West Valley City • A month ago, the Hunter Wolverines girls’ softball team came away with a dominant victory over a young and inexperienced West Panthers squad. On Thursday — on the Wolverines’ home field — the Panthers showed they are growing up fast as freshman Shayna Alofipo pitched a commanding 3-0 complete-game shutout.
"[The last game against Hunter] is what kind of fueled us for this game. We weren’t about to lose to a team we knew we could beat," Alofipo said.
West 3, Hunter 0
» West avenges an early season 11-4 home loss to the Wolverines, winning 3-0 Thursday at Hunter.
» West’s Shayna Alofipo tosses a two-hit shutout.
Since that early loss, Alofipo says, she and her teammates have approached the game with a different mindset and have focused more on teamwork.
"This game was different, we all picked each other up, and that’s what got the game going," she said.
For the first five innings the rematch was an impressive pitcher’s duel between Alofipo and Hunter’s Jorden Beutler.
The Panthers took advantage in the sixth inning with the bases loaded as Jordan Powell found a hole in shallow left-center — plating the game’s first two runs.
"For [Powell] to come up in a situation like that and perform was great, but it all comes back to the effort and the hard work that they put in," West coach Keith Lopati said.
So with the win, just how much have the Panthers — who only have three seniors — grown up? A lot. Lopati trusts Alofipo and her catcher to call their own game.
"[Shayna] was lights out, she was calm and collected," Lopati said. " Our catcher Molini Vailahi called a great game. That was the first time we’d done that and it worked out real well for us."
The Panthers still have a way to go, but the future is bright for Lopati’s young crew.
"I’m proud of my girls," he said. "For them to work hard and correct the mistakes we made before — we still have a lot of things to work on, but it shows the improvement and the hard work that our kids are putting in."
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