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    High school softball: Spanish Fork survives Box Elder’s upset bid, Springville rolls on in 5A tournament

    By James Edward,

    26 days ago
    Spanish Fork High School, shown here in a game earlier this season, rallied to a big win over Box Elder on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in the 5A state tournament. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

    Three-time defending state champs Spanish Fork found itself in a tough spot down four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning during Tuesday’s 5A state tournament winners bracket game against Box Elder.

    Turns out, a four-run lead wasn’t big enough for the Bees.

    Top seed Spanish Fork rallied with five runs in the seventh to escape with a 10-9 win over Box Elder at Valley Regional Complex in Taylorsville.

    Emrie Pintar tied the game at 9-9 with a sacrifice fly, and then a throwing error at third base allowed the winning run to score.

    “I couldn’t be prouder of this team and this fight. I think my senior leaders had no doubt and I think that is what was so special to me, is you could see in their eyes and what they said to other girls, they were so confident in our team’s ability,” said coach Natalie Jarvis.

    Spanish Fork will return to Valley Regional Complex on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. against the winner of the morning game between Box Elder and West Jordan. A win sends the Dons to a fourth straight championship series.

    Box Elder did most of its damage with six runs in the fifth inning, but then added what appeared to be two more insurance runs in the seventh.

    Three different Box Elder players pitched in the seventh as it scrambled to get outs. Tatum Hall and Jade Romero got things going for Spanish Fork in the seventh, and both were outstanding all game. Hall went 3 for 4 with three doubles and three RBIs — including one of each in the seventh.

    Romero went 3 for 4 with three runs scored.

    In the other side of the 5A state tournament bracket, Springville didn’t have to sweat nearly as much to remain as the only unbeaten. It beat Bountiful 8-5 for its second win on Tuesday.

    “I just really liked our mindset. We talked a lot about any good state tournament run, there’s gonna be some adversity and I felt like they responded to that adversity better than they’ve done in the past, and they didn’t it get to them where they’d roll over. They pushed forward,” said Springville coach Jill Thackeray.

    Springville jumped out first with two runs in the bottom of the first, but Bountiful quickly responded with three in the second. No problem for the Red Devils, who put up a five spot in the second inning to grab a lead it never relinquished.

    Allyx Haveron ripped a three-run homer in the decisive second inning to straight away center as she finished the game going 3 for 3. Ryann Haveron also went 3 for 3 with two RBIs.

    She also earned the win on the mound with six strikeouts.

    “We’ve said all along that if we’re going to win ball games we got to put a ball in play, and eight runs is (a) pretty good spot to be in specially against their pitcher,” said Thackeray.

    Here’s a recap of all eight 5A state tournament games on Tuesday.

    5A Bracket Play

    Spanish Fork 5, West Jordan 2

    Top seed Spanish Fork overcame some fielding issues and an early 2-0 deficit to rally past No. 8 seed West Jordan for the 5A state tournament victory at the Valley Complex to remain in the winners bracket. Lucy Evans struck out nine to earn the win for the Dons, who scored a run in fifth straight innings to methodically pull away from the Jaguars.

    Bountiful 4, Salem Hills 0

    Ella Miller struck out 16 batters over seven innings, and only allowed three hits in earning the complete-game shutout victory as No. 3 Bountiful took care of business against No. 6 Salem Hills to advance and stay in the winners bracket of the 5A state tournament. Athena Tongaonevai did most of the damage at the plate for the Redhawks as she went 2 for 3 with a home run and four RBIs.

    Springville 11, Olympus 2

    No. 2 Springville rolled past No. 10 seed Olympus in the opening game of 5A state tournament bracket play. The game was delayed 30 minutes in the fifth inning after an umpire got hit in the face with a foul ball and had to be taken away in an ambulance. Ryann Haveron overpowered the Olympus lineup as she earned the victory with 18 strikeouts. Springville leadoff hitter Tyler Haveron went 2 for 4 with a pair of singles and three RBIs in the win.

    Box Elder 4, Taylorsville 3

    Alexis Hales went 2 for 3 with a double and home run, and then teammate Justy Pritchard also added three RBIs and a home run as fourth-seeded Box Elder narrowly beat No. 5 seed Taylorsville in the opening game of the 5A state tournament bracket play on Tuesday. Kennadie Blackner struck out six to earn the win for the Bees, who jumped out quick with three runs in the first inning and never trailed.

    Salem Hills 18, Olympus 2

    Keyana Murray struck out six in four innings as No. 6 seed Salem Hills trounced No. 10 seed Olympus in a 5A elimination game in the state tournament. The Skyhawks jumped out quick with nine runs in the first inning and never looked back.

    West Jordan 10, Taylorsville 3

    Andrea Tagovailoa homered twice and drove in five runs, while Isabella Knight and Rita Tavita also hit home runs as West Jordan pulled away from Taylorsville with two runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth to prevail in the 5A elimination game at Valley Complex.

    Spanish Fork 10, Box Elder 9

    Top seed Spanish Fork scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally past No. 4 seed Box Elder in a winners bracket game at the 5A state tournament. Emrie Pintar drove in the tying run on a sac fly to centerfield, and then the winning run was scored on the resulting throwing error from the Bees. Tatum Hall had an outstanding game at the plat, going 3 for 4 with three doubles and three RBIs, while Jade Romero went 3 for 4 with three runs scored.

    Springville 8, Bountiful 5

    Allyx Haveron ripped a three-run homer in the second inning, part of a five-run inning for No. 2 Springville as it beat No. 3 Bountiful in a winners bracket game at Valley Complex. Ryann Haveron spun it well on the mound for the Red Devils, striking out six and only allowing five runs. At the plate, she went 3 for 3 with two RBIs, while Allyx Haveron also went 3 for 3.

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