SPANISH FORK The heated Spanish Fork-Springville rivalry always brings out the highest levels of intensity from both teams.
Even though these games are preseason, the rivalry is still one of the hottest in the state, and Tuesday's was no exception as the Dons outlasted the Red Devils 7-5.
Each team had nine hits, three errors, left seven on base and gave up two walks. Springville pitcher Sarah Clark struck out six, while Spanish Fork pitcher Cami Robinson struck out five.
The big difference came in the Spanish Fork half of the third inning and had a lot to do with timing.
A pair of errors gave the Dons just the edge they needed as they found themselves with two on and nobody out rather than nobody on with two outs. And the Dons do know how to take advantage of other teams' miscues. After the errors, Katelyn Elliott smacked a single to center field, knocking in a run and took second on the fielder's throw to third that arrived late.
After Whitney Holm struck out and Lea Adamson walked, the Dons found themselves with the bases loaded when Aly Tingey stepped to the plate.
Last year Tingey would have been one of the least likely Dons to homer, but she built up plenty of strength over the offseason and sent one sailing over the left-center fence for a grand slam. The Dons had already scored in the bottom of the first on an Elliott RBI, and they added another run in the sixth on a pair of singles and an RBI sacrifice fly by Holm.
"That's what makes a team good, when you can have different heroes every game," said Spanish Fork coach Don Andrews about Tingey.
But he also realized that the game was about as close as any could be, and his team took advantage of one tough inning by a difficult foe.
"That was a good win for us to get over a quality team," Andrews added.
"You cannot play a good team like Spanish Fork and have balls that are outs turn into runs. We've been a little rusty so far this year," said Springville coach Carl Jensen.
Tingey finished the game with four RBIs and a single in addition to her long ball. Elliott added a single and a double to the Dons' hot hitting. Tina Ferguson, Ashley Chappel, Lindsee Thurgoon and Kaylee Brinkerhoff each connected with a single, and Kylie Bufton added a double for the Dons.Springville's Nikki Brailsford had a huge game with a home run of her own, in addition to three RBIs and a walk. Clark added a double and a single to her solid pitching effort. Keeli Chalk and Brittany McCray each added a pair of singles, and Aria Agle and Kellie Tobler each picked up a single for the Red Devils.