Jason Olson, Deseret Morning News
American Fork's Shelby Swapp, left, and Mallory Davis try to avoid a collision but can't come up with the fly ball during Thursday's Region 4 game against Lehi. The Pioneers racked up big hitting numbers.

LEHI — Coming into their Region 4 softball opener, the Lehi and American Fork teams couldn't have been more closely matched. They both sported 7-3 season records, and they were both looking to pile up a few stats.

But by the time the game was over, it was the Pioneers that came away with a 13-5 win, a 1-0 region record and the edge on the Cavemen in what looks to be a tough Region 4 race.

Most of the Pioneers' double-digit runs came in the fourth and fifth innings after they found themselves on the wrong end of a 4-2 American Fork lead.

Ashley Zimmerman led things off for Lehi in the bottom of the fourth with a double to deep left-center. Morgan Peck walked with one out, then Marci Gray reached second on the first of three Cavemen errors in the inning. Shelby Lund and Ariel Zimmerman each followed with singles, and the team picked up four runs in all to grab a 6-4 advantage.

"In the fourth and fifth innings, the bats came alive for us. I'm really proud of the girls, especially with their hitting. We do have a little to work on with our base running, though," said Lehi coach Leslee Warr, who admitted one of the Pioneers' several base-running errors was her own.

Two of those base-running errors came in the fifth inning, when the Pioneers still scored six runs.

Aly White led off the fifth with a rocket-shot over the left-field fence, and a pair of walks followed. Then Morgan Peck ripped an RBI single down the third base line. But another Lehi runner found herself on the losing end of a collision at home plate, as American Fork catcher Sandra Nessler held onto the ball, recording the out.

Mardi Massa, Gray, Lund and Ariel Zimmerman each added singles, but again Nessler held onto the ball in a collision with a runner trying to take home, recording the second out. Two more runs scored on a Caveman error before Kayla Sorenson picked up a strikeout to end the inning.

"I'm thrilled that Aly got that home run. She's been struggling a little bit, and that should help build her confidence," said Warr, who noted that she's noticed just how tough the competition is in the 5A ranks.

After scoring a run in the second, the Cavemen — before everything fell apart for them — picked up a pair of scores in the top of the third on a double by Nessler and a home run over the left-center fence by Amy Krommenhoek.

Krommenhoek added a single to her long ball and scored a pair of runs and had a pair of RBIs in the game. Sorensen finished with a triple and a single in the contest and came in as a relief pitcher in the fifth inning for the Cavemen. Mallory Davis also had a triple for American Fork.

But it was the Pioneers that racked up the big hitting numbers, as six players recorded two or more hits each, in addition to White's homer.

Ariel Zimmerman, who notched 12 strikeouts, helped her own cause by going 4-for-5 at the plate with four singles, and Lund added three singles and three RBIs. Gray smacked a double and a pair of singles, while Ashley Zimmerman walked twice in addition to her single and double. Peck and Massa each singled twice to finish off the Lehi hitting clinic.

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