Wildcats shut out 5A Lone Peak in softball | ParkRecord.com

Wildcats shut out 5A Lone Peak in softball

The South Summit High School softball team has been on a roll lately, picking up a huge 18-6 rout of 4A Wasatch and an 11-1 thrashing of 2A foe Gunnison last week.

That roll continued for the 2A Wildcats on Monday afternoon in Oakley when 5A Lone Peak came to town.

The Wildcats took a 2-0 lead after one inning and never looked back, cruising to an easy 10-0 victory in just five innings.

Though South Summit scored more runs in the games last week, coach Cody Bowen said Monday’s game was one of the best he’s seen his team play.

"That was a complete game," he said. "We hit well, we played defense and we pitched well that’s what I’m hoping for. We didn’t have any meltdown innings. There were a couple things we could have done better a couple baserunning problems in one inning but if we can play like that, we’ll be tough to beat."

The most damage came in the bottom of the fourth inning, when the Wildcats put up six runs.

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Natalie Nichols started the scoring by smacking an RBI single. Hannah Peterson followed with a two-run double. McKaye Woolstenhulme then lined an RBI single through the middle. Jamie McNeil tacked on another two-run double to finish up the big inning.

Bowen was pleased with the way Nichols and Peterson continued their season-long hot streak, getting on base from the top two spots in the batting order to set the table for their teammates to drive them in.

"[Natalie] and Hannah are both very similar," he said. "There’s not a better 1-2 combo in 2A. They get on base 60-70 percent of the time and get things moving."

Nichols also had a strong day on the mound, turning in one of her best performances of the year.

"Natalie pitched a great game," Bowen said. "She went a solid five innings four hits, five strikeouts, no walks."

Defensively, Bowen praised the play of his infield, made up of Woolstenhulme at third, Peterson at shortstop, Taylor Reidhead at second and McNeil at first.

"The infield was very solid today," he said. "It’s a very athletic group. They’ve all got great arms and good hands. [Woolstenhulme, Peterson and Reidhead] can all play anywhere on the field."

Getting strong infield play is important to Bowen, who hopes to see more errorless games from his team as the season wears on.

"That’s the key," he said. "It’s a big deal when you only give up three outs an inning not four, not five."

After the string of big wins, Nichols said the confidence of the entire team is growing.

"I feel like we’re getting better and it’s just in time for state," she said.

"I’m hoping we’re starting to peak at the right time," Bowen added. "We’ll see, though I’ve said all along Manti is the team to beat and we’ve got to go there next Friday. We’ve got to beat Gunnison prior to that and we have to play North Summit [Tuesday]. I’m hoping we’re continually building."

Nichols said the road ahead will be tough, but she and her teammates are ready for the challenge.

"It’ll take confidence in ourselves and making sure we’re playing like we know we can," she said.