Kearns • In a back-and-forth game Friday between Desert Hills and Kearns, it seemed only fitting that it would come down to the final play.
With the game on the line, down 7-6, and with two runners on base, Kearns’ Druellie Kierstead stepped to the plate. She had smacked a home run in the fourth inning.
This time around, Kierstead swung, and it looked as though the ball was going to find a gap. But Desert Hills outfielder Kirstie Ivie frantically started sprinting in for the ball.
“It was like, there’s the ball, I’m going to go get it,” Ivie said.
The ball was about to land. But Ivie laid out, somehow caught it and proceeded to hang on — shocking her coach and pretty much everyone else in the crowd as the Thunder sealed the 7-6 victory.
“I was trying to think of how we were going to get the ball home and throw somebody out because that ball looked like it was going to drop for sure,” Desert Hills coach Brady Fonnesbeck said. “[Kierstead] hit the home run earlier, so they were deeper. To see [Ivie] chase it down and catch it like that and hold onto it after she fell down, that’s a big-time play.”
“It was a good game. They were really good hitters and we knew that we had to hit our spots or we were going to be in trouble, because a couple of them just drilled the ball when we missed our spots,” Fonnesbeck said. “[Kodi Barlow] mixed in some good rise pitches that caught them off-guard a little bit. We were able to get some easy outs when we needed to get them and some tough outs at the end of the game as well.”
Plenty of Thunder players made an impact Friday, but none more than Ivie, their senior leader.
“To see her bust it and chase down that pop fly at the end was just an awesome effort by her, and that’s the kind of leadership we need as a growing program,” Fonnesbeck said.
Storylines Desert Hills 7, Kearns 6
R Desert Hills’ Lexi Hamlin knocks in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.
• Kearns’ Druellie Kierstead hits a homer deep to center in the fourth.
• Desert Hills has a quick turnaround; it faces Wasatch on Saturday.