Region 9 softball recap: Pine View, Desert Hills and Cedar all grind out narrow wins

Desert Hills catcher Addi Betts makes a putout at the plate against Dixie, St. George, Utah, March 26, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Tuesday’s Region 9 softball action featured three close contests, with Pine View and Desert Hills both coming from behind to win by one run at the end of their respective games and Cedar also rallying to get past Snow Canyon by a score of 6-4.

Pine View 4, Hurricane 3

At Pine View, the Lady Panthers came from behind to defeat Hurricane 4-3, with Hannah James driving home the game-winning run with a single to left with one out in the bottom of the seventh. James’ walk-off hit brought in teammate Leachel Barlow, who’d doubled to lead off the inning.

The game-ending score marked the second time in the game the Panthers had come from behind to take the lead, as Hurricane had taken an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, thanks to a double by Maddy Buckley that brought in two runners. However, Buckley was thrown out at third on the play for the final out.

Pine View managed to tie the game by scoring two runs in the bottom of the second. Lexie Tueller drove in the first run with a single that scored Kaitlin Roundy. Audrey Lester later scored on a wild pitch while Barlow was batting, making it 2-2 after two innings.

Pine View vs. Hurricane, St. George, Utah, March 26, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Hurricane took the lead again in the top of the fifth, thanks to a fielder’s choice play. Buckley hit a grounder to third with one out, drawing the throw to first for the second out and enabling teammate Abbie Elison to score, making it 3-2 in favor of the Lady Tigers.

In the bottom of the sixth, Pine View tied the game again, thanks to Chaisey Milne’s single to right field that scored Roundy from second. Roundy had singled to lead off the inning, then advanced to second on Sage Stoker’s sacrifice bunt.

The Panthers held the Tigers scoreless in the top of the seventh, despite giving up one single. That set the stage for James’ game-winning heroics.

Stoker, who pitched the final three innings of relief, was the winning pitcher. Lester, the starter, pitched the first four innings, allowing three runs on two hits while walking five and striking out five.

Hurricane hurler Chantell Pearson went the distance and took the loss for the Tigers.

Pine View head coach Sheila Hamlin said the team has been working on limiting the number of bases on balls given to opponents.

“We gave up less walks than we have been, we executed bunts and plays the way we were supposed to, and we played a tight defense in the field,” she said. “From top to bottom, we worked together in the lineup to produce base runners and pull in runs. We still left way too many on base, but they worked together and never gave up.”

Hurricane head coach Chris Hurst also said his team also left too many runners stranded on base.

“We had runners in scoring position most of the game and didn’t capitalize,” he said. “We’ve got to do better with that.”

Desert Hills 9, Dixie 8

At Dixie, Desert Hills belted three solo homers in the seventh and final inning to go from two runs behind to one ahead, then held on to defeat the Flyers, 9-8.

Sina Tapasa of Dixie is greeted by her teammates at home plate after hitting a grand slam home run in the first inning against Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, March 26, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Desert Hills had taken a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, only to see it vanish when Dixie rallied to score six runs in the bottom of the first. That rally, which included two singles, a walk and two batters hit by a pitch, was capped off by Sina Tapasa’s dramatic grand slam home run over the center field fence, putting the Flyers up 6-2.

Desert Hills scored two more runs in the third to pull within 6-4, but Dixie answered with two runs of their own that same inning (both on bases-loaded walks) to make it 8-4.

The Thunder defense then held the Flyers scoreless the rest of the game, even as the offense gradually chipped away at Dixie’s four-run lead. Desert Hills senior Addi Betts belted a solo homer in the fifth, and the Lady Thunder added another run in the sixth to make it 8-6.

With one out in the top of the seventh, Betts drilled another solo home run, which was followed on the very next pitch by Tori Hinton’s home run to center to tie the game.

Dixie pitcher Joslyn Bundy delivers a pitch against Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, March 26, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Dixie pitcher Joslyn Bundy then struck out Lilly White for the second out, but junior Codi Olds hit a full-count pitch over the center field fence to give the Thunder the go-ahead run.

Desert Hills relief pitcher Kylee Christensen, who’d taken over for starter Olds in the third inning, retired the side in the bottom of the seventh, striking out the last two batters.

Christensen picked up the win, while Bundy, who pitched the entire game for Dixie, took the loss.

“It’s always a tough one when we give up the lead late,” said Dixie coach Justin Abbott, who added, “But these girls are resilient and know how to win with pride and learn with integrity, and they will bounce back.”

Cedar 6, Snow Canyon 4

At Snow Canyon Tuesday afternoon, the Lady Warriors held the Cedar Lady Reds scoreless for the first five innings, but Cedar managed to finish strong for a 6-4 victory.

Cedar didn’t take the lead for good until the sixth inning, when Denim Henkel hit a three-run homer to put the Lady Reds ahead 4-1.

Snow Canyon answered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull within 4-3. That rally was sparked by Syd McCaul’s RBI double, followed by a fielder’s choice that brought in McCaul on Kenna Staheli’s ground out to second base.

In the top of the seventh, Cedar’s Shanda Sanders and Kenzie Waters both reached base on errors then scored on additional throwing miscues. That gave Cedar a couple more insurance runs, putting the Lady Reds ahead 6-3 heading into the bottom of the final inning.

Snow Canyon started off the seventh on a promising note, as Emma Bingham doubled to lead off, followed by Jael Wilde’s single, which scored Bingham. However, Snow Canyon’s next three batters all got out, ending the game.

Waters pitched the entire game for Cedar, picking up the win as she scattered 12 hits while allowing no walks and striking out three. Snow Canyon’s Payten Jensen, who started and pitched all but the final out, took the loss for the Warriors. Jensen allowed eight hits and struck out seven while walking none.

“Kenzie pitched great and we had timely hitting,” Cedar head coach Chris Weaver said. “I think the girls don’t want to lose our first region game in three years.”

In action last week, the Canyon View Falcons beat Pine View 17-7 in a game that was originally scheduled for Friday but was played at Canyon View two days earlier, on March 20, instead, due to inclement weather in the forecast. Senior pitcher Jordan Nielson went the distance and picked up the win for the Lady Falcons. Nielson also went 5-for-5 at the plate, including a home run. She was one of five different Canyon View players to hit home runs during the contest.

Last Friday at Dixie, the Lady Warriors shut out the Flyers 5-0, with Payten Jensen picking up the complete game victory. Megan Rodgers and Emma Bingham each homered for Snow Canyon.

The other game originally scheduled for last Friday, Desert Hills at Hurricane, was postponed due to weather and is scheduled to be played Wednesday, March 27 at 4 p.m.

This coming Friday’s schedule is as follows: Pine View is at Cedar at 3:30 p.m., Canyon View plays at Desert Hills at 4 p.m. and Hurricane plays at Dixie at 4 p.m.

Region 9 softball standings (as of March 26)

Cedar 2-0 (10-2)
Canyon View 2-0 (9-1)
Desert Hills 1-0 (9-3)
Snow Canyon 2-1 (9-3)
Pine View 1-2 (5-5)
Hurricane 0-2 (7-3)
Dixie 0-3 (7-6)

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