In looking at the brackets before the 5A state girls' softball tournament began, Jordan softball coach Steve Hendricks couldn't have mapped it out any better.
No Bingham and no Alta stood in the way of his team making it to the semifinals. Not surprisingly, that's just where the Beetdiggers stand after Wednesday's quarterfinals at Cottonwood Complex.While Bingham surprisingly rocked Alta 11-1 to garner a semifinal berth, Jordan advanced with a 4-2 victory over Region 1 champion Viewmont. However, the Beetdiggers' win didn't come without a few intense moments.
"Very intense," said Hendricks.
The Vikings took an early 2-0 lead on single runs in the first and second innings. Meanwhile, Viewmont pitcher Chelsa Bastian was baffling Jordan batters with her pitching style.
"It was slower than it looked," said Hendricks. "It took us once through the lineup (to get a feel for it), and then we woke up in the fourth inning."
A two-out infield single by Lacee LePrey cut Viewmont's lead to 2-1 after three innings. Jordan then took the lead with a two-run fifth inning. Lindsay Post had a run-scoring single in the inning, and LePrey gave the Beetdiggers the lead with a triple to center that scored Post.
Jordan then came up with a big defensive play in the bottom of the inning. After Viewmont's Heidi Shegrud hit a one-out single, Adrienne Rodebush hit a ball sharply to right field, but a quick throw to the first baseman LePrey got Rode-bush out. LePrey then threw to third to get the tag on Shegrud, who was trying to advance on the play.
"That double play hurt them," added Hendricks. "We practice (throwing from right to first base) every day. Getting (Shegrud) at third was a bonus."
Despite his team's first loss since April 20, Viewmont head coach Eric Burt is optimistic about his team's chance to advance.
"We've played terrific to get here," said Burt, whose team faces Taylorsville today at 12:30 p.m. "The kids are down because they lost but they'll be back . . . Nobody expected us to be here."
Jordan had a shot for Friday's title: It was to meet top-ranked Bingham at 3 p.m. today.
BINGHAM 11, ALTA 1: In the shocker of the day, the Miners trounced the second-ranked Hawks in just five innings after meeting the 10-run mercy rule. Bingham scored three runs in the first inning and then blew the game open by scoring six runs on six hits in the fifth inning.
"We expected it to be a competitive game," said Bingham head coach Mikki Jackson, whose team had defeated the Hawks earlier in the year 2-1 and 3-2. "I was just really pleased with the kids and the way they played."
Candee Bowden earned the win for Bingham, allowing just five hits. The Miners recorded 11 hits off of three different Alta pitchers.
"The wheels came off in the first inning, and it was quite a clinic they put on," said Alta head coach Vaughn Alvey. "We've just got to forget about this game. We can't let these things hang around us."
Jackson likened this game much to the first game in the NBA playoffs between the Jazz and Lakers.
"(Alta) will be like the Lakers. They'll come back tough the next time," she said.
In other tournament action: TAYLORSVILLE 6, COTTONWOOD 1: Becky Rechtenbach drove in a pair of runs, and the Warriors advanced and sent the Colts packing.
SKYLINE 4, LAYTON 2: Eliza Schofield went 2-4 and had 2 RBIs as the Eagles overcame a 2-1 deficit for the win. Layton dropped from the tourney with the loss.
TAYLORSVILLE 4, SKYLINE 2: The defending 5A-champion Warriors lived to see another day, overcoming a 2-0 deficit for the win. Sabrina Dinkel smacked a two-run triple in a three-run fifth inning for the Warriors.
COPPER HILLS 5, HILLCREST 0: Katie Hammond struck out six batters, and five different players drove in runs for the Grizzlies.
MOUNTAIN VIEW 4, OREM 2: Nicole Downs had three hits and drove in three runs for the Bruins, who bounced their region rivals out of the tournament.
MOUNTAIN VIEW 14, COPPER HILLS 5: The Bruins scored six runs in the second inning and eight more in the third to bury the Grizzlies. Nicole Downs had two hits, including a three-run double in the second inning. Katie Hammond had two hits and drove in three runs for Copper Hills.