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Prep softball: Aggressive approach pays off for Herriman
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Be patient. Work the count. Let the play unfold. Take what the other team gives you.

All viable softball philosophies. All terms that aren't in Herriman's vocabulary.

The Mustangs instead are in attack mode from the second they take the field. They attack the first strike in an at-bat, force teams to throw them out running the bases and have an overall aggressive approach that has played to promising results.

Entering the week, Herriman (7-3) has scored 10 runs or more in each of its past four games — all victories. It has scored runs in bunches, dropping 4- and 5-spots on Granger and Lone Peak.

Seems no one can tame these wild Mustangs.

"We are real aggressive in base running and we don't let first-pitch strikes go by like we used to," sophomore third baseman Brittney Wood said. "We don't go up looking, and that's cut down on strikeouts. We only struck out once against Olympus."

Herriman opened Region 7 play with back-to-back routs of Olympus and Westlake. The Mustangs banged out 16 hits in the region opener and got a grand slam and six RBIs from freshman second baseman Bryce Taylor in the most recent outing.

"We have just found ourselves, really," Herriman coach Staci Hemingway said. "The past two weeks shows who we are as a team. The girls have definitely developed more confidence, and once they get a hit, it boosts morale for every one of them. Hitting is contagious."

Herriman waded through some early season struggles at the plate, which resulted in a shutout loss to Alta in the season opener and back-to-back losses at the Sunroc Invitational in St. George.

But as the weather has warmed up, so have the Mustang bats. Wood has the first two home runs of her career and four total extra-base hits. Staff ace Riley Cox said having such a potent offense makes pitching a whole lot easier.

"It takes so much pressure off of me," said Cox, a junior. "I can trust my team that if I make a mistake, I know they are there to back me up."

Herriman, which finished second to Murray in last year's region race, again figures to push the Spartans for the title. Hemingway has scheduled late-season non-region games against Highland (Idaho), Taylorsville and Copper Hills to help prepare her team for the postseason. —

Prep softball • Herriman's offense has been on a tear recently.
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