Eagle’s historic softball season continued Thursday with another mercy-rule rout, this time for the 5A District Three Tournament championship.
The Mustangs got home runs from five players, culminating with freshman right fielder Noelle Foster’s walkoff solo shot in the bottom of the fifth inning that sealed a 10-0 victory against Boise at Mountain View High.
Eagle, which assumed the No. 1 ranking in the nation Tuesday in the CBS MaxPreps Xcellent 25, has hit 63 home runs this season. The Mustangs are two shy of matching their total from last season, which tied for the second most by any team in U.S. history, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations’ record book.
The single-season national record is 71, set by Pisgah (Ala.) in 2011. Eagle’s next stop is the 5A state tournament next week in Idaho Falls, where it is guaranteed at least two games.
Ten of the 13 players on the roster have hit a home run, but Foster’s game-winner was particularly celebrated. It was the first of her varsity career.
“Like I’ve said before, you can walk Bradie (Fillmore) and Martha (Tooley) and the next one will hit one, and I think Noelle showed that today,” Eagle coach Nicole Rollins said. “She’s been trying to keep up with them.
“As a freshman, there’s a lot of pressure out there to keep up with all these kids that are hitting home runs all the time. She’s not in the limelight, and for her to hit one, it was a lot of fun.”
While Eagle’s offensive output has captured the attention of fans this season, the Mustangs’ performance in the field has been equally strong.
Their 26-0 record includes just five games that have gone the distance, and 17 of their wins have been shutouts. Pitchers Fillmore and Autumn Moffat have given up a combined 12 earned runs.
Fillmore, a senior and Cal signee, has an ERA of .517 in 58 innings, striking out 132 batters and walking 12. Moffat, who has committed to BYU, boasts an ERA of .690 with 83 strikeouts and 15 walks.
The two trade off between pitching and starting at shortstop.
Junior catcher Rachel Menlove is charged with corralling drop balls, changeups and rise balls. Menlove has caught 1,874 pitches this season with just one passed ball.
“It definitely took a while to get used to,” Menlove said. “But I think now that I’ve been catching for them for so long — I’ve been catching for Bradie since we were probably 12 or 13 — I’ve adjusted to her well, and same with Autumn. I’ve just gotten used to their pitching.”
As it has all season, Eagle cruised through the district tournament, winning three games by a combined score of 42-0. The Mustangs have outscored opponents 353-21 this season.
“Our coach says, ‘Stay humble and stay hungry,’ which I think is a really good saying,” Foster said. “Because sometimes when we are playing some teams where we’re up by 15 in the third inning, we get a little down, but then our coach reminds us to stay up.
“As teammates, we’re really good about keeping each other up and staying pumped and just doing our best, even when we’re up by that much.”
The 5A state tournament is May 20-21 at Bonneville High.