Region 9 softball: Canyon View comes from behind to beat Desert Hills

CEDAR CITY — Behind 5-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning against Desert Hills, the Canyon View softball team got a timely offensive boost, as the first eight batters all reached base, enabling the Lady Falcons to score six late runs and finish with a 9-6 upset victory.

“I knew that if I got on, the people behind me would hit me in, because I have 100 percent confidence in our lineup,” said Canyon View senior Jordan Nielson, who drove in the go-ahead run with a single to center. Nielson herself crossed the plate two batters later as the Falcons’ rally continued.

“Even though we were down, we still believed we had the momentum, and going into that inning we knew we had the confidence to do it,” added Nielson, who was the winning pitcher. “That game was all about momentum.”

Nielson went the distance for Canyon View, allowing six runs on six hits in seven innings while striking out seven and walking four. Kylee Christensen, who pitched the entire game for Desert Hills, took the loss.

Desert Hills at Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, April 23, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Neither team scored in the first inning. Canyon View got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second when a routine catcher’s throw back to the pitcher inadvertently hit the batter’s bat or helmet and went out of bounds, enabling Breanne Hancock to score from third

Desert Hills then tied the game 1-1 in the top of the third, thanks to a double by Katelyn Philips that scored Chelsea Pierce.

The Lady Thunder then hit a pair of solo homers in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead. Tori Hinton and Codi Olds each belted one over the fence.

Undaunted, the Lady Falcons rallied to score two runs in the bottom of the fourth, with Kenlee Clove and Erin Robinson each hitting doubles during the short rally, which left the score tied 3-3 after four.

After a scoreless fifth inning during which each team left two base runners stranded, Desert Hills took the lead once again in the top of the sixth, with Pierce scoring on a sacrifice fly, followed by an RBI single by Faith Baumgartner that scored Olds from third.

In the bottom of the sixth, Clove got things started for the Falcons with a leadoff triple to left field. She then scored on teammate Robinson’s single to center, after which Taylee Braegger hit a single and Ashlyn Wheelwright reached base on an error.

Next came Nielson’s single that gave Canyon View the lead for good, 6-5. Sidney Webster and Hancock also singled, driving in two more runs, and Webster later scored on an error to account for Canyon View’s ninth and final run of the game.

Desert Hills loaded up the bases in the top of the seventh thanks to two walks and an error, but the Falcons allowed just one run to score before the game ended on a strikeout.

“Canyon View is a good team. They hit the ball well and capitalized on some errors,” said Desert Hills head coach KaCee McArthur afterward. “When you give good teams extra outs, it is tough to win. We also had some good hits, but just couldn’t string them together at the right times.”

“It’s a tough loss, but it is an opportunity to refocus and get ready for the rest of region,” McArthur added.

Desert Hills at Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, April 23, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Canyon View coach JR Robinson called the contest “a tough game, with both sides battling.”

“After we lost the lead, we tied it twice before being able to pull ahead,” Robinson said. “Jordan laid the foundation by pitching balls we could defend. We were then able to string together a series of hits in the sixth inning to take the lead again.”

Canyon View’s win over Desert Hills assures that the current top four teams the Region 9 standings will all make the state playoffs. With three games remaining, Cedar remains undefeated at 9-0, while Desert Hills is still second at 7-2 and Canyon View and Snow Canyon are tied for third place with 6-3 records. Fifth-place Hurricane is out of postseason contention, even after beating Dixie 13-2 in five innings at Hurricane on Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, the Cedar Lady Reds defeated Pine View 15-3 at Pine View, with Denim Henkel going 3-for-3 at the plate and driving in five runs. Kenzie Waters earned the complete game victory for Cedar, while Pine View starter Audrey Lester took the loss.

Friday’s schedule is as follows: Canyon View plays at Cedar at 4 p.m., Desert Hills plays at Snow Canyon at 4 p.m. and Pine View plays at Dixie at 3:30 p.m., while Hurricane has a bye.

Region 9 softball standings (as of April 23)

Cedar 9-0 (17-2)
Desert Hills 7-2 (15-6)
Snow Canyon 6-3 (13-5)
Canyon View 6-3 (14-4)
Hurricane 3-7 (10-8)
Pine View 2-8 (6-10)
Dixie 0-10 (7-12)

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