Desert Hills dispatches Dixie; set for showdown with Cedar

Desert Hills' Brianna St. Clair (left) is congratulated by teammate Quincey Staheli after scoring the first run of the game in the Thunder's 14-1 victory over Dixie High, March 23, 2018, St. George, Utah | Photo by Michael Rinker, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — You could excuse the Desert Hills softball team if it had been looking past visiting Dixie High Friday toward an early-season Region 9 power matchup with Cedar High next week.

No excuses needed, however, as the Lady Thunder made short work of the Flyers, 14-1, in a game called after five innings due to the mercy rule.

Dixie High shortstop Kylee Terrell laughs in frustration after catching a line drive, then diving and nearly tagging Desert Hill runner Codi Olds for a double play, March 23, 2018, St. George, Utah | Photo by Michael Rinker, St. George News

“You can’t look ahead,” Thunder coach KaCee McArthur said. “If you start doing that, you’re going to start losing games you should probably win.

“We were focused on playing better today than we did on Tuesday and we did. And the goal is to play better in the next game as well.”

Dixie made it easy in the bottom of the first. Brianna St. Clair opened with a double to left center after getting a second chance when her easy foul pop was dropped. Katelyn Philips then struck out but reached base when the pitch got by the catcher as St. Clair moved to third. Philips stole second and Addi Betts lofted an infield pop that fell between three infielders to load the bases.

Tori Hinton followed with a single to drive in the first run of the game. One out later, the Thunder reeled off four straight singles as Quincey Staheli knocked in two runs, Morgynn Rosemeyer and Codi Olds one each and Oakley Giacoletto the final two of the seven-run inning.

Desert Hills pitcher Brianna St. Clair is unable to throw out Dixie’s Kylee Terrell, who legs out her second bunt single of the game, March 23, 2018, St. George, Utah | Photo by Michael Rinker, St. George News

It was more of the same in the second inning as Desert Hills hung six more on the Flyers. The big hit was Giacoletto’s three-run home run to left. The Thunder added a single run in the fourth.

Asked to talk about individual stars of the game, McArthur instead said it was a team effort, especially on offense.

“We scored early and we scored often, and it’s really tough to say, ‘Oh, this one person. …’ Overall, everyone did their job at the plate, as well as in the field.

“It’s really nice, as a coach, to be able to say, ‘Hey, everyone played great.'”

For Dixie, the game’s profile was nearly identical to what happened three days earlier when Cedar had innings where it scored six runs, seven runs and one run in a 14-2 win.

The Flyers had no answer for Thunder pitcher St. Clair, who struck out 10 batters in five innings. She whiffed at least one in each inning and struck out the side in the third.

Dixie got its first hit on a bunt single by Kylee Terrell in the third.

The Flyers threatened in the fourth when Kaylee Riding led off with a single and two outs later Tanner Heki singled, but St. Clair stranded them with an inning-ending strikeout.

Dixie got on the board in the fifth after one out when Chayden Chong rapped a single and Terrell followed with another bunt single. One out later, Riding blooped a double to right field to score Chong. Once again, St. Clair ended the inning with a strikeout.

Desert Hills will host Cedar on Tuesday, while Dixie travels to Hurricane.

In other Region 9 action Friday, muddy fields in Cedar City played havoc with the schedule as the Canyon View game against Hurricane was canceled and Cedar High, rather than hosting Snow Canyon, traveled to St. George to play the Warriors.

Cedar comes from behind

The Lady Reds staged a seven-run rally in the final inning to defeat the Warriors, 14-11.

Snow Canyon jumped out to a 9-2 lead after four innings. Starting pitcher Marley Moala was relieved by freshman Tyler Mooring with one out in the fifth inning, when Cedar was able to score five runs and narrow the deficit to 9-7. However, the Warriors scored two additional runs in the bottom of the fifth to increase their lead to 11-7.

Cedar used four pitchers during the game: Kenzie Waters, Bryton Holyoak, Becca Boyer and Sage Oldroyd. Holyoak was taken out of the game after getting hit in the face with a thrown ball while covering home after a wild pitch.

The Lady Reds batted through the lineup in the seventh and were able to hold Snow Canyon scoreless in the bottom of the inning to clinch the victory.

Oldroyd picked up the win on the mound, while sophomore Payten Jensen, who threw the final one and two-thirds innings, took the loss for the Warriors.

Cedar had 18 hits, including home runs by Denim Henkel and Britnie Simcox. Dream Weaver went 3 for 4.

Snow Canyon had 15 hits and left 16 runners on base. Freshman Kambrie Stewart and sophomore Alex Demming each hit three singles for Snow Canyon.

Snow Canyon’s next region game is at home vs. Desert Hills on March 29.

Cedar City News reporter Jeff Richards contributed to this report.

Region 9 standings (region, overall)
Desert Hills  2-0, 11-1
Cedar  2-0, 8-5
Snow Canyon 1-1, 6-4
Hurricane  0-1, 4-2
Pine View  0-1, 5-6
Dixie  0-2, 1-9
Canyon View 0-0, 1-3

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