Pioneers slay Dinos in a nail biting game
|In an extraordinary play, Michelle Ruden sneaks up on home base as the Lehi catcher struggles to gain control of the ball. Ruden successfully stole home base to bring the Dinos within two runs of the Pioneers in the bottom of the eighth inning.|
The Carbon High Dinos had an exciting performance last Thursday as the team hosted the Lehi Pioneers in an afternoon of competitive softball. The Dinos have really stepped up their game the past few weeks, and the true talent the team possesses was displayed as the team battled for control of the scoreboard against the Pioneers.
The game opened up with the Pioneers scoring one run. The Dinos answered with two runs of their own in the first inning.
With the lead under their belts, the Dinos began to settle into their game, despite neither team scoring a run in the second inning. The third however, found the Pioneers running three runs and the Dinos one, thus moving the Pioneers ahead 4-3, going into the fourth inning.
A defensive battle then ensued during the fourth inning, in which both teams failed to reach home base to score a run. Dino Michelle Ruden had an exceptional game with several big plays coming in the fourth inning, including two quick outs and a throw to first to send Lehi to the bench.
The momentum seemed to be on the Dinos side, despite allowing the Pioneers one run in the fifth inning. By the time the bottom of the seventh rolled around however, the Dinos were on fire. Ruden, who had been a key player for the Dinos thus far in the game, really stepped up for the team as she pounded a ball far out to right field. The ball got away from the Pioneers and allowed Ruden to complete a home run. The play energized the excited Dino team who evened the score at 5-5 by the completion of the seventh inning.
It was then do-or-die time for both region eight teams. The eighth inning found not only excitement written on both teams faces, but also nervousness. As players settled into their game, the battle continued.
Lehi began the inning with a call that infuriated their coach. After a runner ran into Carbon's shortstop who was covering first base, the runner was ruled out. According to the umpire, the ball, which was knocked out of the shortstops hand, fell because of the contact. The runner was not within boundaries when running when the contact occurred, thus resulting in an out for the Pioneers. After a long protest from the Pioneer coach, the game finally continued, this time with a call that favored Lehi.
As a Lehi runner was nearing home base, Dino catcher Hailee Vigil caught a ball thrown by a Dino teammate. In order to tag the runner out, Vigil lunged forward with arm out stretched, in an attempt to send the Pioneers back to the dugout. According to the umpire, the ball did not come in contact with the runner, however coming within inches of contact.
The play had Dino fans, players, and coaches outraged. Whether the ball did make contact or not is unknown, however the call dampened the spirits of the Dino team.
After the controversial calls had been made, Lehi had managed to score three runs by the time the Dinos gathered three outs against the Pioneers.
With the outcome of the game riding on the Dinos shoulders, the team stepped up to bat. The eighth inning was intense, but Ruden was not affected by the intensity level. In fact, while on third base, Ruden found the perfect opportunity to chalk up a point for the Dinos. When the Lehi pitcher dropped the ball, Ruden gunned it for home, successfully stealing home base.
The steal was not enough however for the Dinos to take control of the ball game. Although a second run was scored in the eighth inning, the final found the Dinos one run behind the Pioneers, 8-7.
The loss was disappointing for the Dinos, however the excitement remained in the hearts of all. The level of play was like none other displayed so far this season.
The Dinos current record is 1-4, but the team hopes to improve this record as they return to action Tuesday on the road against the North Sanpete Hawks. Although the Hawks are undefeated this season, the way the Dinos are playing, records just may change in the Dinos favor.