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Walk this way: Fremont’s discipline, Palmatier’s grand slam key playoff win over Weber

By BOB JUDSON - Special to the Standard-Examiner | May 16, 2024
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Fremont's Ella Doxey runs to the plate during a 6A playoff game against Weber on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Plain City.
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Weber's Aliya Rhees swings at a Fremont pitch in a 6A playoff game Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Plain City.
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Fremont's Kacie Howard attempts a bunt in a 6A playoff game against Weber on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Plain City.
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Weber's Logyn Howell readies to swing for one of her three hits against Fremont in a 6A playoff game Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Plain City.
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Fremont's Rylee Andreasen fields a ball in the outfield in a 6A playoff game against Weber on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Plain City.
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Weber's Hailey Merrill swings at a Fremont pitch in a 6A playoff game Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Plain City.
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Fremont's Saige Steel catches an outfield out against Weber in a 6A playoff game Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Plain City.
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Weber's Kendall Strasburg winds up a pitch against Fremont in a 6A playoff game Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Plain City.
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Fremont's Audrey Cooper has a moment while cheering her team in a 6A playoff game against Weber on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Plain City.

PLAIN CITY — No. 7 Fremont’s 13-3 victory over No. 10 Weber in the first round of the high school 6A softball tournament was a walk in the park.

Literally.

Depending on the phraseology, Fremont drew or Weber issued 15 walks in Thursday’s six-inning game, the first in a best-of-three series.

Illustrating the picture, the box score for Fremont second baseman Aly Tobias reads one official at-bat with three walks, one run scored and two RBIs.

Silverwolves teammate Audrey Cooper had the exact stat line as Tobias.

“I recognized that the pitchers were throwing a lot of balls, so I went up there with the mentality that I needed to look for my pitch and only my pitch,” Tobias said. “When she pitched me nothing what I wanted, I just took it so I could get on base and score the run.”

Tobias and Cooper each had bases-loaded walks in the first inning for an early 2-0 lead.

Weber (10-12) took the lead at 3-2 in the third inning on a towering three-run homer by Moira Tinsley as Fremont (11-5) struggled to get on the board despite five walks in the first two innings.

But things changed dramatically when Fremont sent 13 batters to the plate in a fourth inning when 10 straight batters reached base.

The Silverwolves scored 10 runs and every batter scored at least one run in the inning, coming one run short of run-ruling the Warriors as they led 12-3.

“We wanted to end the game; we were so hyped and ready to get it done because we were so far into the game,” Tobias said.

At one point, seven consecutive Fremont “hitters” reached base by a walk, which led to five runs, including the Tobias and Cooper duo once again.

“That’s kind of insane,” Tobias said. “We’ve been working on our ability to select pitches; we work at getting on base … ready to play.”

Kendall Strasburg was the Warrior pitcher victimized by missing the strike zone, issuing 11 walks in 3 1/3 innings, then Izzy Bird gave four more free passes over the final 1 2/3.

Not to be lost in the walking carnage, and often the lead in a story where 13 runs are scored, was the performance of Fremont shortstop Savannah Palmatier, who batted 4 for 5 with three runs scored and five RBIs — four of her teams five total hits.

After Fremont had scored the five runs on walks in the fourth inning, Palmatier crushed a grand slam homer over the centerfield fence, capping the double-digit inning.

“My mentality was if it was there, I was going to swing, because I know hitting the ball is going to score more runs than walking and only scoring one,” Palmatier said. “I wanted to hit the ball and it happened to be right down the middle so I took it over.”

Palmatier was the only Fremont batter who did not have a walk in the game, hitting two doubles, a single and the grand salami.

“I go up there and look for my pitch; I normally swing at the first pitch or two that’s been thrown. If it’s there, I’ll most likely swing at it and it finds the hole most of the time,” Palmatier said. “Personally, I don’t like getting deep into the count because it stresses me out. I just go and attack and it works for me.”

Fremont started the sixth inning with back-to-back walks, then Palmatier lined a double over the left fielder’s head to finally end it.

Ivee Johnsen pitched a complete game for the Silverwolves, scattering nine hits while striking out eight and walking two.

Logyn Howell batted 3 for 3 for the Warriors and Tinsley had the three-run homer.

Game two of the series is at 1 p.m. Friday, with game three following if necessary.

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