Series in review:
In its super regional series of the 5A State Softball Tournament, the Tooele Buffaloes faced the Timpview Timberwolves in a best-of-three series May 18-19 at home. After Timpview won the first game, the teams went the distance and Tooele took the last game — and the series — with a dominating 10-0 victory.
Here are the recaps for each game:
Tooele’s pitcher Audrie Hansen shines in Game One victory over Timpview
At the onset of the game, things started off a little shaky at the top of the first as Tooele pitcher Aubrie Hansen, and the rest of the Buffaloes, faced early trouble.
After walking the first batter, giving up a single to the next and hitting two-straight Timberwolves’ players, Hansen surrendered the game’s first run and Timpview took an early 1-0 lead. She bounced back, however, and struck out the next three batters to close out the top of the frame.
At the bottom of the first, it was Tooele’s turn to score and the Buffaloes responded with three runs of their own to overtake Timpview 3-1. Lead-off batter Olivia Pater knocked a double to left field, putting the team in scoring position. Two batters later, Hunter Culley hit an RBI fly-ball up the middle followed by an Ayden Fitch triple to give Tooele a 2-1 lead.
Sadie Baker rounded out the first with a ground out, with Fitch crossing the plate to extend the lead to 3-1 heading into the second.
Hansen really found her groove from then on, starting with another three-consecutive strikeouts at the top of the second and kept Timpview from scoring again over the next four innings. The Buffaloes pulled away offensively at the bottom of the third, widening the lead to 5-1. Baker drove in two more runs off a line-drive double, sending Fitch and Emily Sheppard home.
That score stood for the next two stanzas, until the bottom of the fifth when two-straight RBIs from Fitch and Baker pulled Tooele ahead 7-1 and put the game firmly in the team’s grip. Timpview mustered two runs over the sixth and seventh innings, as the Buffaloes fended the Thunderbirds off in a late-game push during which Timpview loaded the bases in a tense final frame.
However, after all was said and done, Hansen recorded 15 strikeouts in seven innings, good for second-best since her 17-strikeout performance on May 9 against Bingham High School. Up next for Tooele, was a Game two heartbreaker.
Timpview bounces back and ties the series at 1-1 with a 5-4 win
Game two saw the Thunderbirds roar back to life, as the team mounted a come-from-behind win to knot the series at 1-1.
Tooele went scoreless over the first three innings, with Timpview held off the board for five. The Buffaloes broke the stalemate at the bottom of the fourth, thanks to Fitch’s two-out, two-RBI double which put the team up 2-0.
Following a scoreless fifth, Timpview responded in full force at the top of the sixth, tallying five runs. After three-straight walks a Thunderbirds player singled to drive in the first run, then the next batter got dinged by a pitch while the bases were loaded, sending a runner home to tie the game at two runs apiece.
Tooele pitcher Allie Anderson was then replaced by Hansen, who was unable to stop the bleeding and gave up three more runs to give Timpview a 5-2 lead.
The Buffaloes tried to rally from behind at the bottom of the sixth, scoring two runs to narrow the deficit to 4-5. Timpview stifled the comeback attempt, and both teams had a scoreless seventh inning to keep the score at 5-4 and seal the win.
This set the stage for a third and deciding game of the series, which wound up being another star performance from pitcher Aubrie Hansen.
Tooele wins series against Thunderbirds and advances in 5A softball tourney
The Buffaloes wasted no time in Game three, bursting the score wide open at the bottom of the first with four-straight runs to jump to an early 4-0 lead. This was the start of both an offensive onslaught from Tooele and a defensive shutdown from pitcher Aubrie Hansen and the rest of the team.
Over the next two-and-a-half innings, from the second to the top of the fourth, both teams blanked one another and Tooele’s four-run lead stood pat. During this time, Hansen struck out nine batters and Timpview struggled to put together any offense.
At the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings, the Buffaloes pulled away for good, adding six runs and taking a commanding 10-0 lead. With such a wide margin, as per high school softball rules, the game was called after five innings and Tooele took the game — and the series — to advance to the next round.
On May 23, the team traveled to the Cottonwood Softball Complex to play the Olympus Titans at 3 p.m. Check our website TooeleOnline.com for results.