I was really proud of my girls. They came in (to the dugout) like (Syracuse's home run) was nothing and then took off. We only got one (run) in the first inning and one (run) in the second inning and it just kind of built. I was really proud of them for doing that. —Riverton softball head coach Emily Bateman
Coming into their matchup against Syracuse, the Riverton Silverwolves had scored 204 runs and given up only 68 this season. That's exactly three times as many runs as their opponents.
In Thursday's second-round matchup of the Class 5A playoffs, Riverton did what it is used to: it tripled-up its opponents.
Solid pitching by Courtney Platt and six RBIs by Morgan Varoz led Riverton to a 12-4 beatdown of Syracuse, sending the Silverwolves one step closer to a state championship and sending the Titans home.
Syracuse's Cassidy Basinger hit a two-run shot in the top of the first inning to put the Titans up 2-0, but that was the only time Riverton looked vulnerable.
"I was really proud of my girls. They came in (to the dugout) like that was nothing and then took off," Riverton head coach Emily Bateman said. "We only got one (run) in the first inning and one (run) in the second inning and it just kind of built. I was really proud of them for doing that."
After Syracuse opened the game with three consecutive hits, Platt settled down and got out of the first with the home run by Basinger as the only damage. After that, she retired six straight batters and only gave up one run the rest of the way, a bases-loaded walk in the top of the fifth. She finished the game with four strikeouts in six innings.
"Home runs happen, and as a pitcher, you have to understand that," Platt said. "So I just brushed it off and said, 'There will be no more of that' and buckled down."
Riverton's coach shared the same confidence as her starting hurler.
"I thought she (Courtney) did great," Bateman said. "One thing I know about Courtney is that she gets stronger as she goes on. She always does. What happened in the first inning is not typical to happen with her. It's not a thought to take her out because I know the next inning she's going to be stronger and stronger. She did a really good job fighting back."
Riverton's Morgan Varoz went out with a bang in her final home game in front of her purple-clad fans. She went 3-3 with a two-run double and two two-run homers that sent her fellow Silverwolves running to home plate to congratulate her.
"I couldn't be prouder of her," Bateman said. "Last chance to do that on her home field and she does that. It's just awesome."
Varoz hit her first homer in the bottom of the fourth as part of a four-run inning in which Riverton extended its lead from three to seven and put the game away.
"It felt good to come out and play like we know we can," Varoz said.
Riverton was aided by four errors by Syracuse, including a passed ball that allowed a run to score.
The senior's last time playing at her home field was something she'll remember for a long time.1 comment on this story
"I'm happy with it. It was a good way to go out," Varoz said with a grin. "We all played so good."
Platt, a fellow senior, was very appreciative of Varoz's batting heroics.
"Our bats were on fire. We just kept on hitting and hitting," Platt said. "As a pitcher that helps so much. It takes so much off my shoulders."
The win puts Riverton at 21-5 and sets up a date with Copper Hills in the next round. They've split the season series 1-1 so far.
"We're just going to come out fighting just like it's any other ball game," Varoz said.