Varisty Softball Playoffs - Layton vs. Riverton 06

Layton's Jackie Gold (19) pitches the ball in the first inning of a 6A state tournament first-round softball game against Riverton on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, at Layton High School.

LAYTON — Four runs is enough to win a 6A state playoff game when your starting ace pitcher is golden.

Jackie Gold flirted with disaster all afternoon Tuesday but glittered in the most crucial moments for No. 1 seed Layton as the Lancers advanced to the second round of the tournament with a hair-raising, 4-3 victory over four-seed Riverton.

Gold put the leadoff runner on base in each of the first four innings, stranded the tying run at second in the fifth and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth before sending the Silverwolves down in order in the seventh.

Living by the rule that bears her name, Gold was quick to give credit unto others for her success.

“I just stayed relaxed and trusted my teammates all the way. I never panicked because I know my team has me,” Gold said. “It doesn’t matter what happened in the past, we’re just heading toward the future.”

Gold pitched a complete game, scattering seven hits, striking out seven, walking two and leaving seven Riverton (12-10) runners on base.

“She’s just a grinder, the hardest working kid I’ve ever seen,” Layton coach Kiley Crockett said. “It’s so huge how she can focus down and know that the defense has her back.

“We have one of the best outfields (Tylor Comeau, Brooklyn Pritchett and Sadee Watkins) in the state; they get to balls quick and hold doubles to singles,” he said.

Layton fell behind 2-1 in the third but Pritchett lined an opposite-field triple to left-center in the bottom half of the inning. Leah Knight picked her up with a single, then came around to score on a base hit by Kaitlyn Roberts.

Knight drove in what proved to be the winning run in the fourth inning, plating Comeau with a two-out single.

“I was just trying to read it. She was kind of throwing her change and we were trying to pick her signs a little bit,” Knight said. “I was just doing whatever I could to get it on the ground for my team to score.”

All of Layton’s runs were tallied by the top of the order. Comeau came home on a Halle Duke single after leading off the game with a double.

“My top half is so strong,” Crockett said. “The dynamic duo of Ty and Brooklyn, they’re so tough.”

Riverton was batting .384 as a team, so it was not your typical fourth-seed team Layton took down.

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“We’re young, so many good kids,” Crockett said. “It’s great to see the growth we have. It’s awesome to be the coach at Layton High.”

Layton (17-9) will now host a second-round game against Pleasant Grove at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 16.

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