Taylorsville • A field is a field.
That was the first message Lehi softball coach Whitney Thomas had for her Pioneers following a stretch of failed coin tosses that forced one of the best teams in Utah County onto the road for the first two rounds of the Class 5A state tournament.
Winners’ bracket quarterfinals
» Riverton 7, Copper Hills 5
» Layton 5, Alta 0
» Lehi 6, Taylorsville 2
» Bingham 5, Herriman 4
Winners’ bracket semis
At Valley Softball Complex
» Riverton vs. Layton, 4:30 p.m.
» Lehi vs. Bingham, 6:45 p.m.
Lehi 6, T-ville 2Faced with two games on the road after losing two coin flips to determine tie-breakers, Lehi wins two away from home in 24 hours.
» The Pioneers never trail after scoring four runs in the top of the first inning.
"The one thing I know about these girls is that they are resilient," Thomas said. "They never give up, so I knew we would be fine."
After Thursday’s 6-2 win over Taylorsville, Thomas is looking pretty prophetic. The Pioneers never trailed after scoring four runs in the bottom of the first. They rode the precocious pitching of sophomore Sydney White, who pitched a complete game, scattered five hits, walked just one and struck out five.
Most importantly, Lehi never took its foot off the pedal, adding scoring insurance runs in the fifth and seventh innings and holding a normally powerful Taylorsville offense at bay.
Now, instead of lamenting on not having a home game in the postseason, the Pioneers are one of the more battle-tested teams in the state heading into next week. Now, instead of being in the one-loss bracket, Lehi is unscathed and full of confidence.
"We figured that in order to win a championship we’re going to need to beat teams wherever we play," White said. "So we were disappointed at first, but we got over it pretty quickly. Now, we’re happy."
They have reason to be. The Pioneers first defeated Fremont on Wednesday. In turning around and defeating the Warriors 24 hours later, Lehi accomplished two playoff wins under difficult circumstances.
Against Taylorsville, the Pioneers applied offensive pressure all game, pounding out nine hits and putting runners on base in almost every inning. Stefanie Zimmerman went 2 for 2 on the day.
White helped her cause with a double and Lehi played a clean game defensively.
As a result, losing a pair of coin flips to begin their playoff run is hardly a subject anymore to the Pioneers. Now, Lehi has a much loftier goal in sight — a run to a title.
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