Cedar Lady Reds fall to Bear River in 4A softball tourney, face rematch with Spanish Fork

Cedar's Dream Weaver is congratulated by teammates at home plate after hitting a home run in the first inning vs. Bear River, Spanish Fork, Utah, May 19, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Jennifer Weaver, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Cedar High’s path to the 4A softball state title hit a snag Friday as the Lady Reds fell to Bear River in the semifinals, 8-4.

Cedar’s loss means it will have to face defending state champion Spanish Fork in a rematch Saturday morning, with the loser of that game being eliminated and the winner facing Bear River in the finals later Saturday. The three-day state tournament is being played at the Spanish Fork Complex.

Cedar’s Dream Weaver hits a home run in the first inning vs. Bear River, Spanish Fork, Utah, May 19, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Jennifer Weaver, St. George News / Cedar City News

Cedar got off to a promising start Friday, as seniors Dream Weaver and Pua Johnson both blasted solo homers in the first inning to give the Lady Reds an early 2-0 lead.

Bear River answered in the bottom of the first with two home runs of its own. Ashley Hess hit a three-run shot to center field, after which the very next batter, Oaklee Trapp, belted a homer to right to give the Lady Bears a 4-2 lead.

Cedar managed to load the bases in the top of the second, but couldn’t get a run in as Denim Henkel flew out to right to end the inning.

Bear River’s barrage continued in the bottom of the second, leading off with singles by Madi Morris and Bailey Theurer, followed by Mercedes Call’s walk to load the bases. Taylor Fox then cleared them by hitting a grand slam that gave the Bears a commanding 8-2 lead.

At that point, Cedar’s starting pitcher Bryton Holyoak was relieved by junior right-hander Kenzi Waters, who prevented further damage by retiring three of the next four Bear River batters to end the inning.

Bear River ended up not scoring again, but its eight runs proved sufficient. Cedar drew a blank in the third and fourth innings, managing only one walk. A rain delay bogged things down in the third, and when Amanda Cardon resumed her interrupted at-bat some 45 minutes after it began, she promptly grounded out to second on the next pitch to end the inning.

Cedar’s Kenzi Waters throws a pitch vs. Bear River, Spanish Fork, Utah, May 19, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Jennifer Weaver, St. George News / Cedar City News

Cedar did gain a bit of hope in the top of the fifth when it got two more runs on the board. First, Weaver walked, followed by Henkel hitting a double to left field. Johnson then grounded out to short, but the shortstop missed an attempted tag on Henkel for the double play, and Weaver scored. Henkel later made it across the plate on a throwing error by the catcher, but Cedar’s rally soon ended with a grounder to second and a fly out to center.

That 8-4 margin proved to be the final score, as neither team scored again. Bear River loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth, but Call popped up to third to end the inning.

Bear River starting pitcher Kapri Toone made short work of Cedar in the final two innings, retiring six of seven batters, including striking out the side in the sixth.

Cedar’s next game is the rematch against Spanish Fork starting at 11 a.m. The two teams, both No. 1 seeds, last faced each other Thursday, with Cedar winning in a defensive battle, 2-1.

Read more: Cedar, Desert Hills remain in hunt for 4A softball title after walk-off wins

Spanish Fork needed to win two games in the one-loss bracket Friday to remain alive in the tournament. First, the Lady Dons eliminated Desert Hills 12-0 in five innings, as junior pitcher Briley Young got the complete game shutout. Then, Spanish Fork sent Tooele packing by a score of 9-3.

The winner of the Cedar-Spanish Fork game Saturday morning will play Bear River in the championship game at 1:30 p.m. If Bear River should lose that game, the two teams in the finals would have to play a second, deciding game immediately afterward for the 4A state title.

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