We've played the best teams in the state. We're looking at it like somebody is in our way and we've got to beat them. —Emily Bateman, Riverton coach
RIVERTON — Winning usually makes a coach happy. But it wasn't just the final score of Riveton's first-round playoff win that thrilled Riverton head coach Emily Bateman.
It was the way the third-ranked Silverwolves earned Tuesday's 10-0 victory against a tough Hunter team.
"It's easy to settle when you're that far ahead," she said of the 6-0 lead Riverton owned after two innings. "I've talked to them all season about scoring every inning, finishing every inning ahead, and shutting the door. Finally, they closed the door."
Riverton left no doubt about the kind of team it intends to be now that the playoffs have arrived.
"I think scoring early set the tone," said Bateman, who gave credit to her assistant who called for a sacrifice bunt to score the team's second run in the first inning.
"She said 'We've got speed everywhere," said Bateman, quoting her assistant coach. "'Let's make them make a play on us'."
Kyrae Kogianes got the Silverwolves offense started immediately when she ripped the first pitch of the game to left field for a single. She scored when Stephanie Tyrell hit to left field, and then Camree Wartman scored when Kaitlynn Douglas laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt. Katelyn White also laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt to move Kogianes from first to second.
The hitting only picked up steam in the second inning, while the Silverwolves executed perfectly in the field.
"It was kind of like a new quiet confidence now that the season is re-starting," said Morgan Varoz, who went 3-for-3 with a home run in the win. "Our attitude coming into the playoffs is way more excited."
Senior pitcher Brandi Hall pitched a phenomenal game but admitted she was a little nervous at the start of the game.
"I think the nerves help," she said. "For a pitcher, it gets you pumped up. It gives you the confidence to go out and do what they need to do."
The Silverwolves said they are excited about the challenge that awaits them on Thursday at Weber High. The Warriors won the Region 1 title without a loss and only suffered two losses all season.
"We're nervous-excited," said Varoz. "We know it's going to be a challenge, but we're looking forward to it."
Nerves, said Bateman, can definitely be an athlete's friend.
"It just depends on how you use them," she said. "Is it excitement or anxiety? We've played the best teams in the state. We're looking at it like somebody is in our way and we've got to beat them."
And earning a chance at that team with such a dominant win may give the Silverwolves just a little bit more confidence.