6A playoffs: Weber softball nips Farmington in Game 1 of playoff series
FARMINGTON — In its three games against Farmington High this year, Weber softball has scored four runs each time.
Twice during the Region 1 schedule, four was not nearly enough as the Phoenix swept the season series.
But on Thursday, Weber ace pitcher Kendall Strasburg spun her magic web and the Warriors took game one of a best-of-three, “super regional” playoff series in the 6A state tournament, nipping the Phoenix 4-3.
“The first time we played them, I wasn’t really focused. I was too loose, not caring, but today I dialed down,” Strasburg said.
Things looked like a repeat of the season series early on when Lexi Crowley lined an opposite-field home run to right, giving the Phoenix a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
But Weber (16-10) took the lead for good in the top of the third, 2-1, capitalizing on two Farmington errors.
“It really took the stress off of me, knowing that we could score on her (Phoenix pitcher Delaney Baker) and get a lead,” Strasburg said. “I thought we would need a little bit more (than four runs), but we held them so it worked out.”
Weber added a run in the fourth on an RBI single by Strasburg, then added what proved to be the winning run on a base hit by Kennedie Johnson in the fifth to make it 4-1.
Farmington put stress back on Strasburg in the sixth, opening with four straight singles — Nev Carrasquel’s hit closed it to 4-2 — but Strasburg struck out two of the next three batters and Weber clung to a 4-3 edge.
“I focused on (catcher) Ellie’s (Nielsen) glove, hit my spots and knew my defense will back me,” Strasburg said.
Weber’s sophomore right-hander didn’t fool the Phoenix, yielding nine hits, but she struck out seven and only walked one in the complete-game victory.
Shortstop Olivia Boswell had an unusual game for the Warriors, reaching base four times without getting a hit and scoring two runs.
The sophomore left-handed batter used her speed on the bases to force three Farmington errors and drew a walk in her other time up to the dish.
“With my speed, I think it does put pressure on the defense because they see me running and think they have to get rid of (the ball) fast and that leads to bobbles,” Boswell said. “My job as a slapper is to get contact and just run; that’s what I was focused on today. Coach always tells me, get it in play and something good will happen.”
Farmington (15-8) had scored 21 runs in the previous two matchups with Weber, but the Warriors were anxious for another shot at the Phoenix.
“We were really ready and hungry for this game,” Boswell said. “We actually meditated for about 15 minutes today and visualized the game. We knew we didn’t play our best in those games and were eager to put it out there today.”
The Phoenix, on the other hand, was a little disjointed Thursday, committing four errors in the field.
“We just didn’t hit well today; didn’t play very clean ball and it just caught up to us,” Farmington coach Jasey Fatongia said.
Game 2 of the series is Friday at Farmington. Game 3, if it becomes necessary, follows right after.