Lehi knocked Stansbury out of the state tournament Friday afternoon in Game 2 of a three game series, shutting the Stallions out for a comfortable 11-0 victory. The Pioneers scored eight runs in the fourth inning to put the game on ice before picking up three straight outs in the top of the fifth to force an early ending.
Lehi and Stansbury met in the super regional round of the state tournament yesterday. After winning Thursday’s initial contest, it took the Pioneers a few innings to get warmed up before cruising past the Stallions Friday.
“We hit through the order,” Lehi head coach Tim Kennedy said of his batters when asked about their explosive fourth. “I think it just took them their second time through to kind of figure out the pitching. … This pitcher here that started the game was the one that ended yesterday’s game. She shut us out for three innings, two yesterday then one today. They just finally caught up to it; figured it out. They made good adjustments.”
The Pioneers’ eight runs in the fourth proved fatal to the Stallions’ season. The high point of the inning came when Pioneer senior Maci Wall rounded the bases to score after her triple to right field combined with an error to bring her home. Wall’s play gave her team three runs and a 9-0 lead.
“Honestly, I got to first and I was like, ‘Oh crap, it’s another popup,’” Wall said. “I trusted my coach that I could round two and I got two. I looked at my third base coach and rounded third. I was like, ‘Well I’ve got to get on my wheels.’”
Kennedy knew Wall’s hit was a big moment in the contest. “That broke the game open for us,” he said. “She’s so good for us this year. She’s leading the team in just about every offensive category.”
The Pioneers added two more runs after that, before their defense finished things off in the fifth. Sophomore starting pitcher Emerson Fuller finished the game having given up just one hit to secure the shutout.
This weeks wins mark the second and third time that the Pioneers have beaten Stansbury on the year. Lehi downed the Stallions 18-6 in an early April matchup. With Friday’s defeat, the season comes to a close for Stansbury, which finishes with an 18-12 record.
“I feel for them,” Kennedy said. “They played a good series with us. We wish the best for them.”
Lehi advances to the next round, where teams will be reseeded and resume play Tuesday at the Cottonwood Complex in a double elimination tournament. The Pioneers, who went 0-2 in that round a year ago, feel they have what it takes to go much farther this time.
“We’re excited,” Kennedy said. “I think we have a pretty good chance to get to the championship game. … On paper we’re just as good as anybody, but we’ve got to show it on the field. So we like our chances. If we play like we have the last two days we’ll be in good shape.”
Lehi hopes to prove its coach right.