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Prep softball: Freshman Butterfield uses arm, bat to lead Lehi past American Fork

Published April 18, 2017 9:31 pm

Prep softball • She throws complete game and drives in winning run against American Fork.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Lehi • Region 4 regularly produces three bona fide candidates to win the state softball title each season, but it's a little different this year.

While second-ranked Herriman certainly is primed for a deep run in the state tourney, a cluster of teams are fighting it out to claim the three other playoff berths.

Lehi, while maybe not quite at the level that won it state titles in 2014 and 2015, kept its grasp on second place in league play by upending American Fork 3-2 on Tuesday.

The Pioneers (10-9, 5-1) recovered from a two-run deficit with three in the fourth then rode the arm of freshman pitcher Lexi Butterfield the rest of the way.

The day's biggest hitting star, like Butterfield, is very young. Sophomore Kylie Takahashi ripped a drive to the left-field corner that barely cleared the fence for a solo homer to tie the game at 2-2 in the fourth.

"I think it was her first one — she might have one more this year — but we call it a 191er," Lehi coach Tim Kennedy said about the Takahashi shot that just cleared the fence measured at 190 feet from home plate. "We'll take it because it got us going."

Takahashi kept her approach simple in the at-bat: "If it goes outside, go with it; if it comes inside, just pull it. So I did."

The Pioneers got on the board in the fourth when Savannah Heaton doubled to right-center, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kayla Roberts.

After Takahashi's blow to deadlock the game, Kylie Woolf reached on an error before stealing second and advancing to third on a wild pitch. She scored on a Butterfield double to right-center.

Lehi fell to Riverton 11-1 at a tournament Saturday in Las Vegas, but that didn't count in the region standings. The Pioneers' 7-5 win over the Silverwolves in late March did, which means the Pioneers stayed firmly in second in the Region 4 standings after Tuesday's win.

"Herriman's the team to beat this year," Kennedy said. "The last few years, we've had some really good teams. Herriman and Riverton are always there. This year, you get the feeling it's a little bit down as far as pitching goes."

American Fork (9-9-1, 3-3) got one run in the first via on an RBI single by Lia Gallman. Ty Davis singled to start the second inning and eventually scored on a double by Bailey Larson.

Despite the loss, American Fork still is in position to make a run at the postseason, something coach Leslee Warr said her team has been building toward since she took over three years ago.

"We're just right there," Warr said. "We're like one hit away from breaking through. They're hitting the ball very well — good hard hits — they just happened to land in a few gloves." —

Lehi 3, American Fork 2

R Sophomore Kylie Takahashi hits a solo homer for Lehi as part of a three-run fourth inning.

• Pioneers freshman pitcher Lexi Butterfield scatters seven hits over seven innings for the win.

• American Fork hurler Shawnee Hillman gives up seven hits through the first four frames before throwing 1-2-3 innings in the fifth and sixth.






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