The last two or three weeks our girls have really started to tee-off on the ball, so I was confident we could get it back, but wow, it happened real fast, which was great. —Bear River coach Calvin Bingham
SPANISH FORK — The Bear River girls softball team shook off a nearly two-hour weather delay on Friday with some big power from the plate and a brilliant pitching performance by Kapri Toone. The result was an 8-4 win over Cedar to remain the last team in the no-loss bracket heading into Saturday's final day of competition in the 4A state playoffs.
As well as Toone finished out, the start didn't exactly go her way.
Cedar's lead proved short-lived, however, as the Bears answered with a couple of homers of their own to take back the lead at 4-2 after one inning played. Ashley Hess smacked a three-run homer over the center field fence before Oaklee Trapp topped it off with a solo home run over the right-field fence.
"It made me real nervous seeing what Cedar did to leadoff, but our girls really responded," said Bear River coach Calvin Bingham. "The last two or three weeks our girls have really started to tee-off on the ball, so I was confident we could get it back, but wow, it happened real fast, which was great."
The home runs didn't stop in the second inning, this time with Taylor Fox hitting a grand slam to give the Bears a commanding 8-2 lead and chase Cedar's starting pitcher from the game.
The rain came shortly after Fox's home run, lasting far too long for Bingham and just about everyone else.
"There's been way too many in this tournament and it gives you a lot to worry about," Bingham said. "The ball might be too wet, the field — you just don't know how things will change. Fortunately our girls came out of the delay well and were able to close it out."
Doing as much wasn't easy, however, with the Bears leaving far too many runners in scoring condition for Bingham's liking, while Cedar put two more runs on the board in the top of the fifth to cut the lead to 8-4. Those two runs came by virtue of fielding miscues and otherwise, as Toone remained solid from the pitching circle.
"I worry about some things all the time, but I never worry about her," Bingham said of Toone. "I wish everyone had her drive and motivation. It would make it easier on me, that's for sure. She was great today and that's how she almost always is for us."
As mentioned, Bear River enters the final day of the double-elimination tournament as the final team with no losses. The Bears will now have a chance to repeat as champions, taking on either Spanish Fork or Cedar, both of whom are left in the one-loss bracket. The final day of play will be Saturday.
"It's where you want to be, although crazy things can certainly happen on that final day," Bingham said. "Both Spanish Fork and Cedar are great teams and we'll have to be at our best if we hope to beat either of them."