Thursday’s wind storm created less-than-ideal conditions for a softball game at the Deseret Peak Complex, with even routine fly balls turning into an adventure.
For the girls from Tooele, the weather couldn’t have been better.
The Buffaloes’ offense came alive in the third, fourth and fifth innings, putting up seven runs en route to a 7-4 win over Grantsville, giving Tooele a much-needed win and snapping the rival Cowboys’ six-game winning streak.
“That’s what softball is all about — bouncing back from tough losses,” said Tooele coach Marissa Lowry, whose team had dropped an extra-inning thriller to Stansbury less than 48 hours earlier. “I’m proud of my team for how they performed.”
Tooele (8-6, 2-2 Region 10), which followed Thursday’s win with an 18-0 shellacking of Park City, didn’t give Grantsville (13-3, 2-1) much of a chance. Starting pitcher Kamryn Grover had a no-hitter through 5 1/3 innings, and reliever Payton Hammond pitched 1 2/3 perfect innings in relief after the Cowboys put up a rally in the sixth inning.
The Buffs stranded four runners on base in the first two innings before finally taking the lead in the third. Grover hit a one-out single and a pair of errors allowed speed-up runner Rylee Anderson to score, and Blake Hervat followed Bryerly Avina’s fielder’s choice with an RBI single.
Errors again proved costly for the Cowboys in the fourth as Tooele added four more runs to its lead, though a combination of hard-hit balls and a fierce wind didn’t do Grantsville any favors. Amber Lujan reached on an error and Grover and Jenna Gowans each had fielder’s choices, with all three runs eventually scoring on a double by Avina and a single by Hervat.
Grover added an RBI single in the fifth.
“It was a big game,” Lujan said. “We worked together and got the job done. It was nice to see us finally all coming together and picking each other up when we needed it.”
Grantsville broke up Grover’s no-hitter bid on Reannon Justice’s RBI single with one out in the sixth after Maizie Clark drew a leadoff walk. An error and a base hit loaded the bases and set up Hannah Butler’s three-run triple that led to a pitching change, but Grantsville got no closer.
“We struggled today,” Grantsville coach Heidi Taylor said. “[Tooele] played perfect — they didn’t have any mistakes until that sixth inning, and we played full of errors. Give them credit — they put the ball in play and did what they were supposed to do and we didn’t.”
Tooele’s win helped jumble up the Region 10 standings, handing Grantsville its first region loss of the season. Through Friday’s games, Union, Grantsville and Stansbury all have identical 2-1 records, with Grantsville and Stansbury set to meet on Wednesday. Tooele is half a game behind at 2-2, and Park City is 0-3.