TAYLORSVILLE — It’s been a long time since Provo’s softball team was relevant, but with two days left in the 2013 season, the Bulldogs are still very, very relevant.
Provo continued its unlikely march through the 4A playoffs with an impressive 6-3 victory over Mountain Crest on Tuesday, advancing in the winners bracket and guaranteeing that it’s one of the last three teams standing this Thursday.
For a team that lost to Lehi 17-2 in the first game of the season back on March 5, that’s an incredible feat.
“You cannot put it into words. This is the first time we’ve been past the second round. This is the first time we’ve got three playoff wins. This is the first time for a lot of things with Provo High,” said Bulldogs coach Jose Ventura. “This is great for the school and great for our region.”
With the victory, Provo advances to Wednesday’s winners bracket game against Region 8 foe Salem Hills. The two split their meetings this season, and Ventura is confident his team can compete again.
With the way his power hitters swing the bat, there’s no reason the Bulldogs shouldn’t. Two swings of the bat is all that really separated Provo and Mountain Crest on Tuesday.
With Provo trailing the Mustangs 2-0 heading into the fourth inning, McKenzie Corless blasted a three-run homer to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the game. Two batters later, Victoria Van Quill extended the lead to 4-2 with a solo home run of her own.
“Our girls have done that all year. We have five kids who can change a game at any point, and that was evident today,” said Ventura.
That was all the run support Provo pitcher Taylor Allman needed as she only allowed six hits and pitched out of several jams thanks to three Bulldog errors. One of those jams was in the bottom of the seventh.
After Provo added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh to increase the lead to 6-2, Mountain Crest loaded the bases and even put the tying run on first base before Allman pitched out of the jam for the victory.
“We just stayed focused. Taylor did a phenomenal job today,” said Ventura.
Eleanor Talia and Lindsay Rowley also ripped doubles for the Bulldogs, who tagged the Mustangs with nine hits.
Against Salem Hills ace Kirtlyn Bohling, Ventura said it will be key for his players to stay patient at the plate and make Bohling throw strikes. That’s easier said than done. The last time these teams met on May 7, Bohling only allowed four hits and picked up a 1-0 shutout victory.
“She can win the game 1-0. She’s done that once already,” said Ventura.
With the loss, Mountain Crest advances in the 4A one-loss bracket and faces region foe Bonneville at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
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