Taylorsville • Nobody could have predicted what Brooklyn Bingham’s lead-off walk would eventually turn into. The Layton senior outfielder stood in the box, and waited for her pitch.
It never came, so she took her base.
Winners’ bracket semis
» Layton 8, Riverton 2
» Lehi 14, Bingham 7
At Valley Softball Complex
Winners’ bracket final
» Layton vs. Lehi, 5:15 p.m.
Losers’ bracket final
» Teams TBA, 2:30 p.m.
At Valley Softball Complex
» Teams TBA, 5 p.m.
From there, things rolled for the Lancers. Knotted 2-2 in the top of the seventh inning in its winners’ bracket game against the Riverton Silverwolves Tuesday afternoon, Layton simply kept the top of the frame alive. Walks, bunt singles, RBI base hits, they came in droves after a tight and tense first six innings.
In all, the Lancers sent nine batters to the plate in their fortuitous seventh inning, scoring six runs to bust the game wide open in their eventual 8-2 victory over the Silverwolves at the Valley Softball Complex in Taylorsville.
"We were just trying to focus more at bat and hit our pitches," said senior shortstop Cassidy Anderson, who gave the Layton the lead with her RBI single up the middle. "Shorten up, make contact, that’s all that we were trying to do."
It kept working.
Following Anderson was Megan Benson, who reached on a bunt. Rae Gall drove in two more with her RBI single to center. Alanna Anderson kept the inning going with an RBI single of her own. The Lancers tacked on two more runs to push their expanding lead to 8-2 before senior pitcher Kelly Smedley was able to complete her seven-inning, two-run complete game in the bottom of the seventh.
"That’s why softball is so fun," Layton coach Steve Spendlove said. "You never know what’s going to happen."
For the first six innings, the Lancers and Silverwolves were figuring one another out. Smedley and Riverton pitcher CheyAnne Dahl were locked in a pitching duel, which Cassidy Anderson eventually stopped in the top of the fourth with her solo homer to left. Alanna Anderson eventually gave the Lancers a 2-0 lead, driving in Gall.
But Riverton responded. Courtney Smith smacked a solo shot to left in the bottom of the fifth and Jennica Hogue tied it up with an RBI triple soon after.
Entering the top of the seventh, Spendlove delivered a message to his players: "It’s there for the taking."
Layton took it and advanced to the 5A winner’s bracket semifinals Wednesday evening at 5:15 p.m.
Now the Lancers must battle more than top-flight opponents. The pressure of inching toward playing for a state championship must be managed.
"Our girls know that with winning a state championship, things have to align for you, things have to bounce your way and some luck is involved," Spendlove said. "They’re really OK with whatever happens."
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