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6A playoffs: Strasburg no-hits Corner Canyon again as Weber softball advances in playoffs

By Bob Judson - | May 16, 2022

PLEASANT VIEW — Whether Weber High softball catcher Ellie Nielson noticed or not, it was uncomfortably warm on a sun-baked dirt infield Monday as she knelt down again to receive another pitch from sophomore ace pitcher Kendall Strasburg.

“I don’t let the heat affect me really; it was pretty hot, but I felt like I pushed through it,” Nielson said. “It helps when I know Kendall can throw strikes and I don’t have to be moving too much — I’m confident in my pitcher.”

Nielson had reason to be confident, as Strasburg pitched her second no-hitter in three days, and the No. 10 Warriors also run-ruled No. 23 Corner Canyon for the second straight game, advancing to the 6A super regional round via a 16-1 onslaught in four innings.

It’s pretty cool to not have to pitch seven innings either game; it’s really relaxing,” Strasburg said. “I don’t think about it; I just go out there and do my thing.”

Strasburg’s gem Saturday was a perfect game, and she got that out of the way early Monday, walking the first batter she faced. She walked three overall and yielded an unearned run in the first inning and that was it.

“I struggled at first. The umpire’s strike zone was pretty tight, but I was able to adjust and found my groove towards the middle of the first inning,” Strasburg said. “Me being loose, I was throwing the ball, knowing I can hit my spots. And Ellie behind the plate–she’s a wall. She puts up a good target. I trust her.”

After the first inning, it simply became a game of pitch and catch, as Strasburg struck out the side in the second, third and fourth innings in an amazing, dominant performance.

“I talked to my coach about location. Throw the pitches that were working for me,” Strasburg added.

Corner Canyon (4-18) scored the initial run, but Weber (15-10) had quickly tied it in the bottom of the first, when Nielson came to bat with the bases loaded and no outs.

She blooped a three-run double to centerfield, Weber batted around and led 7-1 after one inning.

“Wait on the ball; I get easily distracted, so I had to dial in and ignore the crowd and just drive it,” Nielson said. “I know my team’s got my back, so I feel confident, especially when the dugout is so loud. I feel like I can hit.”

Nielson hit 4 for4 with five RBI’s, including an unusual walk-off footnote in the bottom of the fourth inning.

A walk-off hit generally occurs during a close game in the bottom half of the last inning. Nielson got credit for her walk-off single up the middle, scoring a run that invoked the mercy rule with the huge lead in the fourth.

“It felt pretty good, to know everyone was excited and we won. I’m just glad it happened today,” Nielson said.

On any other day, Weber third baseman Hadley Howell might have been the story with a grand slam, but it came in the third inning with the Warriors already up 10-0, in the process of batting around for the second time in three innings.

Still, Howell had a remarkable day, with fours across the board on runs, hits and RBIs.

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