SPANISH FORK The Spanish Fork Dons might need a few innings to figure out what an opposing pitcher is throwing at them, but once they do, the outfield is usually going to get some exercise.
And that is exactly what happened in the Dons first-round game against Layton Tuesday in the third inning.
It all started with Kylee Brinkerhoff's hit in the bottom of the third with no outs and no score. She moved to second on a passed ball and then Tina Ferguson his a hard grounder that was missed by the shortstop and went into the outfield allowing Brinkerhoff to score. The next batter grounded out, but shortstop Katelyn Elliott hit one that scored Ferguson. Next up, one of the Dons most reliable hitters, third baseman Whitney Holm, who is mulling scholarship offers from both Dixie and Utah.
She hit it over the centerfield fence. Two batters later, Aly Tingey, a junior, smacked it over the fence in right centerfield.
"After we go through the line-up we seem to do a little better hitting the ball," said Holm; and then she adds, "Hopefully."
The team offered a fairly dominating performance against a tough pitcher in senior Sheila Adams, although coach Don Adams said they swung at a lot of pitches they don't normally take.
"We could have swung at a lot better pitches," he said. "Sheila Adams is a good pitcher and she can throw a strike any time she wants ... It took us one time through to really understand that we need to swing at the pitches we want and not the ones the pitcher wants you to swing at."
Two fielding errors and one throwing error didn't help the Lancers as the Dons built up momentum in that third inning.
"Spanish Fork is a great team and you can't give them any extra runs," said Layton coach Kelby Miller. "That just opened the door for them."
Miller expects his team to bounce back in Thursday's second round game, in which they'll face Alta.
"We're senior loaded and they're used to fighting back, so hopefully they'll be ready to go Thursday," he said.
Andrews and the Dons know all about shaking off a painful loss as they did it themselves this week. Last Friday the Dons lost a non-region contest to 4A's second-ranked Springville.
"Defensively we struggled a little," said Holm. "But I watched the game on TV and it wasn't half as bad watching it, as it was playing in it."
Tingey and Brinkerhoff said the Dons were trying to hard to be intense, they may have wound themselves just a little too tightly in the last couple of weeks."We're bringing the team that we started with," said Tingey. Adds Brinkerhoff, "We're seeing the ball really well right now."