Based upon last year, Riverton (22-5) knows how tough it is to work out of the one-loss side of a double-elimination bracket. On Tuesday, after falling behind early to the Titans, the 'Wolves rebounded with five runs over their last three innings at the plate and wrapped up the victory behind the pitching of standout Jordan Lockhart.
"It's definitely a better route I love it," Riverton coach Katelyn Elliott said. "Either way, we're going to compete no matter which way we go."
In the 2015 tourney, Riverton fell in the second round before winning three games in the elimination bracket and losing to eventual champ Lehi two steps shy of the championship game.
The battle with Syracuse (22-5-2) at the Valley Regional Softball Complex on Tuesday was a third-round contest and the Titans put up a quick run in the opening frame when Mindi Zaugg doubled in a run after Lockhart issued a couple of walks.
It took a few innings for Riverton to respond in kind against Syracuse sophomore lefthander Ashtyn Bauerle.
After holding the Silverwolves hitless through three, Bauerle started the fourth by giving up an infield single to Riverton's Madison Tuft and then a bunt single to Kaitlynn Withers. That was converted to a 2-1 Silverwolves lead on a Bauerle throwing error and then a groundout.
In the next inning, Riverton scored another run when Alysson Houston zipped a ball to the right corner and then scored when Tuft, who singled, evaded a rundown between first and second.
Meanwhile, Lockhart had settled in. Over the last five innings, she allowed only three hits.
"I had some trouble hitting my spots, but I trusted my team and they got the job done for me," Lockhart said. "This feels great. This is the farthest we've gone in softball and we're really coming together as a team."
Riverton added a pair of runs in the sixth, with Houston driving in both after Taylor Eakle and Sarah Linford started the frame with singles.
"I think she [Bauerle] had an outstanding game. They only had one hard hit ball all game long," said Syracuse coach Kelly Anderson, whose team finished second in Region 2 to West.
"There was some seeing-eye stuff that got through and that's just part of the game," Anderson said. "Our thing was that we would get to play Tuesday and Wednesday no matter what happened today. We get to come tomorrow that's the good news."
At 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Riverton will face the winner of Tuesday night's Lehi-West matchup.
Senior pitcher Peyton Hunter strikes out nine batters as Maple Mountain beats Box Elder 3-2 in the Class 4A playoffs. › tribpreps.com