OREM The first time Pleasant Grove and Timpanogos met on the softball diamond in 2008 was a game the Vikings would rather forget.
This time Pleasant Grove set out for revenge, and they wreaked havoc on the Timberwolves with a 9-0 shutout behind the pitching prowess of freshman starter Angie Mikalauski and a great defense.
But this shutout wasn't just any old shutout. The Vikings gave up 21 runs the last time the two teams met and scored 16 themselves on a cold and miserable outing in March. Both teams wanted to come into this contest with a little more defense and a little more solid pitching effort. After the two teams combined to give up 35 hits and recorded a total of 13 errors in their first meeting, the 15 Pleasant Grove hits, three Timpanogos hits and two total errors were much more solid totals for both teams.
Mikalauski started strong for the Vikings in giving up only three hits while keeping the T-Wolves off the bases even more by giving up a grand total of zero walks. "She threw well. But even if you throw the ball hard anymore it doesn't matter with the hitters out there. But today she kept it down, mixed things up with her change-up and kept them guessing a little bit. She's a good pitcher," said Pleasant Grove coach Kale Gillman, who was also happy with his fielding.
The Vikings didn't give up a single error and made some spectacular plays along the way, including a ground-out off of Mikalauski's foot that second baseman Haley Engemann fielded cleanly, throwing the runner out. Engemann also snagged a nice line drive before it could get past her for extra bases.
Third baseman Mekell Miles also knocked down a few hot shots at third base before they could escape the infield.
"We've been putting them through some fielding drills where we put the pressure on them a little bit. There was a time where they'd lose focus in the middle innings, but they didn't do that today. They were moving forward when the ball was pitched," said Gillman.
But it wasn't just pitching and defense that won this game for the Vikings. The young Pleasant Grove squad showed that it has an all-around game when it racked up six doubles in its 15 hits from the batters' box.
Whitney Giles led the team with a double and two singles, picking up a pair of RBIs in the process. Torrey Best and Sammi Dodson each picked up a double, single and an RBI, and Engemann and Cassie Warden each punched a pair of singles while picking up RBIs.
Miles, Mikalauski and Mackenzie Larsen all had doubles for Pleasant Grove as nine different players picked up hits.The Vikings scored at least one run in each inning except for the sixth.
E-mail: [email protected]