Eight 6A softball teams showed up to Cottonwood Complex with a clean slate at the start of bracket play of the 6A state tournament, but only Herriman and Bingham left with a 2-0 record and in optimal position heading into Wednesday’s games with a berth in the state championship series on the line.

Here’s a recap of both games.

Herriman 9, Skyridge 0

After blanking Farmington 17-0 in the first game on Tuesday, No. 2 seed Herriman followed it up with another shutout of No. 3 seed Skyridge in Game 2, winning 9-0 to put itself one win away from a berth in the 6A state championship series.

Herriman ace Kiaira Smith pitched 10 of the 11 innings and struck out 14 batters while only allowing seven hits and no runs.

“Kiaira Smith did a great job pitching and she’s done this all season. She’s done a great job,” said Herriman coach Heidi McKissick.

“She just controls the game. She takes it slow. The best part is her sister (Tanzie) is the catcher so it’s a fun duo that understands each other.”

Two weeks ago in Herriman’s 10-1 nonregion win over Skyridge, Smith struck out 10 batters, and in the rematch she struck out eight.

She approached Tuesday’s game with the same even-keeled approach as the first.

“I knew they had some good hitters and I had to put my all into the game no matter what. If I move the ball I had my team to back me up, and I knew that would be OK,” said Smith, who missed all of last season with an injury.

Her return, however, has been one of the catalysts to Herriman’s sharp turnaround.

A year ago Herriman went 5-22 and was outscored by Riverton 26-0 in the two Super Regional games.

With Smith back, along with the game experience from the freshmen who started last year, the Mustangs are back to being the 6A contender that everyone has grown accustomed to.

On Tuesday, Herriman jumped out fast on Skyridge, scoring a run in each of the first two innings before adding four in the third and three more in the fourth.

McKenzie Quintero went 2 for 3 with a solo home run in the second inning and then a two-run double in the third, and Smith helped her own cause at the plate with a three-run homer in the fourth inning.

Tanzie Smith was the perfect table-setter for Riverton, as the leadoff hitter reached base all four times with a single, double and two walks and scored three runs.

McKissick said it’s important that regardless of who Herriman faces in the 12:30 p.m. game on Wednesday, it takes the game seriously because it knows firsthand the reality that upsets can happen after losing to West Jordan in a region game this season.

“Just don’t overlook anyone, ‘cause anyone can beat anyone on any given day. We’ve been that team,” said McKissick.

High school softball: 6A/5A/4A/3A/2A state tournament scores and schedules

Bingham 7, Riverton 2

No. 4 seed Bingham lost to top seed Riverton twice during region play this season, but when they squared off on Tuesday in the 6A state tournament at Cottonwood Complex, the Miners got some sweet revenge.

Every batter in Bingham’s lineup got a base hit, and Brecka Larson and Shelbee Jones combined to limit Riverton’s explosive lineup to just two runs as the Miners won their second game of the day to remain in the winners bracket.

Bingham returns to action at 12:30 p.m. against the winner of Wednesday morning’s Riverton-Pleasant Grove game, and a win books its place in the 6A state championship series.

Bingham coach Mikki Jackson said the difference between Tuesday’s game and the previous two matchups against Riverton was some maturity.

“Just a young group growing up a bit. We have a lot of youngsters, we only have three seniors, and the rest are primarily sophomores with one junior,” said Jackson. “A little more seasoned, a little more experienced.”

Riverton struck first with a solo home run in the second by Kyli Carrell, but Bingham responded in the third with an RBI double from Oakley Clark.

Bingham then strung hits together in both the fourth and sixth innings, scoring three runs in each to go ahead 7-2.

Larson go the start and went 4 2/3 innings while striking out five, and then Jones came on to close things out, as she only allowed two hits.

Riverton beat Jones in the previous two games, so Jackson decided to throw a different look at the defending state champs.

“Brecka gets the job done too, and we thought they’ve already seen Shelbee twice let’s go with Brecka and get her as far as we can go. She could’ve gone further,” said Jackson.

“We call her cool cat. She just doesn’t really show her level. She’s funny as heck, but out on the field you never know what’s happening, up or down. She’s got the same demeanor all the time.”

Clark finished the game going 3 for 4 with three RBIs, while Rian Howland drove in two runs in the win.