South Jordan • Against Bingham, a 2-0 lead didn’t feel too safe. Not even in the bottom of the seventh, only three outs away.
Jordan Theurer doesn’t often get intimidated, but the junior pitcher acknowledged after the game that she wasn’t quite as sure as she looked on the mound.
“I was way nervous,” she said. “I wasn’t off, but my [curve] ball wasn’t breaking the way it should.”
But Theurer didn’t show the butterflies, shutting out the previously undefeated, No. 1-ranked Class 5A Miners for a 2-0 win that showed how fierce Bear River softball can be, particularly on defense.
This isn’t your classic David vs. Goliath story: Though they are a 3A team, the Bears are hardly steep underdogs after winning four straight state titles. Rather than a sign that Bear River is on the rise, coach Calvin Bingham said the victory is more of an affirmation that the stalwart program still has the right stuff.
“This is a confident bunch,” he said. “They played solid all the way around. They expect to compete with anybody.”
It takes a lot more than confidence to hold Bingham to only two hits in a game. That was due much in part to the reigning 3A MVP Theurer, who threw bullets for the early part of the game and racked up five strikeouts.
She was less than perfect, but her defense — particularly sure-handed Kassie Fronk — had her back. Theurer took a no-hitter to the fifth inning, but hit three batters and walked two. But every time the Miners had a runner in scoring position, which happened in five innings, they got cut off before they could make it home.
The final straw was in the bottom of the sixth, when Bingham loaded the bases but Shaunie Owen halted the rally before it really got started by cleanly fielding a ground ball and getting to third for the out.
Bear River didn’t fare much better on offense, but managed five hits. The Bears scored only in the third, when Theurer batted in Morgan Summers on a sacrifice fly, then Owen knocked in Fronk on an RBI double.
Starter Keagan Hanny allowed only four hits, then Paige Reimann closed out with four strikeouts in only two innings. Coach Mikki Jackson praised her pitchers, but said the Bingham lineup is still working its way out of a funk it got caught in last weekend in a Las Vegas tournament.
“We just weren’t connecting at the right time — we’ve got to string some things together,” she said. “Our defense kept us in the game, but we can’t do it without the sticks.”
Bear River 2, Bingham 0
R Junior Jordan Theurer throws a shutout, strikes out five and allows only two hits.
• Morgan Summers leads the Bears with two hits and a run.
• Keegan Hanny and Paige Reimann hold Bear River to five hits and strike out five.