KAYSVILLE — After waiting for days to continue play in the 6A softball tournament, Layton’s offense needed a while to wake up.
After an 8-3 loss to Copper Hills earlier in the day, the Lancers dropped to the one-loss bracket to face fellow Region 1 foe Fremont in a game that was tied 0-0 after two innings Saturday night at Davis High School.
But just as rays of sun would briefly break through the clouds on a cool, breezy day, Layton’s offense broke through for one big burst, scoring eight runs in the third inning to advance into next week, eliminating Fremont 8-3.
“To be able to grind it out, it’s just how they are and what they’ve done all year to work hard. You’ve got to be proud of them for that,” Layton coach Kiley Crockett said.
Each team missed opportunities with runners in scoring position through the first two innings before Layton pitcher Jackie Gold retired Fremont in order in the top of the third. That set up the bottom of the third in what proved to be the only inning that mattered.
Brooklyn Pritchett drove a double the opposite way to left field to score two and start the scoring. Leah Knight singled to score Pritchett and Halle Duke scored Knight with a double for a 4-0 advantage — chasing Fremont’s usual ace, Kynlee Hoggan, who picked up a win earlier in the day against Kearns.
“They changed their approach from the last time we played them ... a lot of change-up stuff, so we made an adjustment to get up in the box ... and hopefully good things would happen,” Crockett said. “And we put a bunch of hits together.”
The change brought in Lacey Kearsley, who, despite her best efforts, faced a Layton lineup that had suddenly found an unstoppable rhythm.
Maci Harrop immediately roped an RBI double. Bailey Nay followed by driving one over the fence but a foot foul, before Kearsley struck her out for the first out of the frame.
After Sadee Watkins singled to score Harrop, Tylor Comeau, who singled and scored early in the inning, drove in two more with a double, ending the rally with an 8-0 lead.
“I knew that this game would be whoever could punch first the hardest,” Fremont coach Mandy Koford said. “I think Layton came in with a chip on their shoulder ... our pitchers, being in the loser’s bracket, we’ve had a long week — playing a game that lasted what, five days? ... That’s a tough mental thing, but I’m proud of how they supported each other and rallied around each other.”
Fremont defeated Clearfield on Friday evening in a game that was suspended Tuesday.
In the fifth, the Silverwolves began efforts to claw back into the game when Tyra Coats singled with one out. She later scored when Rylie Bennett drew a bases loaded walk. Cortney Rhees followed with a two-run single to make it 8-3.
Unfortunately for Fremont, Gold strung together seven consecutive outs from there, claiming the game for Layton and ending Fremont’s season.
The Silverwolves finish 19-9 after a 10-2 mark in region play.
Both coaches heaped praise on the other side after the tough contest.
“Hats off to a great team right there,” Crockett said of Fremont. “(Koford) does a great job with them, they’ll be back. Gritty, grindy kids over there. The Hoggan kid is such a good player. You’re always nervous about a region foe.”
Koford added: “They’re a good team, and I’m excited to see what kind of run Layton can take and hopefully show that our region is one of the best in the state.”
Rhees, Hoggan and Coats accounted for Fremont’s hits. After pitching out of the third inning, Kearsley allowed four hits over three scoreless innings.
Gold threw 14 innings Saturday for Layton, striking out 14 batters total and allowing three hits to Fremont. Comeau hit 3 for 4 in the win while Knight and Harrop each had two hits.
Layton (20-9) advances to play Region 4 champion Bingham in a one-loss bracket semifinal scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 28, at Taylorsville’s Valley Softball Complex. The 6A tournament is scheduled to conclude with games possible through 6 p.m. Tuesday.
“Jackie deserves it, Tylor deserves it, Bailey ... I get choked up,” Crockett said. “I’m proud of them for not quitting, they could have laid down right there so easy ... the kids, they wanted it.”
FREMONT 8, KEARNS 2
KAYSVILLE — Fremont jumped to a 4-0 lead before Kearns (16-9) batted and advanced in a 6A tournament elimination game Saturday afternoon at Davis High.
Stalee Hadley, Lacey Kearsley and Jadie Aiken each batted 2 for 4 for Fremont. Kearsley hit a double and drove in two while Hadley and Aiken each drove in one. Rylie Bennett added an RBI triple.
Kynlee Hoggan picked up the win, giving up one hit, no runs and striking out five in three innings. Kearsley threw four innings for Fremont.
COPPER HILLS 8,
KAYSVILLE — Layton scored two runs in the fourth inning to cut the Copper Hills (18-4) lead to 4-3 but could get no closer in a 6A playoff loss Saturday evening at Davis High.
Tylor Comeau hit a two-run single for Layton. Maci Harrop hit a double. The Lancers were held to four hits on the day. Jackie Gold pitched a complete game in the loss, striking out 10.
PLEASANT GROVE 6, DAVIS 5
LAYTON — Davis took a 5-4 lead in the top of the seventh only to see Pleasant Grove (13-15) score twice in their half of the inning to claim a walk-off win in a 6A elimination game at Layton High.
The Darts trailed 4-1 after six innings, then plated four runners in the top of the seventh to take their only lead of the day.
Rachel Stott led Davis with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored. Danielle Brklacich totaled a double, one RBI and one run scored. Britney Brklacich batted 2 for 3 and Kya Wilmott drove in one.
The Darts end their season at 16-8 overall, 8-4 in Region 1 play.