The Dixie High softball team used a five-run outburst in the top of the seventh inning to rally past Region 9 foe Pine View 8-5 on Friday.
The win snapped a lengthy playoff drought for the Flyers and secured the region’s fourth and final seed for next week’s 3A state tournament.
“This team has really been coming together of late. The players have been working hard to keep getting better and better. We just need to keep at it,” said Dixie coach Dave Demas. “We were a little bit tense early on (against Pine View), but the girls stuck with it and we knew we would start to hit. We were just hoping it wouldn’t be too late.”
The Flyers (6-6 region, 9-12 overall) struggled against Panthers pitcher Jordan Gosik in the early going. Demas credited the opposing ace afterwards as he said she deserved a lot of credit for keeping the Dixie bats off balance with control and movement.
Pine View (3-9 region, 8-13 overall) built a 2-0 lead after the first inning.
Then in the fifth, Kayla Hammond crushed a RBI double to the left field corner off of Summer Simkins, increasing the home team’s lead to 3-0.
“We really wanted to get this win and qualify for state,” said Dixie’s Amanda Young. “When we got behind, we didn’t lose confidence. We just knew we had to keep fighting.”
The Flyers answered the bell with a three-run sixth to tie the game.
Stacia Gelter helped get the momentum rolling after her infield single led to a Pine View throwing error. Shelbi Holt would score from first easily after the ball drifted all the way to the right field wall.
Simkins followed suit with an ensuing RBI double to left. Michaela DeKorver’s contact led to a fielder’s choice at second, but not before another Flyer came across home plate.
Pine View, though, snatched the momentum back in the bottom half of the sixth after Kamree Becker reached first on a fielder’s choice, scoring Gosik from third base.
The Panthers’ one-run lead entering the seventh wouldn’t last long, however.
Dixie’s first four batters reached safely, which included one hit batter, two bunt singles and an RBI single down the third-base line from Simkins.
The Flyers tacked on two more runs to give them a 6-4 advantage with the bases still loaded and just one out.
“Our offense has been up and down this season, so we’re hoping for more consistency at state,” Demas said. “We won’t have any players with playoff experience, but that could be a good thing. They’re going to be excited and bring a lot of energy to the field.”
Young supplied the exclamation point with her two-run single to center.
Pine View tried to rally in the final half of the frame, but were only able to muster a single run.
“This game was huge for us,” Young said. “We secured a playoff for the first time in five years and for many of the seniors, this is something we’ve been waiting a long time for.”
CEDAR 6, HURRICANE 2: The Lady Reds put up four runs in the second inning, and the pitching of Marinn Whitney made the lead stand up as they clinched the No. 1 seed from Region 9 for the 3A state playoffs.
Cedar tied with Canyon View at 10-2 and won the coin flip to earn the hosting rights for the opening round next Saturday.
Ciera Stratton homered for the Tigers (3-9) in the loss.
SNOW CANYON 4, DESERT HILLS 2: Sonya Hardy, Madison Mooring and Shelbee Hutchings all homered as the Warriors (9-3 Region 9) wrapped up the No. 3 seed and eliminated the Thunder from 3A playoff contention.
CANYON VIEW 18, DURANGO 1, 5 INN.: The Falcons scored early and often, getting home runs from Kenzie Sawyer, Josie Platt and Cheyenne Anderson as they cruised to the non-region victory Friday in Las Vegas.
Canyon View pounded out 13 hits, including five doubles, and won its 11th straight game to improve to 16-4 on the season.