It (the game) was going our way. It was also about time we got some home runs. —Herriman coach Heidi McKissick
RIVERTON — The Herriman Mustangs and Riverton Silverwolves have both been known for their offenses as the girls' softball season has progressed.
On a warm, blustery afternoon, though, it was primarily the Mustang hitters that found their niche in a 15-4 win Thursday in a Region 3 contest.
Lexi Slade, Sydnee Hoffman, April Visser, Krystal Kemp, Alexi Arredondo and Libby Parkinson had two hits apiece, and Arredondo made a big difference by coaxing an important walk as Herriman claimed the win over their southwest valley rival and moved into sole possession of second place.
“It (the game) was going our way,” said Herriman coach Heidi McKissick, whose team improved to 9-7 overall and 3-1 in region play. “It was also about time we got some home runs.”
McKissick explained that she considers Herriman’s home field to be “spacious,” but the Mustangs got round-trippers on Riverton’s home field from April Visser in the first inning and then Parkinson and Kemp went deep during Herriman’s eight-run third inning that put the game away.
“We had some motivation," said McKissick, noting that the Mustangs lost a thriller to league foe Copper Hills 16-14 Tuesday and then a non-region contest to Bear River 7-3 Wednesday.
“We made some mistakes on defense, but we had our offense this time to break it up.”
Herriman led just 2-1 in the top of the second inning. With one out and bases empty, Riverton pitcher Payton Anderson seemed still in control and had Arredondo facing an 0-2 count. Arredondo, however, chose not to chase the next three pitches and then fouled off five straight before working a base on balls. Hoffman doubled her home and then Slade had an RBI single and the Mustangs grabbed the momentum.
“Their hits found the holes and ours didn’t,” described Riverton coach Katelyn Elliott. “I know my team is a good-hitting team. If we get a few of those hits through (Herriman’s defense), it’s a game-changer.”
That became evident in the next inning and Parkinson and Kemp added to the onslaught with their long-distance hits that may not have left the park at Herriman but cleared Riverton’s chain-link fence.
The Silverwolves (10-6, 2-2) score 20 runs Wednesday and still had a chance to cut into the Herriman lead in the fourth inning but Eryn Williams’s towering fly ball was caught at the centerfield fence by Shalee Jensen.
The Mustangs had runners cross the plate each inning and Parkinson was consistent and had enough defense and good fortune to finish the contest after five innings due to the UHSAA’s 10-run rule. The teams are scheduled to play again in the region finale May 8 at Herriman.
Bruce Smith grew up in Boise, Idaho, and is a longtime newspaper sports writer. He writes primarily high-school sports articles for the Deseret News.