The hitters came to play today. Swung the bats really well. We had a good day at practice yesterday and came out to play today, did a good job of it. —Bountiful head coach Warren Latey
TAYLORSVILLE — Huge first, second and fifth innings paved the way for Bountiful in a 16-6 blowout against West in the 5A softball quarterfinals on Tuesday afternoon at Valley Softball Complex.
The Braves scored four runs in the first inning, seven runs in the third inning and five runs in the fifth inning to advance to the semifinals.
“The hitters came to play today. Swung the bats really well. We had a good day at practice yesterday and came out to play today, did a good job of it,” Bountiful head coach Warren Latey said.
Sophia Stoddard got the scoring started for Bountiful with a three-run, two-out home run to center field. An RBI single by Shambre Maestas increased the lead to four. The Braves piled on in the second inning, with a two-run shot from Dashani Purcell, an RBI single by Maestas and a score on an error. A two-run double and a run on an error by Libbie Hawker made it 11-0 after two innings.
“I think it was straight momentum. They’ve been waiting for this. We played Box Elder three times and they always rank them ahead of us, so we thought, well this is the time to do it,” Latey said.
West would come back with a six-run third inning. The first run was scored on an error, followed by a two-run single from Huntyr Ava and then a run on a fielder’s choice made it 11-5. A two-run homer from Josie Vaenuku would close the deficit to five runs, but that was as close as the Panthers would get.
Latey was pleased with the performance of starting pitcher McHailee Danner.
“She threw pretty well. She wasn’t sure she wanted to stay out there, but I said, ‘Hey, let’s get this nine hitter, if we get her out, we’ll just stay with it,’ and we were all right. The hitting just took over today,” Latey said.
Neither team would score in the fourth inning, but Bountiful put away the game in the fifth. A three-run home run from Purcell and a two-run round-tripper by Stoddard ended the contest in the fifth inning.
“Dashani, that was her 17th and 18th (home run), so she’s had a pretty good year. The other, (Stoddard), I think that was her fifth and sixth. She’s hitting the ball well, she sees the ball well and really swung well today,” Latey said.
Bountiful will now have to wait until Wednesday morning to learn who its opponent will be in the semifinals. The Braves will play the winner of Maple Mountain and Box Elder, which was suspended in the bottom of the fifth inning due to rain. Box Elder is leading 9-5 in the contest, which will be resumed Wednesday at 10 a.m., then the semifinal game will be played at 3 p.m. Both games will be played at Valley Softball Complex.
“They were excited. They are excited to go. It was fun,” Latey said.