Tuesday , May 08, 2018 - 9:20 PM
BOUNTIFUL — Bountiful was presented with a six-run gift on senior day and celebrated with at least a share of the Region 5 softball title.
The Braves feasted on Box Elder’s faulty fielding in the second inning and swept the season series from the Bees, rolling to an 8-2 rout on Tuesday afternoon.
Box Elder committed five errors and a wild pitch in the second stanza, leading to six Bountiful runs and effectively put the game out of reach early.
“I don’t know if after we beat them twice that they were wondering if they could play with us,” Bountiful coach Butch Latey said. “It was unrealistic; I was surprised, but we’re going to take the runs if they give them to us.”
Meanwhile, Bountiful kept the Bees off the scoreboard early with some sparkling defense.
Sophomore shortstop Dashani Purcell roamed into short center field in the third inning and made a spectacular, over-the-shoulder sliding catch on the skirt where the infield skin meets the outfield grass, saving a run.
“I was just hustling. I saw the ball and just had to get it,” Purcell said. “I had to do my best for the team.”
Purcell also starred at the plate, with two singles, two RBIs and a run scored.
Junior left fielder Ashlee McPhearson then preserved the shutout in the fourth inning when she flagged a fast-fading liner out of empty air with a sprawling snag that left two Bees on base with two outs.
“I thought that bop would drop in and all of the sudden her glove went out and the ball went right in it,” Latey said. “She looked a little surprised ... but she’s so fast. She takes that territory and eats it up.”
Box Elder chased Bountiful senior starter McHailee Danner in the fifth inning when they got four straight batters on, scored two runs and had runners on first and second with no one out — but freshman left-hander Annie Salazar came on in relief and closed the door.
“There’s a lot of pressure in moments like that, but I’ve gone in before and had to fill really big shoes,” Salazar said. “I can’t let it get in my head and ruin it for everyone else.”
Salazar pitched the final three innings, did not allow a hit and struck out two.
Only three upper classmen celebrated senior day for the region-leading Braves (20-4, 9-2 Region 5), who wrap up the regular season with an away game against Woods Cross. Bountiful holds a one-game edge over Roy (14-10, 8-3) and the Bees (18-6, 8-3) for the top spot with the 5A playoffs looming.
Reagan Marizale had two hits and a run scored for the Bees.
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