We’ve had games where we had one big inning and then we let other teams stay in it. We made some progress today and got a big break. —Roy coach Stephanie Mark

MURRAY — Maysa Averett has had a fine season pitching for the Roy Royals. In the team’s 5A state tournament opener, she was stellar.

She couldn’t take all of the credit, however. Averett gave up just three hits and struck out three, but her teammates played almost perfectly as Roy handled the Murray Spartans 11-1 on a sunny Tuesday afternoon.

“She was consistent. That was our goal today, and we had a great all-around game,” said Roy coach Stephanie Mark. “Everybody did their job.”

The Royals’ good fortune started right away. They opened the top half of the first inning with three runs and were never threatened. Murray sneaked across a single run in the fourth inning, but Roy put the game away in the sixth, taking advantage of a pair of Spartan errors.

“We’ve had games where we had one big inning and then we let other teams stay in it,” Mark said. “We made some progress today and got a big break.”

With the win, the third-seeded Royals face a tougher task in Thursday’s winners bracket quarterfinal at Maple Mountain, a No. 1 seed that defeated Brighton 12-2. Murray, meanwhile, will take on the Bengals in a loser-out contest, and both of those teams face the task of having to win seven consecutive games to have a chance to win the championship on May 24.

“This wasn’t our game,” said Murray coach Danielle McKay. “The girls know it. We lost all three facets.”

The Spartans came in having won seven of their last eight games and averaged almost 15 runs per contest. Sydnie Monson was the only player to cross the plate, and that came after she was tagged out on a close play, but the call was later reversed.

“We knew they were a good-hitting team,” said Mark. “We had to make the plays, and we did. They had a couple of good, strong hits, but that’s it.”

Roy had 10 hits off Murray sophomore Kelle Baer, but only led 4-1 before Alicia Andrade keyed the Royals’ final outburst, which tied for the most runs the team had scored all season, and the 10-run lead prevented the teams from needing to play the final inning.

Bruce Smith grew up in Boise and is a longtime newspaper sports writer. He writes primarily high school sports articles for the Deseret News.