In the fourth inning of Tuesday’s softball game between Pine View (Saint George, Utah) and Hurricane, neither team had a base hit yet,
So PV tried to motivate its players with a wacky assortment of rally caps from the dugout, including one that looked like a pizza and another that was simply a comically large pair of yellow sunglasses.
The Panthers were retired in order that inning.
In fact, nothing could motivate PV to a hit, but it didn’t even matter.
The Panthers somehow squeaked out a 1-0 win despite Tigers pitcher Savannah Garner throwing a no-hitter.
It’s unlikely enough to throw a no-hitter and lose. At the same time, PV pitcher AddieHorspool had her own no-hitter going until Garner broke it up with a single in the seventh inning.
“I feel bad for Savannah (Garner) because you want to be able to celebrate having a no-hitter and winning the game, and then you lose, it’s frustrating,” Hurricane coach Gordon Dotson said.
Garner finished with eight strikeouts and four walks. Horspool gave up just the two hits in the seventh, but struck out 11 and walked two.
Pine View loaded the bases in the bottom of the second, courtesy of three walks issued by Garner.
PV couldn’t take advantage, and those were the last baserunners for either team until the top of the seventh inning.
Garner and Horspool’s no-hitters were both intact when Garner came up to bat in the seventh. She got the first base hit with a chopper into left field.
Kolea Paleka immediately followed with a single up the middle, and it looked like they had finally broken Horspool.
But Horspool shook it off and struck out Taylar Johnson to end the inning.
The game went to extra innings where teams automatically start the inning with a courtesy runner at second base, a rule designed to make it easier for teams to win in situations where both pitchers are unhittable, such as Tuesday.
As such, the Panthers finally a chance to score a run and they seized it.
PV’s Ashlynn Gubler laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Hannah James, the Panthers’ courtesy runner, to second base.
Kamree Becker was intentionally walked, which brought up Kayla Leavitt with the bases loaded and one out.
Garner’s pitch was in the dirt and to the left of Johnson, the catcher.
James bolted for home, Johnson couldn’t make the throw and the game was over.
The box score for Hurricane: no runs, two hits and two errors.
The box score for Pine View: one run, zero hits and no errors.
“We’re glad to get the win no matter how it came about,” PV coach Kim Hafen said.