GRANTSVILLE, Tooele County — Sophomore Saige Okerlund hit a three-run home run as South Sevier cruised past American Leadership 12-1 in five innings in the first round of the Class 3A state softball tournament on Saturday.
“It was just right down the middle and I hit it,” Okerlund said.
The left fielder went 2-for-3 in the game with four RBIs. Her homer in the fourth inning was part of a four-run exclamation point that put the Rams into the second round.
“We tell her, ‘Don’t even think, just go into the box and hit,’ and she’s had a few big ones for us,” South Sevier head coach Lynne Wayman said of Okerlund. “It’s nice to have some girls with resiliency, because we’ve had a couple rough games. They just fight, and it’s good to watch them fight.”
South Sevier plated three runs in the first inning. Cleanup hitter Savannah Hansen hit a double over the second baseman’s head to score Mattie Blackburn from second. Hansen stole third base and scored on an errant throw that made its way up the left-field line. Catcher Kelcie Peterson drew a walk two batters later and scored on Brookell Brindley’s double.
“It just puts us ahead and puts us in a good spot and makes us be positive for the next game instead of down,” Okerlund said. “I think we can do it if we put our minds to it.”
After a five-run third inning, Darci Wagner led off the fourth with a triple to the center-field fence. The center fielder scored on Peterson’s double in the next at bat before Okerlund’s three-run shot that made it 12-1.
Blackburn went 3-for-3 with two runs. Peterson had a pair of doubles and a walk with three runs scored. Brindley went 2-for-2 with two runs.
Hansen had seven strikeouts in five innings from the circle, allowing four hits and walking one.
The Rams will next face Region 13 champion Grantsville, a team that went 19-5 this season before beating Providence Hall 10-0 via the mercy rule in the game prior to South Sevier’s win on Saturday in the first round of the playoffs.
“I’m excited,” Wayman said about Thursday’s second-round matchup. “It’s fun to play good teams, and Grantsville’s awesome.”
Tavin Stucki has covered prep sports in Utah for more than nine years.