With the region championship and the right to stay home for the first round of the 3A playoffs at stake, Cedar sealed the deal in dominating fashion.
Bryton Holyoak threw a four-hit shutout, and she reached on an error that started a three-run rally in the top of the fourth inning as the Lady Reds went on to beat the Desert Hills Thunder 10-0 in six innings to spoil Senior Day and earn its first Region 9 title since 2014.
“Bryton was lights out,” Cedar head coach Chris Weaver said of his junior pitcher. “Last year, she would have crumbled. It used to bug her when the kids made mistakes, but this team is awesome.”
For the first three innings, Holyoak made the pitches when she needed them to keep the host Thunder off the board. After two errors and a Riley Stookey single loaded the bases with nobody out in the third, the left-hander got Corinne Grantham to pop out to second, Kaitlyn Phillips to hit into a fielder’s choice that she fielded to force Morgan Rosemeyer at the plate, and Stookey was called out for running into Dream Weaver as she tried to field a ball at shortstop.
Then Holyoak came to the plate with two runners in scoring position and two out in the fourth with the game still scoreless. She lofted a fly ball toward center fielder Megan Wiscombe that fell out of her glove. Pua Johnson and Denim Henkel scored on the play, and it was just the beginning.
“Getting our bunts down really helped us. If we didn’t, I don’t think we’d be where we’re at,” Holyoak said.
Holyoak stole second and went to third on a throwing error, then scored on a Japrix Weaver double to make it 3-0.
The Thunder never fully recovered, and Cedar added on in the fifth with four more runs after two were out. Henkel and Amanda Cardon hit RBI singles, and Holyoak drove in two with a bloop single to left.
Holyoak and the Lady Reds escaped another two-on, one-out threat in the fifth, then they delivered the knockout with a three-run rally in the sixth capped by a two-run homer from Pua Johnson – Cedar’s ninth in its last four games.
“It was amazing,” Johnson said of the team’s eighth run-rule win in 10 Region 9 games. “I was thinking base hit, but those two runs meant ballgame. … We kept pushing each other and had each other’s backs.”
Holyoak allowed only a base hit in the bottom of the sixth, and a final ground ball ended the game early to set off a happy celebration.
The Lady Reds finished the regular season with a 16-7 overall record. They open the 3A playoffs at home against the Carbon Dinos on Saturday with first pitch at 10 a.m.
Canyon View suffered a pair of losses last week, including a 13-3 decision at Juab on May 4 in the Region 12 finale. The Falcons finished in a tie with North Sanpete for second place at 4-4, but lost the coin flip and will be the No. 3 seed.
The Falcons started the week with a 17-6 loss at home on Senior Day to 2A state title favorite Enterprise. CV scored five runs in the bottom of the first to take an early 5-2 lead, but the Wolves roared back with seven runs in the top of the second and cruised from there.
Senior Kelsee Hyatt hit a solo home run for the Falcons in the loss.
Canyon View closed its regular season with a road game at Cedar on Tuesday and will face Desert Hills in its opening-round 3A playoff game at Grantsville on Saturday starting at 12 noon. Parowan starts its run in the 2A softball tournament against South Summit on Thursday at 1:15 p.m. at the Spanish Fork Softball Complex.
Region 9 standings
Desert Hills 8-2
Snow Canyon 5-5
Pine View 2-8
Region 12 standings
North Sanpete 4-4
Canyon View 4-4
Carbo n 3-5
3A State playoffs
Carbon at Cedar, 10 a.m.
Canyon View vs. Desert Hills at Grantsville, Noon
2A State playoffs
At Spanish Fork
Parowan vs. South Summit, 1:15 p.m.