State softball: Bonneville thumps Olympus, Tooele before exiting 5A tournament against Spanish Fork
MILLCREEK — For two games and 2 1/2 innings of a third, the Bonneville High softball team put everything it had and then some into playing as well as it could in the 5A state tournament Wednesday.
But it wasn’t enough to extend the No. 15 Lakers’ season.
They got on the bus at 6:15 a.m. Wednesday morning to drive to Big Cottonwood Regional Park, tagged No. 5 Olympus 15-4 in a one-loss bracket game, beat No. 8 Tooele 8-2 in another elimination game and then fell to No. 1 Spanish Fork 12-1 to end the season.
“Absolutely so proud. To come in as a 15-seed and be tied for third in the state is absolutely amazing so I couldn’t be more proud of my team,” senior Emmaline DeGroot said. “This is our third game of today, so we came in a little tired, but the energy was there and we did everything we could.”
At the start of the year, the Lakers were talked about as a Region 5 contender. In March and April ( granted the rain and snow didn’t allow for much time outside), Bonneville was up and down and stood with a 5-7 record heading into the back half of Region 5 play.
In the month of May, the Lakers went 9-4, finished the season 14-11 overall and finished in the final four of the state tournament after beating three better-seeded teams — Box Elder, Tooele, Olympus — in the postseason. It’s what their coach knew they could do the whole year.
“We finally clicked as a team. We had 14 games canceled because of the snow this year, so it was really up to how many games it would take before we found out who worked best with who,” DeGroot said.
BONNEVILLE 15, OLYMPUS 4
Anastyn Stevenson started the scoring with an RBI double off the tip of the diving center fielder’s outstretched glove, followed by Kaylee McAfee’s sacrifice fly — her first of two sac flies — for an early 2-0 lead.
With DeGroot’s pitching keeping Olympus guessing, the Lakers slowly built their lead with more sac flies and runs via errors.
They started really hitting in the seventh inning. Leading 9-3, the first four batters reached base, punctuated by Mylee Pedersen’s two-run homer to right field for an 11-3 lead. Brityn Buchanan’s hard ground ball went under the third baseman for an RBI single.
After previous at-bats that featured as many as six foul balls yanked down the left side, DeGroot finally got her timing down and launched a three-run homer over the temporary outfield fence and all the way to the foot of the chainlink fence in left field some 230-plus feet away.
BONNEVILLE 8, TOOELE 2
DeGroot hit her second homer of the day in the third inning, a two-run liner to center field, for a 4-0 lead.
Defense played a big role in this game.
Bonneville led 4-2 in the fourth inning and Tooele, a region compatriot of Bonneville’s as recently as 2019, put two runners on base with no outs.
Third baseman Anastyn Stevenson made a diving catch on a line drive for an out and threw to Kaylee McAfee at second base (that runner was safe), but McAfee threw to DeGroot at first for a double play. The next batter grounded out to end the inning.
Tooele loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth. Bonneville center fielder Stocktyn Stevenson, who’d already calmly caught a hard line drive in front of the outfield fence, made a sliding catch for the third out of the inning.
Chandlyr Noble allowed zero earned runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched before DeGroot entered in the sixth with two Tooele runners on and one out. She forced a ground ball to Anastyn Stevenson at third, who tapped the bag and threw to first for an inning-ending double play.
“They were super excited this morning. They wanted to get that first win for sure, and then knowing that that next win put them in the final four just really drove them, got them a lot of motivation,” Bonneville coach Shelby Healy said.
In the top of the seventh, it was Bonneville’s turn to load the bases. DeGroot, she of two homers on the day already, smoked a first-pitch grand slam to left field to put the Lakers up 8-2.
Left fielder Baylee Andreasen made a diving catch in foul territory for the first out of the bottom of the seventh. Two outs later, Bonneville was getting ready for game No. 3.
SPANISH FORK 12, BONNEVILLE 1
Things went pretty well for the first 2 1/2 innings, considering the Lakers gave up six first-inning runs in a previous 12-2 loss to the Dons on Tuesday.
Morgan Rich drew a bases-loaded walk in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. Bonneville got the leadoff batter aboard in each of the second and third innings, but couldn’t score.
The Lakers got out of jail in the second inning when SF put two runners on with no outs and scored only once. Anastyn Stevenson took a hard liner in the chest but threw home for the out before Stocktyn Stevenson made another sliding catch in center field. Then a groundout ended the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Spanish Fork’s Peyton Hall hit a two-run homer to right-center field and Emrie Pintar later followed with a two-run single to put Bonneville down 5-1. Two consecutive Lakers throwing errors made it 7-1.
Hall hit a solo shot in the fourth (8-1), followed by Ellie Olson’s three-run homer (11-1) and Hall getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded (12-1), runs that ultimately handed Bonneville a five-inning loss by run rule.
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