ST. GEORGE — It didn’t take long for Desert Hills to exert its expected dominance over host Dixie High Tuesday as the Thunder got base hits from 11 of the first 12 batters in the top of the first inning to score 10 runs and coast to a 17-3 win. The only one not to get a hit was Katelyn Philips, who laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt as the second batter of the game.
The Thunder scored in every inning.
It was much the same when the Thunder took the field behind pitching ace Brianna St. Clair. Despite a bit of wildness – she hit the leadoff batter in both the first and second innings and walked one in each of the first three – St. Clair struck out the side in the first, second and fourth innings, while allowing just four hits and two earned runs.
She also struck out two in the third inning, but the Flyers managed to score all three of their runs in the inning. With one out, Kylee Terrell stroked a double to left-center, Chayden Chong walked and Kaylee Riding drove them in with a double to right. One out later, an infield error allowed the third run to score.
The win improves the Thunder’s record to 7-1 in Region 9 play, 16-3 overall. Dixie, which recently replaced its head coach, fell to 0-8 in region and 1-15 overall.
Throughout the game, but especially in the first inning, Desert Hills was a relentless and efficient offensive machine, finding holes, driving the ball and running the bases flawlessly.
The fourth and fifth hits of the inning were a two-run double by Codi Olds, and a double by Abby Black, which drove in one. Four batters later, St. Clair drove in a pair with a single and Philips followed with a two-run double. Addi Betts drove in the final run of the inning with her second RBI single of the frame.
The Thunder added a run in the top of the second on a leadoff home run by Black, then scored three more in the third on three singles, a walk and a dropped fly ball near the warning track.
The Flyers’ three-run burst in the bottom of the inning made the score 14-3.
Desert Hills added two runs in the fourth on a walk, another sacrifice bunt by Philips, a single by Betts and another Dixie error. The Thunder scored their final run in the fifth without the benefit of a base hit thanks to two errors and a passed ball.
The game was called after five innings due to the mercy rule.
On Thursday, Desert Hills travels to Cedar to play the Lady Reds in a matchup of the region’s top teams, while Dixie hosts Hurricane on Friday.
Canyon View 4, Hurricane 3
At Hurricane Tuesday, the Canyon View Lady Falcons defeated the Tigers 4-3, thanks to a strong pitching performance by Jordan Nielson, who went the distance and struck out eight batters. Nielson also hit an RBI double, as did teammates Taylee Braegger and Camry Higgins. Canyon View scored three runs in the third inning to take a 3-0 lead, then tacked on another run in the fifth.
Hurricane responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth and one more in the sixth to narrow the deficit to one. But the Falcon defense threw out two Hurricane batters at first base on infield grounders in the seventh, after which Nielson struck out the last batter to end the game. Freshman pitcher Chantelle Pearson went the distance in the loss for Hurricane, also striking out eight batters.
Hurricane next plays at Dixie on Friday at 4 p.m., while Canyon View will host Pine View at that same time Friday.
Region 9 standings (region, overall)
- Cedar 7-0, 13-5
- Desert Hills 7-1, 16-3
- Snow Canyon 6-2, 12-6
- Canyon View 3-3, 3-6
- Hurricane 2-5, 9-5
- Pine View 1-6, 6-11
- Dixie 0-8, 1-15
St. George News reporter Jeff Richards contributed to this story.
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