Tooele blasted two home runs in the bottom of the fourth inning Thursday to pull away from Stansbury and notch a 7-3 victory over the Stallions. Stansbury won the first game between the two teams 9-2 back on April 15.
Leading 1-0, Caitlyn Marshall ripped a solo shot over the left-center field fence to make it 2-0 for the Buffaloes. Kelsey Shields then reached on an error. With Shields at first and two outs, Olivia Pater blasted a pitch over the right-center wall for two RBIs and Tooele led 4-0 after four complete innings.
Pater ended up with four RBIs in the victory.
Allie Anderson was sharp from the circle for the Buffaloes. She pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowed two runs on five hits and struck out 10.
Tooele scored its first run in the second inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Pater singled to right to bring home Baker for the first run of the game.
The Stallions finally broke the ice for a run in the fifth. Maylee Didericken doubled to right-center followed by an RBI single from Kesiah Philpot.
Leading 4-1, the Buffaloes widened the scoring gap in the fifth with three runs. Marshall singled through the infield followed by a single to right from Baylee Wrathall. With one out, Rose Kimball laid down a perfect bunt to load the bases. Pater knocked a sacrifice fly to right field for a run, and Ayden Fitch knocked a two-RBI single through the infield to give Tooele a 7-1 advantage after six innings.
Kesiah Philpot blasted a two-run homer for Stansbury in the bottom of the seventh with Tiara Jones aboard to make the final 7-3.
Tooele hosts Wasatch Monday, May 9 in a non-region game at 3:30 p.m. Stansbury will travel to Sky View for a game on Tuesday, May 10.
The final 5A softball RPI and tournament pairings will be released on Wednesday, May 11 at 9 a.m. First-round single-elimination games will be held Friday, May 13 with Regionals at home sites May 14-16.
The Stallions are near the top of Region 7 standings with a 9-3 record, Tooele is two games behind Stansbury at 7-5. Uintah (9-2) should win the region championship when it plays its final league game at Cottonwood (1-10) on Monday, May 10.
Tooele’s victory over the Stallions came on the heels of an 8-7 victory at Uintah to give the Buffaloes two solid wins against the two top teams in the region heading toward the state tournament.
Tooele coach Lauren Spendlove was proud of her team’s performance against Stansbury.
“We played at a high level, ignoring the rivalry all together. With the way the first half of the season went, we’ve decided that we have nothing to lose. We might as well go all out and break some hearts. I am so impressed that we are playing our best ball in May. Allie Anderson pitched great and kept us in it the entire game. She hit her spots well and stayed composed when things didn’t go our way on defense. Aubrie Hansen came in to close and pitched lights out! It has been so important for us this year to have a pitching staff. Rose Kimball on third has really stepped up this year. The way she made the routine plays was critical in our win. Rose also laid down a critical bunt for a hit. I am also impressed with the bats that showed up in the win! We had home runs from Ayden Fitch, Caitlyn Marshall, and Olivia Pater,” the coach said.
Spendlove said the girls are focusing on increasing their intensity and competitiveness.
“The girls are also playing for each other, and realizing how fun the game can be. All of these elements together create confidence,” she said.
The first-year coach said she is learning lessons just like the girls.
“When I make mistakes, I own up to them. My goal is to be a student of the game and model myself after great coaches I’ve seen and played for. I give my 100% so the girls know I’m in it with them. So far I am loving it, and hope to stay for a long time,” Spendlove said.
“We started with a young team who wasn’t really sure of themselves. We now have a team who shows confidence and believes they can win. I love these girls, and I’m so proud of the way they’ve progressed this year. I can’t wait to see what else they can do,” the coach said.