Wildcats softball starts playoffs hot | ParkRecord.com

Wildcats softball starts playoffs hot

All season long, South Summit softball Coach Cody Bowen has said hitting is the key to the Wildcats’ success.

The Wildcats certainly proved their coach right on Thursday afternoon in the first and second rounds of the 2A playoffs, scoring 33 runs in two lopsided victories.

In the first round, South Summit squared off against Beaver, earning a shutout 12-0 win. Natalie Nichols picked up the victory in the pitcher’s circle while Hannah Peterson and Taylor Reidhead each hit home runs.

The Wildcats scored in all five innings, including five runs in the fifth to end the game early.

In Thursday’s second game, the Wildcats were even better at the plate, scoring a whopping 21 runs in a 21-10 victory over South Sevier. South Summit hit six home runs in the win, including three by Elise Bush. Desmyn Woolstenhulme hit two and McKaye Woolstenhulme hit the other.

"We hit really well, as well as I’ve ever seen us hit in that second game," Bowen said. "That’s what we’ve always said is the key for us, and we were good [Thursday]."

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After 3.5 innings against South Sevier, the Wildcats held only a narrow 12-10 lead. But, by scoring six runs in the bottom of the fourth and three in the bottom of the fifth, South Summit was able to take command of the game and ensure that it ended early via the 10-run rule.

"We had a battle there for a little while," Bowen said. "But we fired right back with some unbelievable hitting."

Hannah Peterson picked up the victory in the circle. Bowen said it’s nice that the offense was clicking on a day that Peterson didn’t necessarily have her best stuff.

"It’s really good for [the pitchers’] psyche to know they’ve got some runs to work with," he said. "If they give up two or three runs, we’ve got their back — it’s a confidence booster for them."

On Friday, after this issue went to press, the Wildcats were scheduled to play two games, starting with a matchup against Grand.

"Grand’s a great team," Bowen said. "Hopefully we can get by them and win today. They’re a competitive team. They lost twice to San Juan, but they’ve been playing better. They’re a quick, scrappy team that likes to bunt and steal a lot. Hopefully our pitching can take care of business and shut that down."

Bowen added that the pressure is on the Wildcats to make sure they emerge from Friday’s games unbeaten, as that’s a big advantage for the final day of the tournament on Saturday.

"It’s such a huge advantage in this tournament to be sitting there [Saturday] waiting for a team to come through the losers’ side of the bracket. Winning these two games [Friday] would be huge, because then we’d only have to play one game on Saturday."

As is the case with most of this week’s sporting events, weather will be a factor. Bowen said he hopes the Wildcats aren’t too affected by the potential schedule changes.

"They moved these games [on Friday] up to try to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms," he said. "Hopefully we can get these games in today before it gets too bad."

If South Summit finishes Friday with zero or one playoff losses, it will advance to Saturday, when the 2A state title will be decided at the Spanish Fork Complex.