It can be deflating for a high school softball team to see an opponent come onto their diamond and quickly build a 5-0 lead.
Skyridge, however, proved to be undaunted.
The Falcons erased that deficit against Region 4 rival Westlake in Thursday’s opening game of the best-of-three 6A super regional in Lehi, eventually pulling away to get the 12-8 win.
“They came out swinging and swung great,” Skyridge head coach Riley White said. “They had an approach and hit really well. We had to make some adjustments there and to (pitcher Heather Berrett’s) credit she made a great adjustment. She worked through it. When you face a team three times, there’s not much to hide at that point. She gritted her teeth and threw pitches when we needed them. It was fun to see the resiliency.”
He did admit to feeling some nerves when he saw his team get in the early hole.
“That’s what we’ve been working on,” White said. “We’ve got to overcome that kind of deflating vibe and have that ability to be able to say, OK, we’ll work through it. We put runs up on the board consistently and it was awesome.”
Westlake head coach Chad Carpenter felt like his team had some chances to maintain control but didn’t make enough plays.
“We needed better situational hitting,” Carpenter said. “We hit the ball hard sometimes but needed to understand what we were trying to do. We also had some throwing errors that hurt us today. There are some things we can do differently, which is why we can come in confident tomorrow.”
This is the first year of the super regional format and teams are still acclimating to the best-of-three scenario.
“We are in anything-can-happen mode,” White said. “You prepare as much as you possibly can, knowing full well that anything can happen. We’ve got plans, we’ve got adjustments that we need to make if we have to, but this is new so we’ll just kind of play it by ear with a plan.”
Carpenter said that even though his Thunder have lost all three games to the Falcons this year, he still has faith that they can win twice on Friday.
“In two of those games, we really feel like we could control the outcome,” he said. “We just need to do the little things. No one is giving up on this team.”
Westlake will face Skyridge in Game 2 in Lehi Friday at 3:30 p.m. If the Thunder win, it will force a deciding Game 3, which will take place following the first game on Friday evening.