What the Bobcats lack in power, they more than make up for in speed, and that can be a lethal weapon in high school softball.
Just ask the Grizzlies.
Sky View wreaked havoc on the base paths with its collective team speed and also had enough well-hit balls to keep Logan’s defense off-balance en route to a 15-5 victory in the Grizzlies’ home opener Tuesday afternoon.
The Bobcats (3-2, 2-1 Region 5) have five girls who bat left in their starting lineup, which makes it even more difficult for a defensive player to make a throw in time. It showed Tuesday as the Grizzlies (4-4, 0-2) committed eight errors.
“When you have to move in three or four feet, it just makes it tough (for a defense),” SV head coach Shane Jones said. “... I think it definitely makes it possible for some of our base hits to get through later on when (the defense) has to play in.”
Logan was in good position to record a handful of outs, but rushed some throws and bobbled some groundballs in trying to contend with Sky View’s speed on the base paths. Ultimately, that was the biggest difference in the game.
“I think a lot of (our errors) came to just rushing,” LHS head coach Tasha Chadaz said. “They wanted to make the throw before they were making sure they fielded it cleanly.”
Conversely, the Bobcats fielded the ball extremely well for the first five innings. Sky View did commit three errors in the final two innings, including two in Logan’s three-run sixth inning, but the visitors were comfortably ahead at the time.
“Logan’s got some good young girls that (make it so) you have to play hard every inning, and if you don’t that’s what could have happened the whole game, so I’m glad it was late in the game when we kind of decided to take a few pitches off (defensively),” Jones said.
The Grizzlies scored first in this intra-valley rivalry when Hannah Anderson drove in Enjoli Erickson with a single in the bottom of the second.
Logan’s lead was short-lived, though. Sky View answered back with three runs on three hits and a Grizzly error in the top of the third to take the lead for good. The inning was highlighted by Makenna Grow’s line drive of a two-RBI double to center.
The Bobcats scored 12 of their runs over the final three innings to keep the Grizzlies at bay. Kendra Falslev had a two-run single for Sky View in the fifth inning, and two more Bobcats scored in the seventh on a Falslev groundout, coupled with a Grizzly throwing error.
Speedy freshman Takeisha “Bug” Saltern finished with three hits, three runs and two stolen bases from her lead-off spot for Sky View, while fellow freshman Daisy Karren (two stolen bases) and Marquis Beorchia (two runs) each had a pair of base knocks.
Jade McKendrick plated four runs, Grow and Falslev combined to drive in seven runs, and Karren and Dakota Green had two RBIs apiece for the Bobcats, who stole six bases in the game.
Logan stole a trio of bases, including home plate twice on double steal attempts, but Grow, Sky View’s catcher, also gunned out a trio of Grizzlies at second.
“Well, anytime I can throw anyone out, I love it; it’s my favorite thing,” Grow said. “And I haven’t had any this year (prior to Tuesday), so it’s good to come into this game and get a whole bunch right off the bat.”
Erickson paced Logan’s offensive attack with two hits and two runs. Erickson and Annika Fjeldsted both doubled for the hosts. Karlee Behm absolutely crushed a pitch in the sixth inning, but pulled what would have been a sure home run foul.
“Our hitting, I was actually pleased with and the base running, for the most part, we did well with,” Chadaz said. “... We put runs on the board and we’ve got to do that, and it just comes back to if we’re going to (get the job done) offensively we’ve got to turn around and be solid defensively.”
Despite scattering eight hits, Green was rock solid in the circle for the Bobcats. The sophomore went the distance, striking out nine and only walking one.
Mustangs 5, Royals 1
Jordan Smith threw a complete-game one-hitter and Mountain Crest (3-3, 2-1) racked up 11 hits en route to a satisfying road victory over the defending 4A champions.
Smith, who fanned nine, issued a whopping 10 free passes, but certainly found her control when she needed to.
“I was very proud of Jordan for staying on top of things, and she battled when things got a little bit tough,” MC head coach Mike Anderson said. “And our defense backed her up and did really well, and it was good for us to beat Roy. ... That was a good win for us.”
Smith also helped her own cause by hitting a two-run single in the second inning. Jori Hansen lined a two-RBI home run to left-center — “it was hit as hard as you can hit it,” Anderson said — in the fourth inning, and Ashlee Murray drove in the Mustangs’ other run with a fourth-inning two-bagger.
Tessa Sorensen had three hits, including a double, while Murray and Hannah Branch had two hits apiece for Mountain Crest, which also got a double from McKenzie Anderson.
“It was good to see 11 hits come out of that (game), so we’re headed in the right direction,” coach Anderson said.