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4A high school softball playoffs: Northridge gets best of Lehi when it matters the most

SHARE 4A high school softball playoffs: Northridge gets best of Lehi when it matters the most
Northridge's Lindsey Christensen dives under the tag of Lehi's Kjersti Secretan on Tuesday.

Northridge’s Lindsey Christensen dives under the tag of Lehi’s Kjersti Secretan on Tuesday.

Jason Olson, Deseret News

LEHI — Northridge got revenge from their 8-4 loss to Lehi earlier this season in St. George by shutting down the Pioneers and picking their spots to attack as they went on to win 2-0 in their opening game of the state softball tournament Tuesday.

It was Knights' pitcher Chelsea Olson that really brought her stuff as she dominated the Pioneers lineup on her way to a no-hitter.

"I was a little nervous because I knew they could hit the ball," said Olson. "But it is excellent; I don't even know what to say though — I am speechless."

Northridge head coach Melissa Hone had a little big more to say about her MVP pitcher who had 8 strikeouts during Tuesday's no-hit performance. "(Olson) is an amazing pitcher," said Hone. "When she is on her game, no one can touch her. She gets down 3-0 in a count and just comes back and strikes them out. She just has mental toughness."

Northridge (8-6, 13-9) got its first run in the fourth inning when Olson beat out a throw to first and the ball sailed past the first baseman — bringing in teammate Erin Vernon from third base. With runners on second and third with just one out, it appeared that Northridge might increase its lead even more but a heads up defensive play by Lehi helped catch the Knights sleeping momentarily to finish the inning on a base running mistake.

In the fifth inning the Knights added an insurance run off the bat of shortstop Sylvana Kelly who hit the fence in center field for a stand-up RBI-double.

"We need to learn to win with more than two runs but (Kelly) just came up with confidence like I told her to with her knew bat," said Hone. "She just connected it and gave us a boost."

Knights also got a solid performance from Ashley Gleason who went 3-for-4 on the day. Hone feels like her team had a great energy and feels like they have some good momentum as they continue on in the tournament.

Lehi (7-3, 15-7) was disappointed with the loss but head coach Leslee Warr was proud of pitcher Ariel Zimmerman's performance as she continues to recover from an injury suffered earlier this season.

"(Zimmerman) hasn't pitched in the last couple of weeks but she threw really hard and she was hurting," Warr said. "All around I thought she did a pretty good job though ... Our bats just weren't working."