A meeting of the two league leaders in Southern Division IV softball last week proved to be a far cry from close.
The games resembled a home run derby and batting practice as Pahranagat Valley, the three-time defending league tournament and state tournament champions, recorded four inside-the-park home runs on the day, registering 23 hits, and sweeping visiting Round Mountain 17-1 and 15-5.
Madison Harris went 2-for-2 with her first solo inside-the-park home run and two RBIs in the opener, then went and 2-for-4 with hit another inside-the-park home run and two RBIs in the nightcap,
Kaitlyn Davis tossed a five-inning two-hitter and went 2-for-3 with a triple in the first game for Pahranagat.
In the second game, the Panthers spotted Round Mountain a 3-1 lead, but came on strong in the final three innings, scoring 14 runs, aided by five-run outbursts in each the third and sixth innings.
Coach Mike Sparrow said, “We’ve been working on being more disciplined, looking for the batter’s pitch early, how to protect when you have two strikes, and the kids are starting to follow through on what we have talked about and we’re able to put the ball in play. We hit the ball the way I’d like to see us do.”
Madalyn Taylor was 2-for-3 with a homerun, a triple and three RBIs. Davis and Morgan Harris each added a home run for Pahranagat Valley. Alyssa Hanks had one for Round Mountain (11-6, 4-2).
Talking about the five inside-the-park home runs on the day, Sparrow said, “The outfield fences are a long ways away and if you can get a ball to the fence, you’ve got a real opportunity if you’ve got speed on the bases.”
The Panthers turned a 6-4-3 double play in the second game, rare for high school softball, Sparrow said. “We’re starting to play some defense like I think we can.”
At the same time he said he was impressed though by the Knights team, noting this is the best team from Round he has seen in a good number of years. Round Mountain gave up softball from 2010 to 2014 and played as an independent in 2015. Sparrow said coach Jamie Rotter is doing a good job with the Knights after rejoining the league.
Ashlyn Wadsworth got her sixth win of the season to go along with Davis who also has six wins. Wadsworth has a .346 earned run average and has 43 strikeouts. Davis has struck out 39.
Earlier in the week, PVHS held off a good Sunrise Mountain team taking a 5-4 win. Wadsworth pitched a complete game and Sparrow said she handled the Miners (10-8) three up, three down in the bottom of the seventh.
On Tuesday this week, in what is basically a JV game PVHS easily handled Mountain View 16-2 scoring seven runs each in the first and fifth innings.
Today, the Panthers (16-7, 6-0) return to league play hosting winless Beaver Dam (0-10, 0-4).