Region 9 softball recap: Teams open preseason play

ST. GEORGE —While many across Southern Utah struggled to get games in, the Crimson Cliffs softball team successfully hosted six contests of their own last weekend, walking away victorious in four.

Ashten Taylor hits for Crimson Cliffs softball in its home win over Gunnison Valley, Washington City, Utah, March 12, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

Game times were shuffled and pushed back, but ultimately the worst of the weather avoided eastern Washington City enough for games to be played after some maintenance.

With the grounds in place, Crimson Cliffs jumpstarted what should be its first full season after COVID-19 slammed the door last year on the new school’s inaugural season after just four games. The Mustangs went 4-2 with a +15 run differential from Thursday through Saturday.

Other teams, notably the two in Cedar City, saw games canceled and moved. Canyon View and Cedar did not play due to weather.

Here are the recaps from the games that teams still managed to play between March 8 and March 13.

Crimson Cliffs (4-2)

The Mustangs blew out Mountain View 18-1 on March 11 to start the campaign. Crimson scored 14 runs in the second inning and allowed only one hit – a leadoff single to start the game – in the shortened three-inning contest.

Crimson Cliffs softball meets on the mound during its home win over Gunnison Valley, Washington city, Utah, March 12, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

Emma Shakespeare and Kya Burningham each hit home runs, and Burningham and Afton Roberts tied with four RBI apiece to lead the Mustangs. Ellie Herd had three hits and recorded the save for pitching the third. Malia Davis got the win.

On Friday, the Mustangs went 1-2 in a tripleheader. First, they topped Gunnison Valley on the backs of a three-run rally in the fourth. Roberts drove in a pair in the inning on a single and had three RBI total in the game. McKenna Cahoon struck out nine over five innings and allowed only four hits.

Crimson dropped the second game of the day 6-3 to Springville and fell to Bear River 12-2.

On Saturday, the Mustangs swept a doubleheader, toppling Lehi 8-4 first. Crimson once again erupted with a big inning, scoring five runs in the third. Abigail Swanson and Paisley Lantz each had two hits. Both of Lantz’s hits were doubles. 

Then Crimson put up seven in the first two innings against Sky View to secure a 9-4 win. The Bobcats put up three in the top of the first, but Crimson answered with four. The first five Mustangs reached base. Shakespeare had three hits in the game. Ashlen Taylor scored three runs.

Crimson Cliffs plays a tripleheader Friday on the road.

Desert Hills (2-2)

The Thunder were blown out 19-2 by Springville on March 11 to start the season but rebounded with a 9-2 victory over Gunnison Valley on Friday.

The victory came in strange fashion as it lasted only two innings and Desert Hills scored nine runs in the bottom of the first with not a single hit, according to Game Changer data. The Thunder were walked seven times and hit by five pitches. After Tatum Gardner held Gunnison Valley scoreless in the top of the second, the game was called.

Desert Hills then fell 17-1 to Manti in the second game of the doubleheader.

On Saturday, the Thunder rallied for five runs in the bottom of the seventh to secure the 8-7 walk-off of Lehi. Mavanee Schmidt slapped a single to score the tying and winning runs. Saidy Spencer went 3-for-3 with three RBIs.

Desert Hills plays at Snow Canyon High in a doubleheader Friday, playing Spanish Fork and Snow Canyon.

Dixie (0-2)

The Flyers fell 7-6 to Juab on Friday. Debra Tofi led Dixie with two hits and 3 RBIs and pitched the entire game. 

On Saturday, they fell 12-4 to Sky View. The Bobcats scored multiple runs in every inning but the second. 

Chloe Ellison had two hits for the Flyers including a double. Ellison also drove in half of the team’s runs.

Tofi pitched all five innings, allowing 15 hits. 

Dixie plays next in a tripleheader Friday with Skyline, North Summit and Parowan.

Hurricane (0-1)

The Tigers managed to only get one game in, a 9-4 loss to Carbon on March 11. Hurricane took a lead out of the first inning, 2-1, but fell behind when Carbon rallied for three in the third.

Hurricane got one back in the fourth to make it 4-3 but drew no closer as the Dinos scored in each of the final three innings. 

Kaitlyn Rasmussen was the only Tiger to record multiple hits. Abby Stout drove in a pair of runs on a homer.

Chantell Pearson tossed all seven innings, striking out 15 and walking eight. Six of the nine runs were earned.

The Tigers play a tripleheader Saturday against Enterprise, San Juan and Grand County.

Pine View (0-2)

The Panthers struggled out of the gate, being outscored 36-8 in a pair of losses.

On March 10, they held the lead through two innings after rallying for three runs in the bottom of the first. 

Chaisley Milne led off the bottom of the first with a double. Kaitlyn Hunt walked and L Tueller singled to drive Milne. Mairen Maclellan and Brecken Heath drove in runs on fielder’s choices.

Starter Audrey Lester held Union off the board in the first two innings, but they exploded for five in the third. In all, she allowed nine runs, but only five were earned. Jailyn Reeves gave up six earned runs in the fifth.

On March 11, Carbon used a nine-run second inning to propel them to a 20-5 road win. The Dinos only recorded 12 hits but benefited from six Pine View errors. 

Reeves started the game going 1.1 innings allowing five runs on two hits. Lester came on in relief and threw the final 3.2 innings. She allowed 15 runs, but only six of those were earned. 

With the bats, Maclellan led the way with two hits. Milne hit a double and Tueller hit a triple.

Snow Canyon (3-3)

The Warriors were the other team to fit a full slate of games into their schedule, splitting their contests. They did cancel two games, one against Gunnison Valley and another against Manti.

It started with a 19-2 rout of Enterprise on March 10. Snow Canyon scored four in each of the first and second innings before erupting for 11 in the third for the mercy-rule victory. 

Emma Bingham hit a grand slam in the third before lifting a single to right to end the game later in the inning. She had five RBIs total in the game, bested only by Jael Wilde’s six. Wilde, Erin Gunn and Kenna Staheli each had home runs in addition to Bingham’s.

Jenna Thorkelson pitched three innings, allowing two hits with four strikeouts and four walks. 

Then, on March 11, the Warriors took a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Bear River. The Bears led 1-0 entering the fourth before Snow Canyon rallied for two on a Staheli triple.

Bear River knotted the game at 2-2 in the fifth before Kylie Hardy pushed the Warriors ahead in the sixth on an infield single. 

Thorkelson threw six innings, and neither of her allowed runs were earned. She struck out three and walked three. Tyler Mooring allowed a lone hit of her inning of relief to secure the save.

Snow Canyon lost the first game of Friday’s doubleheader after a comeback attempt against Tooele came up short with an 8-7 final. Tooele led 5-2 entering the bottom of the seventh before Snow Canyon rallied for three to tie the game.

Hardy scored the Warriors’ first run in the seventh on a passed ball before Bingham hit a game-tying homer shortly after.

Tooele got all three runs back on a pair of home runs in the top half of the eighth. Wilde started Snow Canyon’s half of the inning with a homer of her own with the placed runner scoring. The Warriors did not get a base runner in the next three at-bats and the game ended.

The Warriors won the nightcap against Lehi, 12-7. Kambrie Stuart had four hits and Thorkelson had three. Stuart had four RBIs on the strength of two doubles and two homers. Wilde hit another homer en route to three RBIs of her own.

On the mound, Thorkelson allowed six runs, but only four were earned and she gave up only three hits. In her 3.2 innings, she struck out seven and walked four. Mooring allowed a lone unearned run and one hit in 1.1 innings of relief.

On Saturday morning, the Warriors lost 8-2 to Springville. The Red Devils scored seven runs in the first three innings, while Snow Canyon waited until the sixth to do their damage.

Later in the day, they fell to Ridgeline 19-11. The Riverhawks slugged 22 hits to make up for eight errors and 11 hits allowed. Bingham drove in four runs with a pair of home runs and three hits. Wilde hit another homer to drive in three.

The Warriors play next on Tuesday against Cedar to begin Region 9 play.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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