SOUTH JORDAN — Shea Ibrahim was so clutch on Thursday, even when she was booting grounders the Bingham third baseman was still coming up with key defensive plays.
With Bingham clinging to a one-run lead against Lehi in a game with big Region 4 title implications, twice Ibrahim bobbled grounders in the top of the seventh, but each time she recovered quickly enough to make the out as Bingham held on for the 6-5 win over the Pioneers.
After beating rival Riverton earlier in the week, Thursday’s win helped Bingham move into sole possessions of first in Region 4 with a 6-1 record.
“We feel like we redeemed ourselves because we were not ourselves the first time we played them,” said Ibrahim, whose team lost at Lehi 4-2 on April 10. “We’re more comfortable in our skin right now and we’re all hitting the ball and producing runs.”
Ibrahim in particular was outstanding at the plate as she went 4-for-4 with two RBIs, raising her batting average to over .500. And her instincts defensively were key.
With Lehi trailing 6-5 heading into the seventh, Lehi’s Brylee Bringhurst battled well at the plate to earn a leadoff walk.
Lehi’s next two hitters both hit grounders to Ibrahim, who didn’t field either cleanly. The first she recovered quickly from to still throw the runner out at first.
The second grounder, by Terra Tahbo, got away from Ibrahim, but without a play at first, she quickly gunned the ball to second base for the putout on Bringhurst, who was well off the bag expecting a throw to first.
“She kept her head there and handled those. That’s part of who she is. If you watched her at-bats too, she was down to two strikes multiple times and came up with those big hits,” said Bingham coach Mikki Jackson.
Those two plays helped Bingham breath easy, particularly after squandering a four-run lead earlier in the game.
Down 5-1 after four, Lehi tagged Bingham ace Paige Reimann with four runs on four hits in the fifth, leveling the game at 5-5. With the bases loaded and one out, Bringhurst made it 5-2 on a groundout to second, with Taylor Tahbo following with a two-run single and then Terra Tahbo with an RBI double.
Bingham didn’t waste any time regaining the lead as it capitalized on a pair of throwing errors in the bottom of the fifth. Taylor Clemens reached base on a throwing error, and then ultimately scored on a throwing error after a failed pick-off attempt at third base to put Bingham ahead 6-5.
“Overall there’s a lot of moments where the pressure was on these guys, but they came through those moments,” said Jackson.
Bingham certainly came ready to play as Tori Glasker, Alexa Corsey and Ibrahim opened with consecutive singles in the first inning. They all came around to score as the Miners built a 3-0 lead. Ibrahim extended the lead to 5-1 with a two-run double in the fourth, one of 10 hits for the Miners.
Even though Bingham’s in the driver’s seat for the region title, Jackson said her team can’t afford to take anything for granted.
“It’s nice to have (Riverton and Lehi) behind us, but to be honest this region this year has strengthened up quite a bit. You can’t really take a breath coming into any of these last few games, but getting past these gives you a certain confidence,” said Jackson.