Advertisement

High school softball: Ridgeline defeats Desert Hills in Game 2 of 4A championship to win title

Ridgeline celebrates their 4A championship title after beating Desert Hills at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024.
Ridgeline celebrates their 4A championship title after beating Desert Hills at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News

After suffering heartbreak in the state tournament last year, Ridgeline redeemed themselves, sweeping Desert Hills in the 4A state softball championship series and winning Game 2 by the score of 8-2. By winning the championship, Desert Hills has now won the state title two out of the last three years.

Ridgeline was led by catcher Anne Wallace, who went 2 for 3 on the day with a double and a home run while also scoring a run.

In the circle, starting pitcher Brielle Gardiner came in clutch in the most important game of the season by pitching a complete game and striking out six batters throughout.

“It’s hard, super hard to win a championship. I’m incredibly proud of them. This is one of those things where life meets experience. Today you saw adversity, you saw people overcome, you saw winning, happiness and sorrow. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoy coaching these kids,” said Ridgeline head coach Michael Anderson, who was understandably emotional after the win.

0518prpsoftball.spt
Ridgeline coach Michael Anderson gets doused with the ice bucket after Ridgeline beat Desert Hills in a 4A championship softball game at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
0518prpsoftball.spt
Ridgeline’s Anne Wallace celebrates with a coach after winning the 4A championship game against Desert Hills at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
0518prpsoftball.spt
Ridgeline’s Anne Wallace runs home after hitting it out of the park in the 4A championship game against Desert Hills at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
0518prpsoftball.spt
Ridgeline and Desert Hills compete in the 4A state championship softball game at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
0518prpsoftball.spt
Ridgeline celebrates their 4A championship title after beating Desert Hills at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
0518prpsoftball.spt
Ridgeline and Desert Hills compete in the 4A state championship softball game at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
0518prpsoftball.spt
Ridgeline and Desert Hills compete in the 4A state championship softball game at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
0518prpsoftball.spt
Ridgeline and Desert Hills compete in the 4A state championship softball game at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
0518prpsoftball.spt
Ridgeline and Desert Hills compete in the 4A state championship softball game at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
0518prpsoftball.spt
Ridgeline players accept the trophy after beating Desert Hills in the 4A championship game at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
0518prpsoftball.spt
Ridgeline pitcher Brielle Gardiner celebrates Ridgeline’s 4A championship win after beating Desert Hills at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
0518prpsoftball.spt
Ridgeline’s Adisyn Hansen (31) safely slides into second as Desert Hills’ Riley Greene (55) and Campbell Tate (8) fumble the ball in the 4A state championship game at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
0518prpsoftball.spt
Ridgeline and Desert Hills compete in the 4A state championship softball game at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
0518prpsoftball.spt
Ridgeline celebrates their 4A championship title after beating Desert Hills at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
0518prpsoftball.spt
Ridgeline coach Michael Anderson in the 4A championship softball game against Desert Hills at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
0518prpsoftball.spt
Ridgeline’s Ava Howell and Adisyn Hansen kiss the trophy after beating Desert Hills in a 4A championship softball game at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Just like they had done in Game 1, Ridgeline wasted no time in getting out in front of Desert Hills. Ridge scored on a Desert Hills error that allowed Anne Wallace to score from third. Not soon after, Ridgeline doubled their lead with a single by Ava Howell that scored Ellie Pond.

Desert Hills was able to do some damage offensively during the middle innings and take advantage of some Ridgeline miscues. In the top of the third inning, Desert Hills Riley Greene scored on a sac fly and Bailey Lee scored on a wild pitch to tie the game up at 2.

It was around this time that Wallace took matters into her own hands for Ridgeline. Stepping up to the plate in the fifth inning with a runner on base, Wallace belted a shot to deep center field, the ball barely clearing the fence for a two-run home run.

“All I was thinking was that I’ve been in this position before. I just got to put the ball in play and my team will follow-up behind me, that’s all I was thinking about. I honestly didn’t know if it was going to go over, so I just took off running as fast as I could but I’m just so happy it went over,” said Wallace.

Ridgeline created some much-needed breathing room in the sixth inning. They scored four runs in the inning, highlighted once again by Wallace. At the plate for the second straight inning, Wallace drills a line drive to left field that reached the wall, scoring two runs and breaking the game wide open.

Anderson could not say enough good things about Wallace and her ability to put her team on her back when they needed it most.

“Anne Wallace comes in right after Desert Hills scores the two runs in the top of the fourth and she said, ‘It’s OK, we got this.’ That’s what we got with a kid like that. She comes in calm and puts together the type of incredible performance that she put together today; she carried us today.”