Jason Olson, Deseret Morning News
Lehi's Ashley Zimmerman gets back to third under the tag of Spanish Fork's Whitney Holm.

LEHI — It took a few innings for them to get started, but once the Spanish Fork softball team got its bats working, the runs kept adding up until the Dons pulled away to an 8-3 victory over Lehi in Region 4 action.

For three innings the Lehi pitchers and some solid defensive play held the hot Spanish Fork bats at bay, but that was the first time through the lineup. Then the Dons went to the plate for the second time, and they showed the Pioneers no mercy.

It all started in the top of the fourth as leadoff hitter Tina Ferguson stepped into the batters' box for the second time of the game and a short time later sent the first of three nearly identical Spanish Fork home runs sailing over the center field fence, giving the Dons the 1-0 lead and getting her team on a roll.

"These kids are good hitters, and every now and then good hitters are gonna prevail," said Spanish Fork coach Don Andrews about his lineup. That tough lineup continued to pound the ball in the fourth as the Dons' second batter, Ashley Chappel, doubled to the fence and Katelyn Elliot singled a line drive to center. Whitney Holm picked up the RBI on a ground out to third base, and the Dons came out of the inning with a 2-0 lead.

Andrews wasn't completely comfortable with only a pair of runs, however, considering Lehi's lineup.

"They're a good hitting team, and the Zimmerman girls (sisters Ariel and Ashley) are just getting tougher as the season goes on," Andrews noted about both Lehi's lineup and their pitching staff.

After the Dons held Lehi to another goose egg on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth, they again proceeded to get on base and hit players in during the top of the fifth.

An error allowed Kylie Bufton to stand on first base, then Lindsay Healy followed with a single to left center, which was turned into a pair of bases by a bobble on fielding play. After the run scored, the Dons recorded their first out before Ferguson followed up her long ball with a walk. Chappel picked up a single to left center, scoring two and taking second on a throw home.

Then it was homer time as Elliott and Holm smacked a pair of long balls over the center field fence in consecutive at bats. After the inning, the Dons held onto an 8-0 lead and plenty of confidence they could finish it out.

"I think this was Deven (Baum's) best game of the year. She was hitting her spots tonight and really had her change-up working," said Andrews, who was happy with his pitching, but noted that he thought his team should have held the Pioneers scoreless without the miscues they suffered.

Marci Gray singled to get on base for the Pioneers in the sixth, then a pair of errors gave Lehi a pair of runs. They added another run in the seventh, again the product of some iffy defensive play.

Singles by Ashley Zimmerman and Annie Nielsen were followed by a missed tag on an attempted rundown between third and home after Morgan Peck hit into what should have been a fielder's choice. Zimmerman later crossed the plate because of the error.

"I'll tell you what we're going to be doing next practice, and that's practicing rundowns," concluded Andrews.

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