Cari Doutre, Leader Sports Writer
The Bear River Bears are looking at a five-peat and they’re just one game away. This Monday the Bears will face Spanish Fork at Salt Lake Community College at 2 p.m. for their chance at a fifth straight state championship.
This past week the Bears went up against Canyon View, Spanish Fork and Snow Canyon to advance to the finals, but not without a few bumps and bruises along the way.
On Thursday the Bears faced last year’s second place finishers Canyon View. In the 2011 finals they went into extra innings but came up with a win and their fourth straight title. This year the Bears knocked Canyon View into the losers bracket in the second round of the tournament.
Sophomore Erin Fox scored the first run of the day in the third inning with an RBI double bringing in Shawnie Owen who smacked a double earlier in the inning. The Bears continued their hitting streak into the fourth inning as junior pitcher Jordan Theurer brought in two runs on a single, followed by Owen’s RBI single. Aleisha Taylor went 3-for-3 against Canyon View and helped carry the team to a 4-0 win.
Due to weather delays all of Friday’s games were cancelled and rescheduled for Saturday. First up for the Bears was Spanish Fork. Spanish Fork is ranked first in 3A according to the Deseret News, but rankings don’t matter for the Bears as they fought hard, went into three extra innings and came out on top with a 6-5 win over the Dons.
The Bears were first to score on Carleen Hunsaker’s RBI single in the second inning. Spanish Fork came back strong in the fourth inning with a home run and an RBI single for a 2-1 lead. In the fifth inning the Dons scored one more on an RBI double. The Bears needed something big to happen and that’s exactly what happened in the sixth inning with Taylor smacking a two-run double to tie the score 3-3. Neither team scored in the seventh inning bringing the game into extra innings.
According to international tie breaker rules each team starts the inning with a runner on second. Both teams failed to score any runs in the 8th inning but in the 9th, Bear River scored one run with Bekah Wheatley going home on a pop fly. Spanish Fork came back strong scoring one run tying the game up and going one more inning.
Theurer had one more at bat to show what a 3A MVP is really capable of: smacking a huge two run home run in the 10th. Spanish Fork had just one more chance to get the win but Bear River’s defense showed solid with Fox, Theurer and Wheatley earning a double play and the win.
“I knew to get the lead runner out,” Theurer said of the last play of the game. “I was just happy Erin was quick enough to get that last runner out.”
In the semi-finals Saturday afternoon the Bears faced Snow Canyon in a game that wasn’t quite as close as Spanish Fork’s but still as exciting.
Taylor hit a two run home run in the second inning and from there the Bears kept scoring and scoring. Theurer hit an RBI double in the third inning followed by Owen’s RBI single. Taylor returned in the sixth inning for one more RBI single but it was the seventh inning that the Bears really started to shine. Fox hit a two run double followed by Tyree Haramoto’s RBI single. With bases loaded and two outs senior Morgan Summers stepped up the plate. Summers smacked a grand slam home run deep past center field to bring the score to 13-3 and solidified Bear River’s spot in the finals.
“It was the first time I’ve hit an out of the park grand slam,” Summers said. “This win was huge and to bounce back after Spanish Fork.”