Bears are three games from title

May 17 2013 - 11:43pm


ST. GEORGE -- Can the Bears pull it off and win three games today?

If Region 11 co-champion Bear River is to capture its sixth consecutive state 3-A softball title -- extending its own record -- the path will be difficult.

"I'm confident they can do it," said Bear River coach Calvin Bingham.

Da Bears came into Friday as one of four unbeaten teams in the 3-A tournament, blanking Region 9 runner-up Canyon View 3-0 in their morning game at The Fields at Little Valley.

Later, Region 11 co-champion Stansbury -- on a 12-game winning streak -- dropped Bear River into the one-loss bracket with a 6-2 victory.

The Stallions' Jocelyn Kaufman smacked a two-out, fifth-inning grand slam over the left-field fence for a 6-0 lead.

The Bears (21-8 overall) scored lone runs in the fifth and sixth.

Freshman Oakli Rhodes went 2-for-3 with a double and a run.

Freshman right-hander Kenzi Summers replaced starter Jordan Theurer, who reaggravated a previous injury to her right forearm, in the sixth inning.

"Jordan's status is up in the air," Bingham said. "She is a really tough competitor, and she may feel like she is good enough to pitch. We'll have to see how Jordan is in the morning. If she can't play, then we'll probably go with Kenzi."

Bingham said he would confer with his assistant coaches and talk with Jordan and her parents before making a decision.

"It's tough when it's her senior year -- Jordan has had such a terrific season -- and to be dealing with such a nagging injury," Bingham said.

The Stallions and Bears split their two league games this year, each team winning on the road. Stansbury won 7-4 on March 22 at Garland and Bear River won 4-1 on April 17 at Stansbury Park.

"We didn't have a lot of strikeouts today, but too many fly outs and pop-ups," Bingham said. "I told the girls that is the second-worst thing other than striking out because you're not advancing base runners.

"I think we have to shorten up our swing and not swing for the fences as much," he said.

In order to get another shot at the Stallions, the Bears must beat state 3-A runner-up Spanish Fork in today's elimination game.

The undefeated Region 12 champion Dons shut out Pine View 11-0 to remain alive in the one-loss bracket.

Bear River blanked Spanish Fork 8-0 in the 2012 state 3-A championship game at Salt Lake Community College after the Dons spanked Da Bears 16-0 in three innings in the first game.

The two teams met during the 2013 preseason with Spanish Fork taking a 4-3 victory on March 16 at the Sunroc Invitational in St. George.

"We were trying different girls in different positions, and we only lost by a run," Bingham said. "You can't look ahead in this one. You lose and it's all over with. We've had trouble all season stringing together consecutive hits."

Theurer allowed five hits with 11 strikeouts and no walks in shutting out Canyon View.

She was 2-for-3 with a triple and an RBI, but Bear River had only three hits versus the Falcons.

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