Michael Brandy, Deseret News
Alta High's softball team celebrates after beating Jordan on Thursday.

SANDY — The first time Alta pitcher Jamie Burnside faced Jordan this year, she suffered an embarrassing defeat.

She allowed seven runs in the seventh inning, squandered a four-run lead, and had to watch her neighborhood rivals celebrate on her home diamond.

She wasn't about to let it happen again.

Burnside threw a complete game, scattering six hits and striking out six in the Hawks' 4-0 win over the Beetdiggers on Thursday afternoon. The victory clinched a berth in the state tournament for Alta, and it eliminated Jordan from postseason contention.

The redemption, as well as knowing she'll be playing in the state tournament next week, put a huge smile on Burnside's face following the Hawks' victory.

"We just wanted revenge," Burnside said. "We wanted to get back what we really deserved."

Burnside rebounded nicely from Alta's 8-5 loss to Jordan on April 21. Hawks coach Tiffani Airmet said she considered starting a different pitcher in Thursday's game and having Burnside come on in relief. But she instead put the ball in the hand of her junior, and Burnside responded.

"I'm really proud of Jamie," Airmet said.

Burnside came through in a couple of tough situations. Jordan loaded the bases with two outs in the first before Burnside ended the threat with a strikeout. In the sixth, the Beetdiggers got two runners on base with no outs, but Burnside again didn't allow any runners to cross the plate.

The Region 2 elimination game actually began on Wednesday, as the Hawks took a 1-0 lead in the first inning before the contest was washed out by rain. Collette Crystal got the game's momentum on Alta's side early, as she led off with a triple and then scored.

Crystal was back at it on Thursday. She hit a lead-off single in the fifth and later stole home to score. She acknowledged that her motivation was not only to qualify for the state tournament but to also avenge the team's previous loss to the Beetdiggers. When she scored her second run of the game, she knew not to take anything for granted against Jordan.

"We definitely remember what they did the last time we played them," Crystal said. "We just tried to take it one pitch at a time, one out at a time."

All of the Hawks made contributions to Thursday's win. Alex Bickmore, who made some great defensive plays at catcher, singled in the fifth to move Crystal over. Megan Hoching had an RBI single in the fifth, and Rylee Johansen singled and scored on a passed ball.

"It was a great team effort," Airmet said.

Alta will learn its postseason fate today with a coin flip after the Hawks finished in a tie for second place with Brighton in Region 2. A coin flip will determine which team gets to host a tournament game as a No. 2 seed, and which one will have to travel as a No. 3 seed.


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