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High school softball: Lehi rebounds from 15-run loss by handing Timpanogos its first region defeat

Lehi Pioneers’ Halley Payne (14) runs to home after she hit a home run during a high school softball game at Timpanogos High School on Thursday, April 1, 2021.
Lehi Pioneers’ Halley Payne (14) runs to home after she hit a home run during a high school softball game at Timpanogos High School on Thursday, April 1, 2021.
Annie Barker, Deseret News

Lehi and Timpanogos came into Thursday afternoon’s matchup in very different circumstances. Timpanogos had outscored its opponents 44-6 over the last three games, while Lehi had been outscored 29-3 over its last two games.

With all the makings for another blowout result for the Timberwolves, it was Lehi who flipped the script and defeated Timpanogos by a score of 8-2. The Pioneers handed Timpanogos its first region loss and improved to 5-1 in region play.

Following their 15-run loss to Mountain Ridge just two days ago, Lehi coach Tim Kennedy said that his team met to try and diagnose the issues they had.

“We spent a good portion of our practice yesterday just having a little powwow to try and figure out what we could do better,” Kennedy said. “We were ready to go today and the last couple games we weren’t ready, we weren’t prepared, and that’s my fault. But we played really well today.”

The so-called “powwow” was obviously very effective because it was Lehi who took on the appearance of the team with the momentum to start the game when Lehi’s Jamisyn Heaton recorded an RBI single in the first inning as the third batter in Lehi’s rotation.

“We didn’t care if it was one, or two, or three, but we knew that if we could score first that we would take control of the game,” Kennedy said concerning his team’s quick start.

Lehi would put two more runs on the board in the third inning before Timpanogos finally got on board to make 3-1 thanks to an RBI double by Taigely Parkinson in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The Timberwolves fought to stay within striking distance, but Lehi’s Grace Humes hit a laser just over the pitcher’s head, which paved the way for two more Pioneer runs to score, and doused any momentum that Timpanogos may have gained in the fourth inning.

Lehi sophomore Halley Payne — who came into the lineup after third baseman Laynee Carter injured her ankle — deepened Timpanogos’ deficit by whacking a three-run home run over the left field fence in the top of the final inning.

According to Kennedy, the home run came on Payne’s fourth at-bat of the season. Two of the four came in Thursday’s game.

“We gave her the game ball,” Kennedy said speaking of Payne. “It was fun to see. Everybody on our team gets the same amount of reps in practice so we hope that all of our kids are ready like she was, we don’t care who it is.”

The home run extended the Pioneers’ lead to seven, making the outlook on a potential Timberwolves comeback very bleak.

Timpanogos’ Breanna Mills refused to go down quietly though, as she blasted a solo home run to start the Timberwolves’ comeback attempt, but Lehi’s defense was able to prevent any more runs from scoring and finish the game with a six run victory.

The Pioneers’ defense played tough the whole game after struggling for much of the season leading up to Thursday’s contest. Kennedy said that the pitching of Humes was the key cog in the strong defensive performance.

“Grace Humes pitched her best game so far this year, so there just weren’t many opportunities (for Timpanogos),” Kennedy said. “Grace started a little bit slow this year, but she’s been stronger as the year’s gone on.”

Kennedy was also proud of the energy his team brought into the game despite struggling in their last two outings. The Pioneers were continually jumping and cheering from the dugout and Kennedy said that maintaining that energy will help his team going forward into the remainder of the season.