We hit well, the pitching was great and things just really went our way. —Lisa Parker, Murray coach

MURRAY — The Murray softball team announced its intention to win the 4A state championship loud and clear — defeating Mountain Crest 12-1 in a five-inning game.

Most of the announcing was done during the third inning, which saw the Spartans score nine runs in the inning alone. Elise Johnson punctuated the overall effort with a three-run home run over the right-field fence. Kayla Durfey followed up with an RBI double, and Echo Lee capped off the inning with a two-run double.

"We just seemed to get it together during that inning and hit the ball really well," said coach Lisa Parker. "We saw some spaces and Elise's home run obviously helped a lot too. That was obviously a big inning for us."

Johnson didn't just do her damage from the plate, but from the circle as well — shutting down the Mustang bats, along with Durfey who came on in relief work. The two combined to give up just a single run in five innings of work.

Murray has been a bit up and down this season according to Parker, so starting off its state playoff run with such an emphatic statement-win was well welcomed.

"The kids really came out ready to play, so that was nice," said Parker. "We hit well, the pitching was great and things just really went our way. I was very happy with our overall effort today."

Murray moves on to the second round with a lot of confidence based on its opening round performance.

"We've been a bit inconsistent, so today was a good indication that we can come out ready to play and hopefully we can keep that going," said Parker. "If today is any indication we should be alright."

Email: bgurney@desnews.com