SPANISH FORK – Region 9’s last hope for softball postseason hardware was extinguished Friday morning when Cedar fell 11-5 to No. 1-ranked Juab in the one-loss bracket at the Spanish Fork Sports Complex.
The first inning looked like Cedar’s bats were back on track. Allie Meisner hit safely. Dream Weaver reached on a fielder’s choice. Sage Oldroyd then drew a walk. Pua Johnson moved them to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Denim Henkel then hit a two-out single to score both of the runners and give the Lady Reds an early 2-0 lead.
Cedar carried that lead to the third inning – then Juab exploded. Four hits, a hit-by-pitch, a walk and an error led to five runs. From that point, it seemed that Cedar’s defense could not contain the Lady Wasps’ bats. Juab scored two more in the fourth inning, three in the fifth and one in the seventh, all the while holding Cedar scoreless.
Weaver pulled his starter, Bryton Holyoak, in the third inning and afterward second-guessed that decision. “They had three consecutive hits off Bryton,” said Weaver. “Instead of pulling her, I should have kept her on the field. That would have allowed me to reinsert her later.”
With five errors and only four hits through the first six innings, the Reds went into the seventh down 11-2. With the top of the order due up, the Reds managed a late rally. Meisner and Dream Weaver both hit safely. Sage Oldroyd then hit her second home run of the tournament over the center field fence to pull to 11-5. Any hopes for the rally to continue died quickly however as the next two batters grounded out.
Cedar finishes the season at 18-9-1. Expectations increase next year as the Reds do not lose anyone to graduation. Everybody is expected to return.
“It is a mixed bag getting everybody back,” said Weaver. “I return not just experience, but good experience. At the same time, I have very talented players that are backups. I expect there will be very competitive battles for playing time next year.”
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