ST. GEORGE — The 4A state softball tournament threw out its first pitch on Tuesday on its first round. Three Region 9 teams took the field to get the bracket underway, with two walking away victorious in blowout fashion.
The Dixie Flyers and Hurricane Tigers will move on to round two starting on Friday after beating their respective opponents on Tuesday afternoon. Pine View, meanwhile lost on the road in the single-elimination round.
Region 9’s seven remaining teams will begin the tournament’s best-of-three second round on Friday. Teams will play game one on Friday and game two (and three, if necessary) on Saturday. Three Region 9 teams — Snow Canyon, Canyon View and Crimson Cliffs — will host Round 2 action before the survivors relocate to Spanish Fork for the final rounds of the tournament.
To see full bracket, click here.
Here are recaps from Tuesday’s first round games and the schedule for Friday’s second-round games:
No. 13 Dixie 17, No. 20 Logan 2
The Flyers’ offense erupted as Dixie punched their round-two ticket.
They piled on nine runs in the first and eight in the second to rout the Grizzlies in three innings by 15-run mercy rule. they had scored six runs by the time they were put out for the first time.
Vanessa Scarborough led the charge by swatting a pair of home runs in a 3-for-3 effort, driving in six and scoring three runs. Jamelle Mullins also had three hits, including one of Dixie’s five total doubles.
Debra Tofi went 1-for-2 with two RBIs and pitched all three innings on the mound. She allowed three hits: two singles to leadoff hitter Abbey Hart and a triple to Kaitlyn Leto.
“It was honestly just kind of a hitting fest,” Dixie head coach Whitney Gust said. “We just put the ball in play when we were given a good strike and capitalized on the things we needed to.”
Logan scored in the second after a leadoff walk advanced on a strikeout and scored on an error. Leto’s triple scored Hart in the third inning and the Grizzlies nearly got close enough to continue playing, but a suicide squeeze attempt went awry and Leto was thrown out at home.
Tofi got a fly out and a strikeout to end the contest.
Now Dixie has a renewed challenge against No. 4 Canyon View, a Region 9 foe. The Flyers lost both games to the Falcons in the regular season: 10-3 on March 30 and 20-9 on April 1.
“We’re just going to work hard in the next couple of days of practice and give it our all,” Gust said. “We played really well against them, so I don’t think anyone can underestimate a team, going both ways. I feel like we’ll come ready to play and do the best we can.”
First pitch on Friday in Cedar City is scheduled for 4 p.m.
No. 15 Hurricane 12, No. 18 Ogden 2
At Hurricane, the home team Tigers defeated the Ogden Tigers 12-2 in five innings.
After retiring the side in the top of the first, starting pitcher Chantell Pearson drove in Hurricane’s first run with a single in the bottom of the inning. Two more runs came in right after that on an error.
Hurricane added five more runs in the second, which ended in a double play.
Hurricane went on to lead 10-0 after three innings, but Pearson was taken out shortly after allowing Ogden’s first run with two out in the top of the fourth. Reliever Annie Hutchings walked two batters before getting the third out when a runner attempted to steal home.
In the bottom of the fourth, Hutchings tripled to left, scoring Rylee Fox and pushing the Tigers’ lead back up to 10 runs, meaning the mercy rule would be invoked if they could keep Ogden from scoring in the top of the fifth.
Hutchings walked the first batter in the fifth inning, but got the next one to ground out. That was followed by two successive strikeouts to end the game.
“Our team came out focused and ready to go,” Hurricane head coach Chris Hurst said after the game. “We hit right off the bat. Our hitting was good, our defense was solid, and we had one error through the whole game.”
Hurst said both Pearson and Hutchings “struggled with their command a little bit,” walking a total of five batters combined.
“We have to clean that up, but they persevered,” he said. “They got through it.”
Next up for Hurricane is a trip to Bear River, where they’ll face the No. 2 seed Bears in a best-of-three series Friday and Saturday.
Hurst acknowledged that Bear River is a “very good” team but added, “In this region, we’ve played a lot of good teams. And there’s been games where we’ve been ahead of some of those teams. Snow Canyon, we were head 5-2 going into the fifth and Crimson, they beat us 3-2. So I mean, when we play well, we feel confident that we can play with anybody.”
No. 16 Green Canyon 12, No. 17 Pine View 2
The Panthers will be the lone Region 9 team not advancing into the second round of the tournament after a mercy-rule victory for the Wolves.
Pine View scored in the top of the first but watched the Green Canyon offense build steam over the course of the game, culminating in a six-run outburst in the sixth inning that gave the Wolves their walk-off victory.
The Panthers sprayed four hits, all singles, over the six offensive innings and drew four walks. Chaisey Milne, Avery Gustin and Megan Benshoof each went 1-for-2 with a walk. Benshoof also had an RBI. Milne scored a run and had an RBI while pitching the entire game.
Milne drew a leadoff walk to start the game before advancing on a bunt, stealing third and stealing home. Green Canyon got the run back in the second inning, scoring a pair. Pine View scored their second run in the fifth, which made the score 2-3 at the time. The Wolves scored three in the bottom half to pull away.
Annika Eborn scored on an error in the bottom of the sixth to give Green Canyon their 12th run and a 10-run lead, activating the mercy rule.
Pine View finishes 4-20 on the year after going 0-14 in region play.
St. George News/Cedar City News reporter Jeff Richards contributed to this report.
- No. 11 Desert Hills at No. 6 Crimson Cliffs
- No. 12 Cedar at No. 5 Ridgeline
- No. 13 Dixie at No. 4 Canyon View, 4 p.m.
- No. 14 Cedar Valley at No. 3 Snow Canyon, 4 p.m.
- No. 15 Hurricane at No. 2 Bear River, 4 p.m.
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