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Idaho Enterprise


Hit hard.  Run fast.  Turn left.  It may be a simple saying on the back of a t-shirt, but that is exactly what the Lady Dragon softball team did to once again, win the 2A District 5 softball tournament at their home fields May 8-10.  Over the three day tournament, the MHS softball team were relentless as they faced each opponent and made the statement that they were a force to be reckoned with. 

The Lady Dragons began their tournament play by taking on the Soda Spring Cardinals, a team that they had easily beaten multiple times throughout the season.  In just two innings, the Malad was up 18 runs to 0, with everyone on the line up adding at least one run to the final tally. Riglee Peterson, Hallie Horsley, Addley Kimberling and Kaitlyn Pickett each added three runs to the Lady Dragon’s final score.  Two of those runs were home runs hit by Pickett and Brylee Oglesbee, in addition to a double hit by Kimberling.

Defensively, the MHS softball team was on top of their game, making quick work of the Cardinals time at the plate.  Pitcher Combs took the lead with outs from the mound as she claimed two of the three outs in the first and second inning.  In a total of three innings, the hurler threw five strikeouts total, allowing one run on one hit while walking three and committing zero errors.  The Cardinals managed to get one run across home plate in the third inning to bring the final score to Malad 18, Soda Springs 1.

As they advanced to their second game of the tournament, the Lady Dragons were matched to play the Bear Lake Bears.  In the top of the opening inning, the Bears had a strong start, getting their first two batters in the lineup on base.  On the third play of the game, the Lady Dragons snagged their first out as first baseman Horsley beat the runner to the base with ball in hand.  Unfortunately, the Bears also managed to put a run across home plate.  Malad answered the score with two consecutive strikeouts from Peterson at the pitcher's mound to end Bear Lake’s chances for additional runs.  

Combs, first to bat for the Lady Dragons, gave her team a stellar start as she started off the batting with a hit out of the park for a home run.  Malad tallied up three more runs after Combs from Aubrey Shulz, Peterson, and Kimberling to end the inning, 4-1.

The Bears were ready to bat once again, getting a double on their first at bat of the inning.  The Bear Lake hitter made the most of a Malad error to not only take third, but also score a second run.  Peterson once again shut down the Bear Lake batting after the scored run by striking out the two final batters.

Senior Beth McClain hit a single line drive to center field on the first pitch of the second inning to get the hitting going for the Lady Dragons once again.  McClain stole second base as Bear Lake threw a wild pitch.  After a second ball, McClain took third, and finally stole home after another wild pitch from the Bears.  Combs, who was previously walked on base, scored a second run in the inning for Malad as Shulz hit a hard ground ball to shortstop.  Horsley hit a double on a line drive to left field to bat in Shulz just two plays later.  Horsley took advantage of several poor pitches and Bear Lake errors to make her way around the bases and finally take home for the final score of the inning.

Bear Lake set up the third inning just like the previous two, beginning the inning with a home run.  Peterson and Horsley worked together to stop any additional runners from getting on base, taking two outs at first base and striking out the third.  

The Lady Dragons took things up a notch as they went to bat in the bottom of the third, stringing together eight runs in the inning.  With the one run in the inning and runners of second and third, Horsley stepped up to the plate and hit a second Malad home run of the game, batting in Shulz and Peterson.  Big hits by Pickett and McClain as well as a sacrifice bunt from Oglesbee pushed across three final runs to bring the final score to Malad 16, Bear Lake 3.  

After Bear Lake beat out West Side, Malad had a final matchup against the Bears in the championship game.  Bear Lake once again took to batting in the top of the inning, but unlike their previous game, came out of the first inning scoreless.  On the second play of the game, catcher Pickett caught the Bear’s runner on first attempting to steal second.  Without hesitation, she connected with shortstop McClain at second to tag out the runner for the first out of the inning.  To end the inning, Peterson struckout two of the three following batters, throwing strikes for six of the seven final pitches of the opening inning.

As the Lady Dragons took to hitting, Shulz brought a little excitement to the game as she found herself in a true pickle between third base.  The freshman found herself going back and forth between the two bases with no less than three of her opponents working to get her out.  Suddenly, Shulz managed to sneak passed the Bear’s defense to get back on base at third before they could tag her out.  It wasn’t but the next pitch that Shulz risked another attempt at home, but this time made it across the plate for another Malad score.

Shulz’s run was just the beginning of Lady Dragons scoring with nine more to follow before the inning was over.  The Lady Dragon’s hitting included a double by Pickett, a triple by Peterson and a home run by Oglesbee before the inning ended.

In the second inning, Malad managed three outs in three Bear Lake at bats, starting with  Peterson striking out the first batter.  The next batter managed a double to right field to make her way on base.  On the following at bat, the Lady Dragons pulled out a double play to end the inning as McClain scooped up the hit at shortstop to connect with Horsley on first base to the out.  Horsley, in turn, threw the ball to Goddard on third base to tag out the advancing runner for the final out of the inning.  

The Lady Dragons began where they left off batting as Kimberling hit a double to left field on the first pitch through the strike zone, stealing third and advancing to home before Bear Lake’s pitcher could throw a second ball.  Behind Kimberling, Summers, courtesy runner for Pickett, Oglesbee and Combs put up runs to end the inning, 14-0.  

Bear Lake went to bat in what would be the third and final inning of the game, managing a score off of a home run hit over center field before Horsley got the two final outs of the game, both off the assist from McClain at third base.  It took just two runs by Horsley and Kaysha Beck in the bottom of the third for the Lady Dragons to call the game and clinch the 2A District 5 championship title.

The team optimistically looks forward to the state championship tournament to be held in Pocatello May 19 and 20.  Over the course of the season, the Lady Dragons have played most of the teams filling the bracket, giving them valuable experience for these crucial games.  The Lady Dragons first look to play Bear Lake on Friday, May 19 at 11 a.m. at Capell Park.

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