By Breven Honda

The Virgin Valley High School softball team has been finding success this season through its young group with one senior on the roster. 

Entering April, the Bulldogs have won 20 of their first 21 games and are 6-0 in Mountain League 3A South action.

The Virgin Valley High softball team recently won the March Warmup tournament in St. George, going 5-0.

Ranked No. 9 in the state before their March 31 game, Virgin Valley has focused on playing with appreciation and regard.  

“We don’t fear nobody. We respect everybody,” head coach Travis Griffiths said on April 1. “That’s our mentality going into all of those games. We want to make sure that we respect them and that we realize we have to show up and play hard and play well each day to get a victory.”

One of the toughest opponents on their schedule came against the Moapa Valley Pirates on March 31. Both teams entered the day with one loss as the top two teams in the Mountain League faced off. 

The Bulldogs sent their ace, junior Riley Price to the circle. 

Price, who came into the game with 14 victories under her belt this season, received her 15th win almost doing it with perfection.

“Defensively, Riley Price threw a no-hitter, and we were basically a small error away from having a perfect game yesterday,” Griffiths said. “The girls just really played well yesterday. Riley had 15 strikeouts and then when they did hit the ball, the other girls did really well in the field to care of the outs.”

Virgin Valley went on to win 4-0 over Moapa Valley to receive win No. 20 as Price recorded her ninth complete game and her third no-hitter of the 2022 season. 

Not only can Price get good results in the circle, but she has also found success at the plate. 

Offensively, Price is hitting .544, which is the third-best clip on the team, only trailing junior Brooklyn Montoya and sophomore Reggi Frei, who is batting .591. In addition, at least nine Bulldogs are hitting at least .400. 

Griffiths said Price is playing a big role on this team as everyone is stepping up.

“Her success on the mound definitely is a big contributing factor to our success as a team,” Griffiths said of Price, who also has a team-leading 10 home runs. “But all of the girls step up at different times and have done big things. We stress the team concept. A lot of that takes all of them but her success on the mound definitely.”

Price is one of 10 juniors on this year’s squad.

By winning with only one senior this season and despite playing against older teams with more seniors and experience, Griffiths said it is paying off not only for this year, but for the next couple of seasons. 

“It’s huge,” Griffiths said. “We got one senior and then we got juniors and sophomores and freshmen, and you realize that the success they’re having this year. They can continue on, and you got them for another year. You realize what they’re going to be able to accomplish if they continue to work hard and continue to play as a team because they are pretty young.”

Up next, the Bulldogs play three league games in five days beginning with home games against Canyon Springs on April 4 and Sunrise Mountain two days later. To finish off the week, Virgin Valley goes on the road to face Clark on April 8.