MURRAY With her team mired in a mini hitting slump, Murray softball coach Lisa Parker took proactive measures to fix the problem the day before the opening round of the 4A state tournament.
She asked former Murray pitcher Brittany Parker, also her daughter and a freshman on the University of Utah softball team, to come pitch batting practice on Monday. It was exactly what the Spartans needed.
Murray's bats came out popping Tuesday as the Spartans racked up five runs in the first inning en route to a convincing 7-0 victory over Sky View.
"I was really proud of them coming out and hitting in the very first inning, that was huge for us because we've been slacking a bit the last three games," said Lisa Parker.
Murray tacked on addition runs in both the second and seventh inning, but the damage was done in the first inning and sophomore pitcher Jackie Cooley made it stand up. She foiled Sky View's hopes for an upset bid with five strikeouts in the complete game, shutout victory.
"I thought she did a wonderful job, we've been going back and forth between she and a freshman, Taylor Gallegos, as far as who's been pitching," said Parker. "Jackie's been looking very strong. The first inning was key for her to build her confidence a little bit."
After setting the Bobcats down in order in the top of the first inning, Cooley's confidence spilled over to the plate as she stroked one of Murray's two first inning doubles as four of Murray's first five batters reach base. Already leading 3-0 in that opening inning, Murray scored two more runs capitalize on two Sky View errors to realistically put the game out of reach.
Cooley finished the game going 2 for 4 from the plate, as did Cierra Nordin. Freshman lead-off hitter Tanisha Anderson finished with three singles in addition to opening the game with a lead-off walk.
With the victory, Murray advances to the Thursday's second round of the state tournament where it will host Roy, which beat Payson, at 3 p.m.After going down in order in the first two innings, Sky View had numerous runners reach base over the last five innings. The Bobcats, however, stranded two runners on base in the third, fourth and seventh innings as Cooley always seemed to come up with the big out when she needed it.