PROVO — At this point in the season, most teams have several games under their belt. The Bulldogs already stood at 5-4 this season, while the Skyhawks had yet to step on the field. Provo has collected four home runs, five triples and 17 doubles so far, and were looking to keep up the strong pace when they hosted Salem Hills. The Skyhawks had other plans and carried those plans to fruition in a 9-0 win over the home team.
Neither team could get the offense going in the first inning, and both teams left one runner on. Provo's Emily Allman kept the Skyhawk batters at bay finishing with six strike outs while scattering seven hits, while Salem's Kirtlyn Bohing did what she does best finishing with 14 strikeouts for the game allowing only two singles.
"We know Provo is tough at home. It is really hard to win here, and they are a great-hitting team," Skyhawks coach Renae Kinghorn said. "So, yeah, I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. Provo is never out of the game, especially at home. We just had to be consistent to win this one, and we were."
In the second inning, it was the Skyhawks breaking the ice as second baseman, Kenzi Cowden, singled. Two batters later, freshman catcher Shina Parrish killed a hard ground rule double to drive in Cowden.
Parrish said, "I was nervous because it is my first game in high school, but I was still confident. I saw that second pitch coming and drilled it."
She would later score on a single by Skyhawk center fielder, Tiffany Madsen, putting Salem Hills ahead 3-0.
But the Bulldogs never roll over and die, and today was no different. In their half of the inning, Korynn Gustafson led off with a base on balls, which was followed by a bunt for a base hit by Sandra Atkinson. After a strike out, Kacie Allman drew another base on balls, loading the bases.
But it was not to be this time, as Bohling fanned the final two batters of the inning, stranding three for Provo.
Provo had another opportunity to climb back into the game in the fifth inning, when Calli Kassel led off with a double to right field. Abby Maio grounded, and the throw went wild, creating a perfect opportunity for the Bulldogs to make one of their signature comebacks.
However, Skyhawk right fielder Alex Oveson backing up the throw saw what Provo had in mind. When Kassel turned the corner and headed for home, Oveson made a perfect throw to Parrish, who laid on the tag. The threat ended with two more Bohling strike outs.
Salem tacked on three more runs in the sixth and another in the seventh to earn their first win.
Provo evens up their record at 5-5, while the Skyhawks head to Torrance, Calif., for a five-game tournament later this week.
Troy Bohling can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.