5A playoffs: DeGroot’s pitching, Summers’ hitting lead Bonneville softball to 1st-round series win over Murray
WASHINGTON TERRACE — Forty-five years ago, a science fiction television series portrayed a $6 million man who had his body rebuilt with robotic parts that gave him superhuman strength.
While the gender may have changed and the price certainly has gone up ($37 million in 2021 dollars), Bonneville High senior starting softball pitcher Emmaline DeGroot put her bionic right arm on display Monday against Murray.
DeGroot had pitched a five-inning, complete-game victory against the same Murray team on Saturday and returned to the circle on Monday to close out the Spartans in a first-round, 5A softball tournament series.
No. 15 Bonneville advanced to the second round of the playoffs by knocking out No. 18 Murray, 13-3, sweeping the two games by identical scores.
“Sometimes it’s pretty difficult, but today I felt really good and I was super excited because I get to continue my dream of playing softball, which is amazing,” DeGroot said. “I think it’s just the adrenaline, because I love playing. I feel like I could go 20 more right now.”
First baseman Peighton Summers already had four hits in the game when Murray intentionally walked DeGroot to get to her, loading the bases in the bottom of the sixth inning, with the Lakers up 12-3.
Summers promptly rapped what was ruled an RBI single, which rolled to the wall and would have cleared the bases, but for the 10-run mercy rule which kicked in when Bonneville got to 13.
“I was thinking, what are they doing. I’ve been on fire this whole game,” Summers said. “Okay, just get a base hit and score the runner from third; that’s all I’ve got to do, and that’s how we win.”
She finished the awesome afternoon with five hits, two runs scored and five RBIs.
“They pitched the same pitcher as Saturday, and she tries to get ahead in the count, so be aggressive, attack early and get that base hit, and score those runners. That’s my thing,” Summers said.
Murray (9-11) cut Bonneville’s lead to 2-1 in the top of the fourth inning, before the Lakers (10-9) responded with a seven-run bottom half. Nine straight Laker batters reached base before Murray recorded an out.
“When they score a run, now we have to get it back; double it. Triple it,” Summers said. “I feel like if my teammate gets on, I get on. I’ve got to get on so my team can score me.”
Bonneville banged out 15 hits, with Stocktyn Stevenson, Brityn Buchanan, DeGroot, Mylee Pedersen and Annie Stevenson all notching two apiece.
DeGroot pitched the six-inning complete game, scattering nine hits, while striking out three and walking one.
“I trust my defense more than anything, so if I can get a ground ball, I feel like I’ve been successful,” DeGroot said.
The victory capped off an eventful day for DeGroot, who earlier Monday morning was awarded the “Gold Watch” at a school assembly, emblematic of the “outstanding female athlete of the year.” She is a four-time academic all-state performer for the Lakers.
Bonneville’s second-round playoff series begins with the first of a three-game series on Thursday at 4 p.m. It will be on the road against, as of publication time, a to-be-determined opponent.