Four teams ranked in the nation's top 100 played at the Torrance National Invitational, a highly competitive tournament in Torrance, Calif., that ran from March 20-22. Here is how the two Utah teams fared:
Carson (Calif.) 7, Salem Hills 0: Although Salem Hills hit well, it could not get a rhythm going. Its five hits were off-set by five strike outs, which kept the offense from finishing the attack as nine baserunners were left stranded. Alex Oveson went 2-for-3 with a double. Tiffany Madsen, Ashley Whiting and Amelia Weight added singles to the cause, while Kirtlyn Bohling logged seven strike outs for the Skyhawks. Carson collected eight hits with shortstop Brianna Tautalafua leading the way going 3-for-3, with a double, a home run and two RBIs to lead Carson.
Salem Hills 1, Torrance West (Calif.) 0: Neither team was able to score with eight batters striking out until SHHS scored in the top of the 7th following a lead-off triple by Alex Oveson. It took four more batters and a defensive error by West to push her across the plate for the lone score of the game. Amelia Weight added a single for the Skyhawks. Oveson was the steady bat on the day as she went 3-for-5. The Skyhawks were in rhythm on defense, fielding every hit cleanly and finishing with a solid performance and to put them into the silver bracket for the rest of the tournament.
Salem Hills 3, Coronado (Henderson, Nev.) 0: The Salem Hills bats came alive in this game with eight hits, while giving up four. The Skyhawks scored once in the second inning following a lead-off pair of singles by Kirtlyn Bohling and Shina Parrish. A sacrifice by McKenna Davis followed by an error by Coronado, led to the run. Salem Hills followed with two more runs in the third when Abbie Tuttle singled, Whiting reached by error and Oveson singled, scoring both. Bohling went 3-for-3 and added nine K's pitching, while Tuttle went 2-for-4, and Weight added an RBI. SHHS earned its third shutout in four games this season.
Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) 4, Salem Hills 1: Salem Hills struck early with Abbie Tuttle leading off with a single. Oveson drove Tuttle in with a sacrifice fly to right field. Unfortunately, the Skyhawks fell victim to two double plays in the contest and couldn't string together enough hits to keep scoring. McKenna Davis, Kenzie Martin and Kirtlyn Bohling each contributed a single. Bishop Gorman was able to match the first inning output of the Skyhawks and added two more runs in the fourth inning and another in the fifth to beat the Skyhawks 4-1, placing Salem Hills in the consolation game playing for 11th place.
Salem Hills 2, Foothill (Henderson, Nev.) 1: Foothill scored first on a Skyhawk error and a single in the second inning. Salem Hills matched that score in the second when Kenzie Martin singled to score Shina Parrish, who singled to open the frame. In the third inning, Abbie Tuttle led off with a single and scored on Alex Oveson's sacrifice fly to center field. The Skyhawk bats were quiet after that, but the defense held with the help of 10 strike outs by Kirtlyn Bohling, six over the final three innings. Kenzie Cowden added a single for Salem Hills.
SHHS head coach Renae Clarke said, "I'm glad we went because it was beautiful weather. It was fun and eye-opening to play some different teams. The tournament exposed some weaknesses and has given our practices a new determination and focus."
Salem Hills returns to Utah facing seven games over the next 11 days beginning with Region 8-leading Springville at Salem Hills on Tuesday, March 25.
Bingham High School
Bingham 3, Torrance (Calif.) 1 Senior Taylor Clemens pitched a great game even though Torrence threatened to score several times. Bingham was able to pull off double plays in the first and third innings to keep Torrance at bay. In the third with bases loaded, the threat ended with a hard shot to third baseman Chelsea Latu who tagged her base and threw home to Matti Voorhees for the tag. Coach Mikki Jackson said, "We wanted to come out and compete against top teams with competitive pitching." And that they did. With great defensive plays like those from Latu and Kylie Jones in center field, who lept into the air at the fence and robbed a home run, Jackson was elated. Jones also had a home run robbed by the Torrance center fielder.
Bingham def. Downey (Calif.) Clemens pitched the second game of the night as well. The key to this game was Bingham scoring in all but one inning. Torre Glasker went 3-for-3 with an RBI. Chelsea Latu contributed two RBIs. Several Bingham errors helped keep Downey in the game, but with the win, Bingham moved into the Gold bracket. Coach Jackson said, "We had excellent execution with our bats." Both teams had four hits in the game. Latu and Glasker had the hot bats thus far in the tournament.
Millikan (Calif.) 8, Bingham 5: Errors finally caught up to the Miners on Saturday as they dropped three games in a row, though all were hard-fought. Against Millikan, it was too little, too late as the Miners gave up six runs in the first three innings. Torre Glasker, Emily Lewis, Lexi English, and Matti Voorhees all went 2-for-3 in the game, and Glasker added an RBI, while Lewis and Voorhees added two RBIs each. Behind their hitting, Bingham came back and scored five runs. However, they gave up two more runs in the loss.
Centennial (Las Vegas) 7, Bingham 5: Both teams started with a bang, scoring three runs each in the first inning. Centennial add two runs in the third and two more in the fourth innings, while Bingham answered with two in the fifth. Emily Lewis and Lexi English each went 2-for-3, with English knocking in four RBIs for the game to pace the Miners. The Miners couldn't muster any more runs and had eight errors in the loss.
Lakewood (Calif.) 8, Bingham 1: In its final game of the tournament, Bingham was still solid with the bats, but the error bug bit again as Lakewood capitalized in the first, second and third innings, and the Miners couldn't match the output. Bingham's Jones went 2-for-3 with a triple and Latu sacrificed in the lone Miner run for an RBI. Emily Lewis and Lexi English both went 1-for-2 with Jerant adding 1-for-3 hitting to round out the offense. In all, Lakewood stole five bases to put players in scoring position.
Bingham next plays at Taylorsville on Wednesday, March 26.
Troy Bohling can be contacted at email@example.com.