DRAPER — If there is one thing the Bear River Bears know how to do, it is how to win big games against quality teams in the postseason.
The five-time defending 3A state champions continued their clutch and winning ways Saturday with a 3-0 victory over Pine View.
"I've heard Pine View is a really good team, so I just had to scout them a little bit and know how to throw to them, so I just had to keep throwing," senior pitcher Jordan Theurer said.
Theurer was impressive in the circle as she pitched a complete-game shutout, fanned 11 Panthers batters and only walked one in the process.
"She did exceptional. She hasn't been playing for a little bit because her arm was bothering her a little bit, so we held her out for about a week and a half and she pitched a great game for us," said head coach Calvin Bingham.
Theurer and the Bears kept the Panthers' bats fairly quiet until they could finally make some noise. They had been struggling offensively all day and played small ball to pick up the first-round victory.
Bear River started off the second inning with a huge double from Sierra Detwiler — who went 2-for-3 for the game to lead the Bears — which Carleen Hunsaker followed with a shallow RBI-single to left-center field to put the Bears up on the board.
While clinging on to its one-run lead, the Bears were able to get one more run across the plate in the fifth inning. After the first two batters flew out, junior Erin Fox stepped up to the plate and cracked a double to deep center field, giving the Bears a runner in scoring position. Two wild pitches later, Fox found herself crossing the plate and extending the Bears' lead.
After quickly retiring the side while giving up just one hit in the sixth inning, Bear River wasn't quite finished offensively. Once again, Detwiler opened the inning with a line-drive single, only to be replaced by pinch-runner Taylor Scoffield.
McKayla King then laid down a bunt — which Pine View threw to first instead of trying to get the lead runner at second — so Scoffield channeled her inner Usain Bolt and rounded second heading straight for third.
After watching Pine View's throw soar over the third baseman's head, Scoffield jogged home and touched home plate to put the Bears up 3-0 and seal the deal.
"I didn't wave her from second to third, but I sent her home from third because I could see the throw was going over third's head. And quite frankly, if they would have made a good throw, she would have probably been out. We try to teach them to be aggressive, and you know, you lose some that way and you win some," Bingham added.
"This win really helps our confidence a lot. We have kind of been on a downward motion the last couple of games, so this game really helped us up a bit," added Theurer.
With the win, Bear River advances to the second round of the 3A playoffs where it will take on Juan Diego.
Ryan Love was born and raised in Holladay, Utah, and is a full-time student at the University of Utah, studying communications. He became a part-time employee for the Deseret News in October 2012. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org