In an impressive display of resilience, Riverton fought back from an early series defeat to secure a resounding victory over the formidable Copper Hills Grizzlies with back-to-back victories of 12-3 and 11-0 on Friday.
The winner-take-all Game 3 unfolded as a masterclass in dominance by the Silverwolves, who had only their second shutout of the season.
Spearheading their formidable lineup and in the circle, Kyli Carrell’s leadership helped her team emerge on top..
In the bottom of the first inning, she launched a powerful drive toward the outfield fence. Despite a valiant effort from the centerfielder, the ball ricocheted off the fence and resulted in a quick 2-0 lead for the home team.
Asked how her batting helps her pitching, Carrell said, “It gives me tons more confidence. I feel like I really helped out my whole team and now I can help both ways. It relaxes me a lot more when I know that I have those runs.”
The rest of the Silverwolves delivered an outstanding defensive display to preserve the lead.
The defensive prowess was on full display in the top of the third inning when Aspen Roberts showcased her athleticism and determination with a remarkable diving catch, stretching her body to the limit to secure the first out of the frame.
Ater the Grizzlies managed to put a couple of runners on base, Roberts again was able to make a catch as she collided with the outfield fence, denying Copper Hills’ best chance to get a run on the board.
“I really give thanks to my left fielder,” Roberts said. “I wouldn’t have dove for it if she hadn’t had the confidence in me. She kept telling me, ‘You got that, you got that’ while it was in the air, and I was able to make a play.”
Jolie Mayfield once again emerged as a standout performer, leaving an indelible mark on the game with her contributions in the field and in the box.
The highlight of her exceptional outing came in the form of a jaw-dropping home run, as she sent the ball soaring well beyond the left field wall.
She showcased her defensive prowess by orchestrating two crucial double plays, demonstrating her ability to snatch the ball out of the air and quickly find a force-out before the opposing runners could retreat to safety.
“I trust myself when I know my defense is there to back me up,” Carrell said. “I know I don’t have to strike every girl out or blow it past them during every at-bat.”
With its impressive triumph over the Grizzlies, Riverton has punched its ticket to the final stages of the state tournament, one step closer to capturing a coveted third consecutive state title.
“This team has grit,” head coach Katelyn Elliott said. “They are very coachable. We challenge them that they are going to fail in this game, they are going to make errors, they are going to strike out.
“We are going to fail from time to time, but how we grow from that is what matters. They have fought so hard for their No. 1 seed and they are going to fight throughout the state tournament.”