All season long, the Ridgeline Riverhawks have taken down their opponents one after another, with a mid-March game against Spanish Fork being the only blemish on their otherwise perfect season.
But when given a chance at redemption Wednesday evening, the Riverhawks were unable to overcome Spanish Fork in a 6-1 victory for the Dons.
Spanish Fork senior pitcher Avery Sapp made things extremely difficult for Ridgeline. She finished with 11 strikeouts as nearly every Riverhawk batter struggled to hit her pitches and was a significant reason why Ridgeline was only able to score one run throughout the game.
“We played them in St. George, and I wanted to make sure we settled that it wasn’t just a fluke,” said Sapp. “I had confidence with my defense today and I wanted to say thanks to (athletic trainer) Rory (Eyring) who has been taking care of my arm. Got some treatment and I felt a lot better today.
“Sometimes we have off and on days, but we always come back and make adjustments. That’s an ability our whole team has. None of us have a problem making adjustments and I think we all do a great job of putting the work in and working together.”
To make matters worse for Ridgeline, even when it did hit one of Sapp’s pitches, the Spanish Fork defense was quick to cover.
“Avery pitched one of the best games I’ve seen,” said Spanish Fork head coach Natalie Jarvis. “She was on point; she was on fire right from the get-go and never let up.
“We wanted this game. Fielding wise we were sharp. We made a couple errors, but we came right back off of them. That’s what we’ve been saying, “‘Start strong and finish stronger,’” and I’m very proud of them today. They came to play and came to win.”
Spanish Fork held a slim 2-0 lead heading into the fourth inning. When the Dons were at bat, it was none other than Sapp who opened the inning with a home run.
Sapp was immediately followed up by her teammate, Alyce Archuleta, who hit a home run of her own to give the Dons a 4-0 lead.
“You know what, they’re hitters,” said Jarvis. “They go up there to hit and when a good pitch comes, they’re not afraid to jump on it. We’re a good hitting team and they wanted to win today. It was a big win for us.
“We played Ridgeline down in St. George it was a great close game with them, and we won but we wanted to put the exclamation on it today to show where we’re at as a team. Ridgeline is a great team, they’re well coached and a dominant team so it was a good win and a good game.”
Ridgeline finally scored a run in the sixth inning, but by then it was too late for the Riverhawks to make their way back into the game.