SPANISH FORK — Thursday was senior night for Maple Mountain's softball team, a hugely memorable moment for the Golden Eagle senior athletes.
When asked what she wanted her seniors to walk away with, Maple Mountain coach Cassie Lewis replied, "I want them to realize they have established a great program and will be leaving behind a legacy that will be around for years to come."
Meanwhile, Maple Mountain's opponent, Salem Hills, was solely focused on getting a big victory.
"This game is a must-win for us," Salem Hills coach Renae Kinghorn said beforehand. "Maple Mountain is a rival school and there is a lot on the line. They are playing really well right now, so this will definitely be some good softball. We are excited to honor their seniors who opened the school for them, but as soon as we cross those lines it's game time."
When that happened, the Skyhawks got the job done.
Salem Hills ultimately came away with 12 hits, which led to four runs. The defense of Maple Mountain kept the Golden Eagles in the game by forcing the Skyhawks to leave 10 batters on base, but Salem Hills had too much defense and Maple Mountain could not figure out the Skyhawks' pitching. After surrendering only a single in the third inning and another in the seventh, Salem Hills prevailed with a 4-0 victory.
The Skyhawks started off the game with a Kenzi Martin double. Three batters later, Salem Hills scored the first run of the game on a single by Kirtlyn Bohilng. Both Martin and Bohling went 3 for 4 on the day. Bohling accounted for three of the four runs with her hitting while adding 13 Ks to the defensive effort.
"It is easier to hit when you have such a good time. Their catcher was excellent," said Martin.
The Skyhawks were successful in getting the lead runner on base in six of the seven innings. Martin, Alex Oveson, Abbie Tuttle, and Simons all led off with hits — Martin and Oveson twice. Oveson went 2 for 4 and designated player Amelia Weight added an RBI in the third inning.
On defense, Tuttle was phenomenal with her Willie Mays-like catch of a BritLee Anderson hit between shortstop and left field in the fourth inning. In the fifth, it looked like MMHS third Baseman Shaniya Jacobson would reach base and start a rally, but it was Tuttle who chased down the hit to shallow center field for the out.
"This is going to make us better, stronger," said Anderson after the tough loss.
Lewis echoed those sentiments and praised her seniors after their final regular-season game.
"This group of seniors is the best group we have had ... and the funniest," Lewis said. "They know how to fight."
Troy Bohling is the coordinator of school services for Nebo School District. He was previously an assistant principal at Salem Hills High School from 2008-12. His daughter Kirtlyn plays for Salem Hills. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org