The bats wouldn’t stay silent forever, as Stansbury used a late surge to power by Tooele 14-4 on Thursday.
The Lady Stallions led the Lady Buffaloes 2-1 going into the top of the fifth inning, but the Lady Stallions scored five runs in that inning to spark a flurry of scoring to round out the remainder of the game.
Janessa “Cheetah” Bassett stole second base during the fifth inning after getting on first with a bunt single. Beth Chipman followed that up with a hit up the middle that just got by the outstretched glove of Tooele’s Trystin Crofts, who made a diving attempt in the dirt to try and snare the ball. With runners at first and third, Robinson scorched a hit up the middle to score Bassett and gave the Lady Stallions a 3-1 lead.
Bassett stole four bases in the game, and she said she’s trying to break the single-game record for stolen bases. The record is currently at six stolen bases in one game, which was set by Bear River’s Morgan Summers on May 2, 2012.
“The record is six, and I have to get seven in a game,” Bassett said. “So I guess I’m getting pretty close.”
She said she’s trying hard to keep getting on base so that she can get that single-game record. If she doesn’t break the record this year, she still has a chance next year since she’s currently a junior. Bassett’s name is already in the record books for single-season stolen bases. Her 26 stolen bases in 2012 tied for ninth on the single-season steals list with Box Elder’s Heidi Simper, who accomplished that feat in 1994.
Stansbury coach Bridget Clinton said Bassett doesn’t always have the green light when she’s on base, but pretty close.
“Cheetah puts so much pressure on the opposing teams because they know she’s fast,” Clinton said. “It’s pretty tough to throw her out. You have to have a pretty good catcher to throw her out. When she gets on, it puts so much pressure on the defense to make plays.”
Clinton said Bassett’s base stealing is just one of her tools, but she has so much that makes her great. She said Bassett has the best arm on the team, a great glove and can hit for power.
With a 3-1 lead, Manzione stepped up to the plate and knocked a base hit to load the bases. Anjalee Batchelor then hit an infield single to keep the bases loaded and score Chipman for a 4-1 lead. Tooele’s Lauren Frailey then threw a wild pitch to advance the runners and score Robinson, which led later on to an RBI single by Elise Sutherland. Lindsay Guymon rounded out the scoring with a fielder’s choice to make the score 7-1.
The Lady Buffs threatened an immediate comeback in the bottom of the fifth inning. Izzy Nicholas and Alyssa Arslanian both got on base with hits to bring Frailey to the plate. Frailey blasted a ball high in the air that sailed over the fence in right-center field for a three-run home run. That made the score 7-4 going into the sixth inning.
Bassett opened the inning with a base hit, and then she stole second for her third steal of the game. Chipman moved her over with a ball hit on the infield, but instead of the Lady Buffs throwing out Chipman at first, they went to third.
Bassett was called safe on the play, which prompted the Tooele coaches to shout to the players that throwing to third was pointless because “Cheetah” is too fast. Robinson then reached base on an error to load things up for Manzione. She delivered with a three-run double to make the score 10-4.
The Lady Stallions went into the top of the seventh inning with an 11-4 lead, and Kilee Christiansen opened things up by reaching base on an error. Bassett then picked up another hit and stole second base for her fourth steal. With the runners at second base and third base, Robinson stepped in after a Chipman lineout. Robinson drove in both runners with a base hit to make the score 13-4.
Batchelor stepped in with Robinson at third base and Manzione at first base. She knocked a base hit to score Robinson and finish the scoring.
“I don’t know if we’ve put together seven innings yet,” Tooele coach Melanie Nelson said. “With a good team like that, a good hitting team, one breath out of sync and we’re playing catch up.”
Nelson pointed out that Stansbury pitch Kimbri Herring made them look silly in the last meeting, but this time she was proud that her players came out with a different demeanor. She said the key right now is to teach her girls focus, and she was happy that they made progress in that area.
Tooele has three region games remaining, and it just needs to win one of those to guarantee itself a spot in the playoffs. The Morgan Trojans has just seven losses in Region 11 so far, so if they were to beat Tooele on Thursday, and the two teams finish with equal region records, Tooele would earn the tiebreaker. The Lady Buffs are +11 in scoring margin during region play, whereas the Trojans are at -73. Essentially, the Trojans would have to outscore their final four region opponents by a combined 84 runs just to tie the Lady Buffs and force a coin toss. So in reality, the Morgan’s only hope is to win the rest of its games and hope the Lady Buffs lose the rest of their games.
“We are just working at one game at a time,” Nelson said. “Every time Lauren steps on the mound, she’s getting herself stronger, and she’s hitting the ball better. That’s the same with all of them. We keep telling them the more they play, the better they’re going to get. If we continue, we’re going to be in a good position to really make a good run and feel good about our season.”
Tooele will play three games in three days starting Wednesday at Grantsville. Following its game against Grantsville it will host Morgan on Thursday and then Ben Lomond on Friday.
Stansbury continues its run for the region championship, fighting neck-and-neck with Bear River. The scenario is simple: win out and win the region. The Lady Stallions lead the Lady Bears in run margin by 13. The Lady Stallions are +91 in run margin, and the Lady Bears are +78 in run margin, so if both teams finish with tied region records, the Lady Stallions will clinch the No. 1 seed for the state tournament.
The Lady Stallions visit Morgan on Wednesday, and they host Grantsville on Friday.