4A state softball tournament: Salem Hills dominates Mountain Crest 11-0
Skyhawk coach Renae Kinghorn loved what she was seeing. In a season that has had many ups and downs, her girls put together one of their best performances of the year. Salem Hills pounded 16 hits, played error-free defense and pitcher Kirtlyn Bohling allowed just two hits to whip Mountain Crest 11-0 in the opening round of the 4A state playoffs.
"Kierstyn Roundy (Mountain Crest pitcher) actually threw the ball really well," Kinghorn said. "We have hit a lot less against much worse pitching this year. We were just really prepared today. The play in Region 8 is just so tough that it has prepared us to play like we did."
She continued, "To start strong like we did (three runs in the first inning) was wonderful for our confidence. Kirtlyn Bohling is just such an incredible pitcher, and she gets harder to hit with runs backing her up. Her presence makes our defense more confident, and we are playing with a lot of confidence right now."
The Skyhawk offense was potent, leading off the first and fifth innings with three straight hits. Every Salem Hills starter got at least one base hit in the game.
Kenzie Martin led the Skyhawk hitters going 3 for 4 with a double, a home run and four RBIs. Tiffany Madson was 3 for 4 with an RBI. Alex Oveson went 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Abbie Tuttle went 2 for 3 and added a double and a run to the effort. Ashley Whiting was 2 for 3 and scored a run as well.
Bohling (8 K's) said, "(Daisha) Maughan (2 for 2) had my number, and she hit me hard. Give her credit. But you just have to throw to the batter that is at the plate and not worry about what happened in the past. Scoring in the first was crucial for us. It let me relax and throw."
Mountain Crest, which has 53 extra base hits on the season, threatened in the third inning, trailing 0-3. Maughan hit a hard single up the middle of the field to lead off and reached third on a ground ball to first base and some heads-up base running. With two outs, the Mustangs' Cassidy Wall drilled a line shot up the middle, but Bohling made the catch to end the threat. The Mustangs never threatened again, popping up what pitches they made contact with the rest of the way.
Salem Hills led off with three runs in the first and followed with four more in the fourth and four in the fifth inning. Martin drilled a hard grounder through shortstop to score the final run to cap the 11-0 shutout, the Skyhawks' 11th this season.
"We have to not make any game bigger than it really is," Kinghorn said. "I feel like we are back to where we were this time last year."
Salem Hills will continue in the winners bracket Thursday, facing Woods Cross, which upset Region 7 No. 1 seed Murray 11-3 in Tuesday's action. Mountain Crest will take on Murray Thursday.
Troy Bohling can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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