Going in to its game against Bountiful, the Highland Ram softball offense had been humming. The Rams were averaging 10-plus runs over their last five games.
Braves starting pitcher Brook Dickerson brought that to a screeching halt Tuesday, shutting out Highland 13-0.
Dickerson struck out a season-high eight batters in five innings. She gave up just two hits and never allowed a runner past second base.
“[Highland] had scored some runs lately, but she shut them down,” Bountiful head coach Butch Latey said of Dickerson. “She threw a heck of a game. Her screwball and changeup were really good today. The ball was jumping out of her hand.”
After suffering a tough loss to Alta on Monday, Bountiful was determined to jump out quickly on the Rams.
“We came out with more intensity than we normally do,” Bountiful sophomore second baseman Kassidy Larsen said following the win. “After yesterday’s game, we really wanted [this game]. We came out to show we wanted it.”
The Braves scored five runs in the first, with Sydney Austin, Beka Mamea and Kassidy Larsen all registering RBIs.
Bountiful added seven more runs in the second. During the inning, Mamea drove in two more runs on a hit to center field and Maddie Nelson picked up two RBIs with a single down the third base line.
With Dickerson’s pitching, that was more than enough for the Braves.
“My spins were really good today. They were moving a lot. That’s the best I’ve been this year,” Dickerson said of her pitching effort. “I played basketball and wasn’t able to focus on softball. I was rusty to begin the year, but it’s starting to come back now. Pitching every day helps a lot.”
Highland freshman Jensen Granger agreed: “[Dickerson] was throwing hard today.” Still, Granger managed to single off Dickerson in the third inning. The other hit for Highland came from freshman Gabi Velasquez.
Rams head coach Gilbert Maestas noted “[i]t has been an up and down year for us. We are incredibly young — almost all freshmen and sophomores. But it’s coming, little by little,” he said.
The Rams have already doubled their win total from last year.
“We have been working hard” Maestas said. “We are trying to work out the losing mentality.”
Highland’s next chance for a win will come against Kearns Thursday.
The Braves will look to capitalize on the momentum from their win when they face Judge Memorial on Thursday.
“We’ve become more passionate about the game and changed our mind set,” Larsen said. “We told ourselves we are doing it for the coaches. We want to make all the time they put in worthwhile.”
David Pearce is General Counsel with Beneficial Life Insurance Company.
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