Wolves rebound from rare region loss to shut out Warriors

Wolves rebound from rare region loss to shut out Warriors

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Wolves rebound from rare region loss to shut out Warriors

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ST. GEORGE

After its first region loss in four years, Enterprise traveled to Snow Canyon for a non-region matchup — a place Wolves’ head coach Duane Wallin doesn’t recall ever winning.

That certainly changed Monday as Wallin’s Wolves shut down and shut out the Warriors, 3-0.

In his postgame interview, Wallin mentioned the word “focus” a handful of times, though he didn’t need to; his club played seven innings of sound, technical, error-free softball, displaying to all in attendance that Enterprise was back on track.

“Sometimes we kind of put it on cruise control, and we don’t get focused enough,” Wallin said. “Playing a good team like Snow Canyon, you need good focus to be able to come out with a win.”

Enterprise’s Dakota Robinson dominated in the circle all afternoon, striking out four and giving up only two hits in a complete game shutout. Robinson gave up two of her three walks in the first inning, but escaped without harm after leadoff runner Sonya Hardy got doubled off second on a Grace Walton infield popup.

Robinson led off the second with a first-pitch single into left. Then with two outs, Dani Hess reached on an error, while Madison Holmes crossed the plate for the Wolves’ first run.

In the third, Robinson led off with a first-pitch single into left — not a typo — and the Warriors misplayed another ball to first base for their second error of the game.

“We played poorly,” SC head coach Brandyn Sargent said. “Our heads definitely weren’t in it. We’ve hit a lull the past couple games; we’ve been playing at like a Level 2 instead of where we were.

“I think we need to get mentally tougher and get our heads in the game. We didn’t come to play today or last week.”

With the bases loaded, SC catcher Skylar Gates picked off a pinch runner at third base. Lacy Drake loaded the bases with a single right over second base, which Hardy made a beautiful diving play on just to stop the ball and hold the runners. SC starter Heather Prestwich struck out one but walked Kim Bishop, adding another run, before striking out the final out of the inning.

Robinson retired the Warriors, 1-2-3, then got her third single of the day in the bottom of the fifth, but Prestwich worked around it to shut down the inning.

“When we need hits, we just come alive and get on,” Robinson said. “I was just starting to hit the ball.”

In the sixth, Madison Laub opened the inning with a double, and Drake followed it up with another to drive Laub in, putting the finishing touches on the scorecard.

In the bottom half, Robinson struck out Hardy before walking her.

Actually, Hardy ran to the dugout, thinking she had been struck out, before being pushed back out onto the field as the umpire signaled a 2-2 count. Hardy returned and drew a walk. The Warriors managed to get runners on the corners with a single from Walton, but Robinson fanned her third batter to get out of the jam. Then Robinson struck out her fourth batter for the final out of the seventh.

“I was just pitching,” Robinson said. “I was just trying to pitch hard. I think the changeup helped a lot this game, because it was just really on today.”

The Wolves (11-1, 18-5) play three more games before heading into the 2A state playoffs, starting Tuesday with Lincoln, Nevada. The Warriors (8-3, 12-6), on the other hand, have a short amount of time to figure out how to return to form against Desert Hills Friday, in what Sargent called a must-win game.

“I have some good practices planned, so they’ll turn their act around by tomorrow for practice,” she said.

@G_Faylor

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