State tournament pressure didn’t faze Tooele Saturday in the first and second rounds of the biggest tourney of the season at Deseret Peak Complex.
The Buffaloes improved to 24-2 overall and recorded their seventh and eight shutouts of the season to advance to the Class 4A quarterfinals on Thursday against Cedar in Spanish Fork.
Tooele downed Desert Hills 6-0 in the opener and Spanish Fork 4-0 in the second game.
“(Pitcher) Attlyn (Johnston) threw like she always does and if she got runners on base we made the routine plays on defense. It definitely was a team win,” said Tooele coach Marissa Lowry.
“We had four tough teams here today. It was good to come out and play like we did and see all our hard work pay off. We were prepared, we play good under pressure,” the coach said.
Sophomore pitching phenom Attlyn Johnston allowed only five hits combined in the two games and struck out 27 batters.
“Pressure helps, because honestly it just makes me pitch better. When I have more adrenaline my pitching is faster and better, so that’s always good,” Johnston said.
Tooele came through with 15 hits in the two games, with nine against Desert Hills and six against Spanish Fork.
The Dons loaded the bases in the first inning of the second game with two outs when Johnston hit a pair of batters and the Buffaloes committed an error. Johnston got out of the jam with a strikeout.
Tooele scored twice in the second inning when Paige Rydalch walked and Natalee Bevan pounded a long drive that bounced over the fence in center field to put runners at second and third. Hope Weight smacked a single through the infield to score the runners.
After a single and wild pitch in the top of the third, the Dons had a runner on second with no outs. Johnston then recorded three straight strikeouts.
Tooele scored its third run of the game when Amber Lujan singled to center and advanced to second on a single by Kennedie Anderson. Tooele scored on an RBI single by Kate Hogan.
Lujan added a fourth run of the game with a long blast over the right-center field fence in the fifth inning.
Tooele 6, Desert HIlls 0
Tooele scored one run in the second inning of the opener against Desert Hills.
Kennedie Anderson singled up the middle, advanced to second on an error, to third on a single by Rydalch and scored on a wild pitch.
The Buffaloes added a run in the third on a single from Rylee Anderson and a two-out RBI single to right from Lujan.
Lujan had three hits on Saturday with two RBIs.
“That’s normal for her, she’s been a quiet leader on the team all year,” the coach said.
Tooele added a third run in the fourth inning of the opener when Hogan led off with a drive that hit the fence for a double. She scored on an RBI by Rydalch.
The Buffaloes added three more runs in the bottom of the sixth with a leadoff double from Kennedie Anderson followed by a single up the middle from Rydalch. Bevan came through with a bunt RBI in the inning and Rylee Anderson knocked an RBI for the third run of the inning.
Canyon View 12, Stansbury 5
Payson 9, Stansbury 6
Stansbury saw its season come to an end Saturday, falling 12-5 to Region 9 runner-up Canyon View in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament at Bear River High School in Garland before losing to Payson 9-6 in the one-loss bracket.
The Stallions (16-12-1) were even with Canyon View (19-6) after four and a half innings, having scored three runs in the top of the fifth. however, the Falcons pulled back in front with two runs in the bottom of the inning, and after Stansbury closed the gap to 5-4, CVHS put the game away with seven runs in the bottom of the sixth. Kalee Philips was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs and Maame Johnson and Sadie Taylor each had two hits in the loss for Stansbury.
That put the Stallions into an elimination game against Payson (10-14-1). Stansbury scored five runs in the bottom of the second inning to jump in front, but the Lions scored three runs in each of the next two innings to take the lead. The Stallions didn’t score again until the bottom of the seventh. Philips was 2-for-4 and drove in two runs, while Berkeley Bryant was 3-for-4. Taylor and Lacey Davies each had a pair of hits and Tori Koerner had two RBIs for SHS.
Transcript Bulletin sports editor Darren Vaughan contributed to this report.