MURRAY — Bountiful coach Kelly Anderson recently looked at statistics that convinced him walking the lead-off batter in any inning was disastrous.
"I think we figured out they scored 80 percent of the time," he said after the top-ranked Braves were upset by Region 5's only other undefeated team, Murray, 4-1 on Wednesday. "We just can't give up a walk to the first batter."
That is exactly what happened to the Braves in the bottom of the sixth inning. Both teams were playing extremely well defensively when Murray's first batter of the inning, Jelissa Cameron, earned a walk.
Then freshman Brittany Parker hit a fly to left field for a single. The ball bounced off of Bountiful's left fielder and was picked up by the center fielder, who threw it home just behind Cameron as she crossed the plate. That series of events seemed to spark the Murray offense when the next batter, Keisha Catten, hit a line-drive grounder to shortstop for a base hit.
With runners on first and second, Murray pitcher Whitney Holmes smacked a single to right field that scored both base runners. Holmes then stole home for the team's final run — all of which were scored in the bottom of the sixth inning. Both coaches were complimentary of their opponent's play.
"It's nice to have a good team to play against in region," said Murray coach Lisa Parker, whose squad often cruises to the region title. "Bountiful always does a good job against us; they always have good hitting. We expected that."
Both teams left players in scoring position in the game's early innings, but some of that was due to outstanding defensive efforts. Of special note was Bountiful's Mindy Smith, who snagged two line-drive grounders that would have been doubles had she not stopped them in the dirt.
Bountiful mounted a comeback in the top of the seventh, capitalizing on Murray's only fielding error.
"They're always good," said Anderson of Murray. "Our kids played hard, and you can't ask for any more than that . . . We made a couple of mistakes in one inning. We didn't take advantage of a couple of scoring opportunities. But it's one game, and we get another shot at them."
In other prep softball games Wednesday:
BINGHAM 10, ALTA 1:Amber Sackett earned a complete game win for Bingham, allowing only one run to the Hawks in an easy win for Bingham.
RIVERTON 6, HILLCREST 0:Lyndsey Powell pitched a four-hit shutout and the Silverwolves scored three runs in the first and sixth innings to down the Huskies.
JORDAN 8, WEST JORDAN 3:Brianne Fabrizio drove in five runs with a triple and a three-run homer in the fifth inning as the Beetdiggers downed the Jaguars in Region 2 play.
BONNEVILLE 9, BOX ELDER 7:Brittany Roberts went 3-for-4 and drove in four runs, two of which came off the game-winning double in the bottom of the sixth inning to boost the Lakers past the Bees.
ROY 3, SKY VIEW 1:Sidney Bertangolli singled in a run in the third inning and Kayla George allowed one run on seven hits to earn the victory for the Royals.
GRANTSVILLE 17, MORGAN 0: The Cowgirls trounced the Trojans for their third Region 11 victory.
BEAR RIVER 21, BEN LOMOND 4:Amy Webb hit a three-run home run in a 14-run first inning for the Bears, keeping them undefeated in Region 11 play.
TOOELE 11, OGDEN 0:Lindsey Palmer pitched a no-hitter for Tooele in a runaway victory over Ogden. Palmer finished with 14 strikeouts.
SOUTH SEVIER 18, GUNNISON 0:Jessica Goddard gave up only three hits in four innings for South Sevier in an easy decision over Gunnison.
JUAN DIEGO 14, ROWLAND HALL 1:Morgan Dahlman drove in three runs with her home run in the fourth inning and Stacy Smith hit a double and triple and also pitched a seven-hitter allowing one run to keep Juan Diego unbeaten in league play.
NORTH SUMMIT 5, SOUTH SUMMIT 4:Amanda Robinson hit two doubles and drove in two runs in a five-run second inning for North Summit. Stepahine Hamilton pitched a four-hitter and struck out 14 batters.
LEHI 7, PROVO 0: Good pitching helped Lehi shut out Provo in a nonregion contest.
NORTH SANPETE 7, CARBON 3: Six errors cost Carbon in a loss to North Sanpete.
ENTERPRISE 6, LINCOLN COUNTY, NEV 2:Kayla Nielson earned the complete game victory with 12 strikeouts in a win over Lincoln County.