Riverton Brings Home Softball State Championship
Jul 13, 2016 09:42AM
● By Greg James
Riverton senior Katie Alder had one hit in three at-bats in the championship game for the Silverwolves. –dsandersonpics.com
By Greg James [email protected]
Despite being down two runs in its final at-bat, the Riverton Silverwolves girls softball team found the spark it needed and secured the school’s first-ever softball state championship.
“It was a fun season,” Silverwolves head coach Katelyn Elliot said. “I could not have asked for it to end any better than it did.”
State Championship Game
Winning Pitcher: Jordan Lockhart
HR: Taylor Eakle, Jordan Lockhart
The Silverwolves trailed 11-5 entering its final at bat. The team used its never-say-die attitude to rally past West and cling to its first state championship trophy.
“There was a lot that kept them going all season,” Elliot said. “Like all teams we had trials. We had our ups and downs. I kept telling them that every time we had something hard we had a choice. We could learn from it or we could give up, get worse and start blaming and pointing fingers and blame each other. They didn’t; they came together and got stronger.”
The Silverwolves did not give up despite trailing. They managed to plate four runs before junior Taylor Eakle’s historic at-bat. Two runners occupied the bases as she entered the batter’s box.
“Honestly, before that hit I thought it would be cool if she could hit one over. We were down by two, and that would be a walk-off,” Elliot said. “No matter what I knew she was going to get a hit in that situation. She just decided to hit it out.”
The walk-off home run by Eakle topped off the season for the Silverwolves. Their 13-11 victory earned them the trophy. They only lost two games the entire season. The 9-3 defeat to Herriman may have been the catapult to changing their season.
“Our loss to Herriman in the beginning really changed our team,” Elliot said. “They came together and got stronger from it. They were fighters and continued to get stronger. In the fifth, sixth and seventh innings when they were down they continued fighting. We did not give up like most teams. We were like that all year. That was a key to our success.”
The Silverwolves ended the state tournament with five straight wins. They defeated Davis 11-1, Fremont 5-1, Syracuse 5-2 and West 11-8 and 13-11.
The team batted .421 overall and belted 21 home runs collectively. Senior Jordan Lockhart dominated in the circle. She had 195 strikeouts in 126 innings pitched.
Lockhart has committed to continue playing softball at Weber State; Sarah Linford will play at Western Nebraska Community College; and Kaitlynn Withers and Katie Alder will attend Colby Community College.
Elliot finished her second season as the Silverwolves head coach. They have qualified for the state playoffs both seasons.