SPRINGVILLE — Following a tough loss to Region 8 foe and undefeated Skyridge the day before, Wasatch coach Doug Kinsman was looking for a quick and positive response on Friday versus Springville. He received as much, with early runs and solid pitching performances providing a resounding 9-1 win on the road to boost his team's confidence while positioning well for the stretch run of Region 8 play.
"We let some things get away from us last game, so I was real happy with how our team responded today," Kinsman said.
Wasatch executed early to put its mark on the game while converting during key situations.
Leading off that superior execution was Andrea Sweat, who came to the plate with two on, but two out in the top of the first inning. Rather than provide an out, the freshman sent a fly ball over the center field fence for an early 3-0 lead.
"That was big for us and man, she almost got one again the next time she was up," Kinsman said. "So yeah, we needed a quick start and we got that with Andrea hitting that first one."
The Wasps didn't let up from there. The top of the sixth inning saw freshman Charley Cluff belt a solo home run to left-center field before junior Riley Arnold hit a two-run homer to center for a commanding 6-0 lead.
"It's so nice to get production from the bottom half (of) the order and we were able to keep good pressure on them," Kinsman said. "Everything came together today, so you love how we did that — bouncing back real well after what happened yesterday."
The pitching was on point as well, with Payge Armendariz starting things off and Arnold finishing things up. Arnold ran into a bit of trouble in the seventh inning, loading the bases with just one out and then issuing a bases-loaded walk, but managed to finish out with two straight strikeouts to end things.Comment on this story
"It was a good effort. Riley has been a real good pitcher for us, and I mixed it up today, but I like how both pitchers responded," Kinsman said. "Riley bouncing back after struggling a bit to get those last two was big, and that's the kind of pitcher she is."
With the win, Wasatch improves to 2-1 in Region 8 play and 11-3 overall, a spot for Kinsman's relatively young team.
"We're depending on a lot of young players, but they're playing real well and like I said, I really like how we responded today," he said. "We're playing in a very tough region, so starting out like we have, even after taking that tough loss to Skyridge — we like how we're playing."