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High school softball: Bonneville starts best-of-3 5A playoff series with blowout win over Cottonwood

Led by the pitching display of Emmaline DeGroot and the offensive output at the plate from catcher Sierra Smith, the Bonneville Lakers had no problem defeating the Cottonwood Colts in Game 1 of their best-of-three series in the 5A softball tournament, easily routing the Colts to a 23-0 victory Saturday in Murray.

Led by Smith, the Lakers had 25 hits for the game and scored 11 runs in the first two innings to quickly put the game out of reach.

DeGroot had a pitching performance to remember, striking out seven and allowing just one hit on her way to a complete game shutout for her team.

Smith went 3 for 4 with a home run, four RBIs and two runs scored. In addition to her outstanding pitching display, DeGroot also got it done at the plate, going 2 for 4 and adding three RBIs. Outfielder Mia Jenson also had a productive day with the bat, helping her team by going 4 for 5 and scoring four runs in the process.

Bonneville put an increased emphasis on hitting in the week leading up to the first game in their matchup against the Colts.

The Lakers came in with a point to prove and wanted to show that they’re a lot better than their ranking might say that they are.

“We felt a little like our RPI was a little lower than where we thought we would be at. I just told them to come out and set the tone from the get-go. We have a very tough region, and they were just really ready to play,” Bonneville head coach Shelby Healy said. “Right when we got here, I said that the first inning is the most important to set the tone from the rest of the game and they stepped up and did it. We hit and hit all week long so they were ready.”

Bonneville knew that in order to win the all-important first game of the series, they needed to put up the runs early and often.

“We just hit a lot. I can throw and my other coaches can throw so they got a hundred at at-bats this week to help prepare,” Healy said. “We tried to find out what the pitching was going to be like so they could get similar speed and feel as comfortable as possible.”

Even though the Lakers may have come in ready and focused in Game 1, dominating every aspect of the game, Healy knows the Colts will do everything in their power in their power not to allow the same outcome in Game 2.

“We cannot overlook them. They’re going to come back hungry,” the coach said. “Nobody likes to lose like that. We’re going to have to come ready and just do the same thing we did today and hope for a similar result.”