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High school softball: Herriman ends Riverton’s 21-game win streak

In a battle of the undefeated, Herriman ended Riverton’s 21-game win streak with a 12-5 victory on Tuesday afternoon behind a dominant two-way performance from Kiaira Smith.

Herriman opened the game with Smith in the circle and she quickly struck out back-to-back-to-back batters to set the tone for the game.

“It sets the momentum in our favor and gets us going,” said Gabreyela Lancaster. “We knew it was going to be a close game, we knew we were here to win and put in our best effort. Having the rivalry and being excited to play against them helped us.”

The Mustangs wasted no time making their mark as they took advantage of an error and 10-pitch walk to quickly build a three-run lead. Smith hit a hard grounder right over the second base bag to bring in one run. Sofia Lancaster later followed her up to drive in two. From that point on, the Mustangs held a commanding lead that floated above three for the remainder of the game.

“That first run is extremely important, it gave me confidence when I went out there pitching. I want to help myself and I have the power to help myself,” said Smith.

Riverton’s Jolie Mayfield gave her team their first run of the game, smashing a home run over the left field fence on the first pitch of the second inning. The Silverwolves were still trailing by two runs when she returned to the plate, this time with two runners on base. An epic showdown between Mayfield and Smith followed. Mayfield almost repeated her earlier feat as she hit a deep ball high into the air, only to see it curve foul. A few pitches later she again made solid contact, but it fell 8 feet short of the fence, leaving the score unchanged.

“I have known her and played with her since we were young, I knew if I gave her anything close she would hit a good ball, I had to get her to mishit and then we would get out of the inning. The chances were not high of striking her out.” said Smith on Mayfield’s play. “Our defense helped me a ton, that was one of the great balls they got behind me, it really helps to have the defense I trust behind me.”

Herriman’s offensive prowess was on full display as they continued to dominate the game in the third inning, scoring a whopping seven runs. Smith continued her dominance as she also hit a home run on the first pitch of the inning. Two batters later McKenzie Quintero followed suit by smashing her first of two home runs of her own. Despite a pitching change by the opponent, the relentless onslaught continued by taking advantage of constant struggles in the field as they built a 10-1 lead.

“It felt so good to get ahead of them, and then we were able to stay ahead. I like not to get complacent, I approach every at bat like a 0-0 game,” said Quintero. “It brings adrenaline, the more adrenaline we have and the easier it is to stay in the game and in the moment.”

Riverton built a few threats throughout the rest of the game, but Herriman’s defense was up to the challenge. Gabreyela Lancaster made a spectacular diving catch deep in centerfield. Herriman’s offense continued to shine with Quintero hitting her second home run of the game, this time an inside-the-park hit down the first-base line. 

Smith finished with a complete game in the circle while striking out 10 batters while going 4-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs. Mayfield went 3-for-4 for the Silverwolves.

With a final score of 12-7, Herriman remains unbeaten, along with Pleasant Grove as the only teams in 6A. The Mustangs face another tough test on Thursday when they travel to Bingham for another high-level game that will help decide an intense Region 3.

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