Region 9 softball: Canyon View beats Snow Canyon to force 3-way tie for 2nd

Canyon View players greet Camry Higgins at home plate after Higgins hit a home run in the sixth inning, Snow Canyon at Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, May 3, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — In the final regular-season game of the softball season, Canyon View defeated Snow Canyon to pull even with the Warriors in a tie for second place in the Region 9 standings. They are actually joined in a three-way tie by Desert Hills, which also won Friday to finish the season 8-4 overall.

The second, third and fourth seedings for the upcoming state 4A tournament won’t be decided until Monday, athletic officials from the schools said. That’s when the athletic directors will get together for a three-way coin toss to determine the seeds. Note: see update at bottom of story for results of coin toss and opening round playoff game schedules.

Meanwhile, Cedar High finished its season 12-0 by winning at home against Hurricane, the third straight year the Lady Reds have gone undefeated during regular-season region play.

Following is a short recap of Friday afternoon’s action.

Canyon View 6, Snow Canyon 3

Abi Farrer of Snow Canyon is thrown out at first, Snow Canyon at Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, May 3, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

At Canyon View, the Lady Falcons outdueled Snow Canyon, 6-3.

Canyon View had led 5-0 after four innings, but Snow Canyon scored three runs in the top of the sixth, thanks to a pair of home runs by Emma Bingham and Kenna Staheli that narrowed the deficit to 5-3.

In the bottom of the sixth, leadoff hitter Camry Higgins drilled a solo homer over the left field fence to give the Falcons a little more breathing room. It proved to be enough, as all three of Snow Canyon’s batters were retired in rapid succession in the seventh, with a strikeout followed by two infield ground outs.

Senior pitcher Jordan Nielson went the distance for the Lady Falcons, allowing six hits while walking one and striking out three.

Canyon View head coach JR Robinson commended Nielson on her strong performance.

“Not only did she pitch right, she defended her spot,” he said. “She did a very good job there, and was solid all the way around.”

Robinson also said players on the Falcons’ bench contributed to the win, with their vocal enthusiasm and support of their teammates.

“They were our 10th man, and they were outstanding,” he said. “I believe it’s a frustrating thing to try to pitch while you’re listening to our bench all day, to be honest with you.”

Kenna Staheli of Snow Canyon circles the bases after her home run in the sixth inning, Snow Canyon at Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, May 3, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Canyon View had just four hits during the game, but the Falcons capitalized on a few Snow Canyon miscues.

For example, Canyon View’s first run of the game came without a hit during the first inning. Taylee Braegger walked to start the game, after which the next three batters all got out. However, Braegger managed to score on a wild pitch before the final batter of the inning struck out.

Canyon View’s second run was scored in a similar fashion in the second inning, with Erin Robinson reaching home on a passed ball on dropped third strike that would’ve been the final out of the inning.

Two innings later, Robinson drove in two more runs with a triple to make it 4-0 for the Falcons. Braegger hit a sacrifice fly right after that to score Robinson and make it 5-0.

“We really struggled today,” Snow Canyon head coach Tracee Heaton said afterward. “We weren’t mentally in it. We let stuff we couldn’t control distract us from being mentally prepared. Canyon View is a good team and you have to show up ready to go.”

“Hopefully, this is a wake-up call for us and we’ll be ready for next weekend,” Heaton added.

The 4A playoffs begin May 11, with first- and second-round games being hosted by the four No. 1 seeds in each of the four 4A regions around the state. Cedar will host a slate of games that day as Region 9’s top seed, but where the other three Region 9 teams play and who they face remains to be seen, pending the outcome of Monday’s coin flips.

Cedar 7, Hurricane 2

At Cedar, the undefeated Lady Reds broke open a one-run game with a four-run rally in the fifth inning, after which they went on to beat the Hurricane Tigers, 7-2.

Haven Smith hits a bunt single for Hurricane, Hurricane at Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, May 3, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Japrix Weaver hit a two-run homer to get things going in the fifth, after which Kylie Oldroyd doubled to score Denim Henkel, who’d been hit by a pitch. Britnie Simcox then singled home Oldroyd, giving the Lady Reds a 5-0 cushion.

Cedar added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, with Kenzie Waters and Becca Boyer each hitting a solo homer.

Hurricane managed to get a couple runs in the final inning, with two batters singling and eventually scoring, the first on an error and the second by stealing home.

Starting pitcher Waters was the winner, allowing seven hits while striking out six and walking one. Hurricane’s Chantell Pearson, who also went the distance, had almost identical stats, as she allowed eight hits while striking six and walking one.

Desert Hills 9, Pine View 0

At Pine View, the Desert Hills Lady Thunder snapped a two-game losing streak with a 9-0 shutout of the Panthers.

The game was close for the first five innings, as the Thunder’s Tori Hinton had belted a two-run homer in the second inning, and Desert Hills still led by the same 2-0 score three innings later.

It wasn’t until the Thunder’s six-run outburst in the sixth inning that they were able to effectively put the game out of reach. That rally was fueled by eight hits, including another homer by Hinton, this time  three-run shot. The Thunder finished with a total of 17 base hits.

Winning pitcher Kylee Christensen pitched the entire game, allowing five hits while striking out seven and walking zero. Meanwhile, starter Audrey Lester went the distance and took the loss for Pine View.

Region 9 softball final regular season standings

Cedar 12-0 (20-2)
Snow Canyon 8-4 (15-6)
Desert Hills 8-4 (16-8)
Canyon View 8-4 (16-5)
Hurricane 3-9 (10-10)
Pine View 2-10 (6-12)
Dixie 1-11 (8-13)

Update May 8, 11 a.m. Based on the results of a three-way coin toss held on Monday, Canyon View received Region 9’s second seed, Snow Canyon got the No. 3 seed and Desert Hills will be seeded fourth. The 4A playoffs begin Saturday, May 11 at the home fields of the No. 1 seeded schools of each of the four regions. Region 9 teams are scheduled to open the playoffs on Saturday as follows: Cedar will play Park City at Dixie High at noon, Canyon View will play Stansbury at Bear River at 10 a.m., Snow Canyon will play Bonneville at noon at either Spanish Fork or Uintah (location to be determined after Thursday’s final Region 10 games), and Desert Hills will play Tooele at the Desert Park Complex in Tooele at 10 a.m.

Update May 9, 3:15 p.m. The venue for Cedar’s first-round games was changed to Dixie High School in St. George, Cedar coach Chris Weaver told St. George News Thursday afternoon. That decision was reversed on Friday due to a more favorable weather forecast (see next update).

Update May 10, 2:30 p.m. Due to a more favorable weather forecast, Cedar’s first-round playoff games on Saturday have been moved back to Cedar High’s home field, coach Chris Weaver said Friday afternoon. Saturday’s schedule at Cedar is as follows: Mountain Crest will play Lehi at 10 a.m., after which Cedar will play Park City at noon. After those two initial games, the winners will play each other at 2 p.m. while the losers will play right after the winners’ second-round game, at 4 p.m. Note: the venue may still be subject to change, depending on the weather. Check back on this story for further updates.

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