelbee Hutchings gets ready to lead off from first base, Snow Canyon vs. Dixie, Softball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 21, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — When Snow Canyon’s Mada Mooring singled and eventually came around to score in the top of the first inning, no one would have blamed Dixie fans for rolling their eyes and muttering “Here we go again.”

Dixie third baseman Stacia Gelter takes the throw as Snow Canyons Brittney Reyes slides in safely, Snow Canyon vs. Dixie, Softball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 21, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Dixie third baseman Stacia Gelter takes the throw as Snow Canyons Brittney Reyes slides in safely, Snow Canyon vs. Dixie, Softball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 21, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

But the Flyers, who lost 10-0 to Snow Canyon a month ago, weren’t about to roll over this time. Pitcher Summer Simkins shut down the Warriors the rest of the game and Dixie pushed home the tying and go-ahead runs in the fourth inning as the Flyers stunned region-leading Snow Canyon 2-1 at Dixie High School.

“We’ve taken some tough losses and some close losses this year, but we weren’t going to let that happen this time,” said DHS coach Dave Demas. “We were a different team back in that first game with them. This was a big win, an important win.”

After that first-inning run, Simkins didn’t allow another SC base runner past second base and ended up giving up just four hits, and no walks. She only struck out two Warriors, showing the impressive effort by the Dixie defense, which had just one error and record 19 outs. Fourteen of the 19 outs were on ground balls as Simkins kept the ball down. She said she had something to prove after getting roughed up the first time vs. SC.

“I had to put that last game out of my mind,” Simkins said. “We really wanted to show that we’re a better team than what we showed against them the first time. I just tried to pitch ahead in counts and then let my defense make plays. We have the best defense in the whole world.”

Dixie outfielder Michaela DeKorver gets a glove on the ball, Snow Canyon vs. Dixie, Softball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 21, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Dixie outfielder Michaela DeKorver gets a glove on the ball, Snow Canyon vs. Dixie, Softball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 21, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Even with the good defense, Dixie still trailed 1-0 going into the bottom of the fourth. That’s when Demas said he decided to test the Snow Canyon infield, calling for four straight batters to lay down bunts.

“We decided to play a little small ball and see if we could get them a little excited,” he said. “We have some real good speed … and it worked. They ran the bases really smart and did a lot of the things we’ve been working on lately. We’ve been struggling at the plate a little bit, so we were looking at ways to put the ball in play.”

Hannah Nyberg started the inning with a perfect bunt in front of the plate for an infield single. Simkins followed with a bunt that was meant to be a sacrifice, but a Snow Canyon throwing error put Nyberg at third and Simkins at second with no one out.

Aubri Challis then bunted and the Warriors threw the ball home, but Nyberg had stayed at third. Challis was safe at first and Jalee Stratton (running for Simkins), who had gone all the way to third, headed back to second. As SC’s defense went after Stratton, Nyberg swiped a run by sprinting home. When the dust had cleared, Stratton was at second, Challis at first and the score was tied at 1-1.

The next batter, Stacia Gelter, laid down a sac bunt to move the runners to second and third with one out. After a pop out, Shaunna Gelter followed with the fifth bunt of the inning, which served as the go-ahead RBI as Stratton beat the throw to the plate.

Simkins then allowed just one hit the rest of the game to secure the upset win.

Dixie still has a lot of work to do to make the playoffs. The Flyers are 3-5 in region (6-9 overall), a game and a half behind fourth-place Cedar.

Snow Canyon still leads the region with an 8-2 record (13-2 overall), a half-game ahead of Canyon View. Heather Prestwich took the loss, though she allowed just two hits.

Stats: scdixsb42115

Pine View 7, Hurricane 6

The Lady Panthers rallied for six runs in the final three innings to avoid the upset against the winless Tigers.

Hurricane scored three runs in the top of the fifth to take a 6-1 lead into the bottom of that inning. Jordan Gosik’s two-run single made it 6-3 and Laikyn Paxman followed with an RBI single to make it 6-4. Paxman then came around to score on a couple of passed balls to make it 6-5 heading into the sixth.

The score was the same when the Panthers came to bat in the bottom of the seventh. A single and an error put two on with no outs and Aubrey Neilson bunted the runners over to second and third with a sacrifice. The tying run came home on an RBI groundout by Gosik. Paxman then stepped up and lined a single to left field to end the game as Kamree Becker crossed the plate.

Paxman was a perfect 4 for 4 in the game, with Gosik getting two hits and three RBIs. The Panthers, 9-11 overall and 6-4 in region, slide into third place with the win.

Hurricane, which got three hits from Morgan Huntsman, fell to 7-13 overall and 0-9 in region games.

Pine View hosts Dixie at 4 Thursday afternoon and Hurricane hosts Cedar Friday at 4 p.m.

Canyon View 11, Cedar 7

Kaitlyn DeLange homered twice and the Lady Falcons scored five unanswered to close out the game and beat their crosstown rival.

Cedar led 7-6 after putting up three runs in the top of the fourth, but CV tied it in the bottom of the inning and then plated four in the fifth to seize control. Cedar scored at least one run in the first four innings, then didn’t score again.

DeLange also doubled and Kelsee Hyatt went yard for Canyon View, which improved to 8-11 overall and 7-2 in region games. CV is at Desert Hills Thursday afternoon.

Cedar, which has lost four straight, is 11-10 and 5-4. The Lady Reds are at Hurricane Friday.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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