SPANISH FORK — Snow Canyon did not lose a single game to a Region 9 opponent in all of the games played in the regular season. Following the first championship round day at Spanish Fork, that was no longer true.
On a day when each of the three remaining Southern Utah teams went 1-1, the Warriors took their lumps against Crimson Cliffs, a team they outscored 19-1 in a two-game sweep just three weeks ago. Sophomore Mustang McKenna Cahoon struck gold on the mound in her third try against the Warriors, dealing them their first shutout of the season.
“We knew third time was the charm for us,” Crimson Cliffs head coach Kourtnie Judd said. “She’s stronger today than she was three weeks ago.”
Cahoon twirled seven innings of three-hit softball, holding a team that slugged .833 in the regional season to no extra-base hits. She struck out seven.
The Mustangs utilized her in the two regular season games, coming on in relief in game one and pitching the entire second game, facing a total of 64 Warrior batters. Judd said this gave the coaching staff ample opportunities to track which pitches worked against Snow Canyon or, more specifically, which ones didn’t in their first two meetings. Cahoon allowed 21 hits, including five home runs, in those contests.
On Tuesday, they recorded only three: singles off the bats of Tyler Mooring, Syd McCaul and Jenna Thorkelson, each isolated in their own inning. No Warrior reached third base. It was outright dominance against a lineup that is used to doing the dominating.
But to win, you have to score, and Crimson did so early.
Abigail Swanson bunted her way on base to lead off the game, advanced on another bunt by Ashten Taylor and partook in the slow trot home as Afton Roberts blasted the first pitch she saw from Jenna Thorkelson over the right field fence. Roberts drove in the game’s third and last run in the second with a double that once again scored Swanson.
Swanson went 3-for-4 and Roberts went 2-for-3. Ellie Herd had Crimson’s sixth hit.
Thorkelson settled in and also had a strong pitching game that got lost in the loss. She struck out 10.
Snow Canyon got redemption shortly after in their second game of the day, taking down No. 7 Uintah 6-3. The Warriors, maybe frustrated with their offensive output in game one, scored in each of the first four innings.
McCaul got the scoring started with a two-run homer in the first with Mooring on base, who collected one of her three hits in the game just two batters prior. Kambrie Stuart launched a home run to lead off the second.
Thorkelson didn’t allow a hit until the fifth, when Uintah put together three singles to get on the board. They added two more runs in the sixth with Mooring on the mound.
Crimson Cliffs dropped its second game 9-2 to Bear River, setting up a rematch with the Warriors on Wednesday, the loser of which goes home.
Canyon View, meanwhile, had an adventure in their two games.
The Falcons went down 10-2 by the middle of the fourth against No. 5 Ridgeline. The Riverhawks tagged starter Laynee Anzalone for two runs in the first and an explosive seven in the third. Canyon View took their time to respond, getting to 10-5 before piling on an eight-spot in the sixth.
Kenlee Clove got the rally started with a leadoff homer. After a double, Payton Lister reached on an error and Sidney Webster singled to bring the score within two. Anzalone then lifted a ball high to right center, just over the wall as the center fielder and right fielder closed in on it to tie the game. For good measure, Madison Fuller singled, Erin Robinson reached on an error, Clove singled and then scored on an error to post three more runs.
Lister, who took over in the circle in the fourth for Canyon View, pitched around a pair of singles in the top of the seventh to secure the win.
Clove, Kamryn Allen and Webster each had three hits. The Falcons slugged four home runs. Tatum Millett, who had one of the homers, Webster and Anzalone each drove in a pair of runs as the No. 5, 6 and 7 hitters, respectively.
“If you ever age 10 years in seven innings, that was it,” Canyon View head coach J.R. Robinson said. “The conversation before the game started was, ‘Just do your part.’ We’re not looking for heroes, we’re looking for players to do their part.”
If Canyon View had had enough drama for the day, they didn’t show it in game two. They played to a 2-2 draw after a full seven innings, forcing extras against Tooele. The Falcons scored in the top of the eighth, only to watch the Buffaloes tie it in the bottom half. Tooele walked it off 4-3 in the ninth.
All three Region 9 teams return to Spanish Fork on Thursday, where they’ll play a maximum of two games as they continue their bids for a spot in the championship matchup. At least one will see their season end in the Crimson Cliffs and Snow Canyon matchup, while the Falcons will get another shot at Ridgeline in game one. First games start at 10:30 a.m.
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.