When Taylorsville pitcher Jaycie Labaron gave up a home run to West’s Rayna Aiono in the Panthers first at bat Tuesday, she calmed herself down and thought about her team’s slogan, which is “we’ve got your back.”
“Once I gave up the home run, I focussed,” she said. “I thought about this year’s slogan…I felt confident that we were working as a team.”
That home run would be the only hit Labaron gave up as she recorded 10 strikeouts and the Warriors recorded a five-inning 12-1 victory on the West field that assured Taylorsville of no worse than a tie for first place in Region Two with one game to play.
Labaron also delivered a key two-run triple in a six-run third inning that pretty much decided the game.
The Warriors, who beat previously unbeaten Class 2A power Manti Saturday, appear to be rounding into shape going into next week’s Class 5A state tournament.
“Our hitting and attitude has picked up,” said Taylorsville coach Rich Kaelinn. “That’s all you can hope for. We feel good.”
After pounding out 15 hits and five home runs against Cottonwood in a 15-0 win last week, the Warriors lost to Hunter. That allowed West to move into a tie for first place going into this game. If Taylorsville beats Granger Thursday, it will go into the state tournament at the league champ.
The decisive top of the third saw Taylorsville use a combination of key hits including Labaron’s triple and a double by Karlee Jensen, West fielding miscues, a hit batter and two sacrifice flies to break open the game.
The Warriors added two more runs in the fourth inning with Asenica Lesuma providing the key hit.
Meanwhile, Labaron turned in a dominating performance on the mound, frustrating the Panthers and ruining their senior day celebration as well as their chance at a league title.