This is an archived article that was published on in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

South Jordan • It's been seven years since the Bingham softball team added a state championship trophy to the school display case, but the Miners have to be considered one of the top contenders this season with a pair of left-handed pitchers in the dugout.

Coach Mikki Jackson is a proven winner. Her teams earned three consecutive Class 5A titles from 2008 to 2010, and her teams have made the tournament every year since then. The Miners were one run short of another crown in 2013.

Bingham's prospects are bright with juniors Nicole Wall and Karly Wightman available to pitch not only for this season but next year as well.

A program can go many years without a lefty on the pitching staff, and to have two good ones at the same time is almost unheard of. It gives Jackson's squad a definite advantage because most batters aren't accustomed to facing left-handers.

"A lot has to do with the way the ball is coming across the plate," Jackson said. "The release looks different and the break is different. Batters aren't used to that, especially if the pitcher can move the ball."

Wall is one who definitely can do that.

"Nicole tends to throw a mixture of speeds but has good velocity and more success getting strikeouts," Jackson said.

Wall has fanned 146 — better than 1.5 per inning — against 31 walks.

"She's stayed humble and is constantly working to improve," Jackson said. "She notices a lot of little things about her teammates and her opponents that help her to be successful. She also genuinely enjoys the success of others and is always encouraging and being positive with her teammates.

"She's thrown perfect games and games with lots of strikeouts, but she's the first to say it isn't all her. She says, 'It's all of us who created this perfect game.' She's also confident in coming through in crunch time."

Her team-first attitude was very important when Wightman transferred to Bingham as a sophomore. Transfer rules limited her to junior varsity contests last season, but Wall was in the vanguard of those who welcomed her into the program.

"I love it here," Wightman said. "My teammates are wonderful and accepted me right when I got here. The coaches are amazing and have really worked well with me. It's way cool to be with Nicole. It's actually helped us push each other to be our greatest."

Wightman and Wall use different strategies to get outs.

"Karly relies a little more on location," Jackson said. "She comes out of her pitch and defends well in the middle. The ball goes into to play more. They're both good at generating ground balls and pop-ups."

Jackson said that Wightman also is developing into a leader for the club.

"We developed a special relationship last year," Wall said. "We're always trying to help each other out. You can't rely on one arm. Every player on the roster has to be strong. In the end, it's all about the team." —

Nicole Wall

School • Bingham

Year • Junior

Position • LHP

Batting average • .500

Pitching • 13-3

Saves • 3

ERA • 2.01

Karly Wightman

School • Bingham

Year • Junior

Position • LHP

Batting average • .300

OBP • .500

Pitching • 6-3

IP • 46

Class 5A state tournament

Tuesday's first-round games

Games at 4 p.m.

Riverton at Copper Hills

Layton at Fremont

Mountain Crest at Davis

Taylorsville at Lehi

Roy at West

TBD at Herriman

Pleasant Grove at Bingham

Syracuse at Clearfield

Defending champion • Riverton

Five players to watch • Paige Reynolds, Sr., Davis, .500 batting average, 30 runs scored, 12 RBIs, 35 SBs; Jazmyn Rollin, Jr., West, .600 batting average, 46 runs scored 40 RBIs, 13 HRs, 24 SBs; Dayna Hokanson, Sr., Herriman, .489 batting average, 37 runs scores, 24 RBIs, 22 SBs; Rylie Bennett, Fr., Fremont, .548 batting average, 30 runs scored, 6 RBIs, 14 SBs; McKenzie Dorney, Sr., Bingham, .456 batting average, 23 runs scored, 25 RBIs.

Class 4A state tournament

Tuesday's first-round games

Games at 4 p.m.

Kearns at Timpanogos

Woods Cross at Spanish Fork

Maple Mountain at Box Elder

Skyridge at Murray

Springville at Bountiful

Orem at Cyprus

Olympus at Corner Canyon

Bonneville at Uintah

Defending champion • Spanish Fork

Five players to watch • Cambrie Hazel, Sr., Spanish Fork, 19-0 in the circle, 0.84 ERA, 180 Ks, 31 BBs, 108.1 IP, .438 batting average, 23 runs scored, 20 RBIs, 5 HRs; Taylor Sorenson, Sr., Box Elder, .560 batting average, 45 runs, 52 RBIs, 14 HRs; Riley Newbold, Jr., Cyprus, .596 batting average, 30 runs scored, 25 RBIs, 8 HRs; McHailee Danner, Jr., Bountiful, 13 pitching wins, 3.20 ERA, .471 batting average, 32 runs scored, 27 RBIs, 5 HRs; Sydnie Monson, Jr., Murray, .523 batting average, 31 runs scored, 30 RBIs, 2 HRs.

Class 3A state tournament

Winners bracket second round

Thursday at Spanish Fork Complex

Games at 1 p.m.

Ridgeline vs. Juab

Tooele vs. Cedar City

Desert Hills vs. Grantsville

Bear River vs. North Sanpete