DRAPER M'Liss Peterson doesn't feel a lot of pressure when she steps to the plate for Bingham.
"I bat ninth," she said, as she and her teammates break into laughter. "I feel no pressure at all."
That's working well for the senior, who is also a volleyball player, as she's hit two home runs this season, including a three-run home run Wednesday against a tough Juan Diego squad.
"I'm not usually a home run hitter," she said after the Miners hung-on to win a 6-2 decision at Juan Diego. "But I have focused more on hitting this year."
Bingham coach Mikki Jackson was glad to have that home run as it gave the Miners a little breathing room against the 3A Soaring Eagle squad that had no plans to rollover for the 5A school.
"This was probably our weakest hitting performance," said Jackson, who was surprised to learn Bingham earned 13 hits in the win. "But Juan Diego is a good team."
The Miners had two runs going into the sixth when they seemed to find a little offensive rhythm. Catcher Kylie Thomas got it all started with a double that hit the left field fence. Then Katie Groves smacked a single up the middle and Thomas scored on the throw to keep Groves at first. Tori Almond hit a single to left field and then both girls scored when Petersen hit her home run over the centerfield fence.
Almond pitched a solid game for Bingham with six strike outs and just two walks in five and a half innings of work. Almond started and then finished the game with pitcher Cienna Smith coming in in the sixth inning and throwing half of the seventh.
Jackson said her team is still searching for its identity as the pre-season draws to a close.
"I'm letting them lead each other down the path," she said. "I'm just letting it flow right now. They have a calm demeanor and a really good work ethic."
That seems to be working as the Miners have just one loss, which was in the season-opener against Taylorsville. Bingham has two pre-season games left and then they head into region play, which both players and coach know will be brutal.
"I think it's a very tough region," Jackson said with a little laugh of her own. "Very competitive."
Despite the loss, Juan Diego coach Tom Rogers was pleased with the way his team played, and especially the way they didn't quit against a much larger school.
"I thought we played well," he said. "I have to hand it to Bingham. They're a good team."
He was impressed with how senior pitcher Brie Dimond kept her composure against one of the best hitting teams in the state.
"I thought she did a great job," he said. "We're still struggling a little with our own hitting."
He said his philosophy is always to set up a tough pre-season in order to prepare his team for their ultimate goal."We always like to have as tough a pre-season as possible," he said. "We don't care how we start; it's how we finish that's important."