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SPORTS - "State champs! Lady Bears earn 10th state softball title and national media attention"

SPANISH FORK – By Cari Doutre – May 27, 2021

Bear River High softball team, May 22, 2021 - Photo by Micah Capener

Why have nine state championship titles when 10 is better?

Better yet, why stick to state media coverage when you can have national media attention instead? But more on that later...

When the Bear River High School softball team took home the 2021 4A state championship on Saturday, May 22, it marked a significant accomplishment, not only for the Lady Bears but to Bear River High as well. It also meant the school’s 10th state softball title.

Bear River High is now tied with Manti High School and Tooele High School for the most state softball titles in Utah High School Activities Association record books. It also gives Bear River High’s head softball coach Calvin Bingham his 10th state title securing his spot in the record books with the most state championship wins for a coach. But that’s nothing new for Bingham because he has held that record for years.

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Bear River celebrates their state title win, May 22, 2021 - Photo by Micah Capener

Heading into the 4A state semi-finals on May 20, in Spanish Fork, Bear River beat Snow Canyon High School, 12-7, knocking the Warriors out of the state tournament and ending their season. Read’s previously posted article on that game on the link below.

Off to the 4A championship Bear River went, in a best out of three-game series with Tooele High that began Friday, May 21. Only it didn’t start out well for the Lady Bears losing 5-0 to the Buffaloes in the first game of the series.

But it was far from over for Bear River, and with the one day left of competition on Saturday, May 22, the second game in the series proved to be a much different ball game for the Bears.

Starting with back-to-back homeruns from Oaklie Maxfield and McCall Maxfield in the first inning, the sisters started a momentum kept going by the Lady Bears throughout the game. Trailing 4-0 going into the bottom of the fourth inning, Tooele put their first run on the scoreboard. One more run in the sixth inning was brought in for the Buffaloes but it was too little, too late and Bear River won 4-2, tying up the series 1-1.

The Maxfield sisters joined forces and dominated at the plate for the Lady Bears. Oaklie Maxfield, a senior, went 3-for-3 with three RBIs, a double and a homerun while younger sister McCall, a junior, went 2-for-3.

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Oaklie Maxfield and Calvin Bingham, May 22, 2021 - Photo by Todd Burton

Both teams took a 30-minute break before the third and final game, but it became apparent early in the second game of the day that the pain Bear River inflicted earlier that day wasn’t wearing off for the Buffaloes.

Bear River kept Tooele scoreless for the first six innings while running up the scoreboard up 10-0 that included a three-run homerun from senior Cami Gibbs in the fifth inning. And this was all before McCall Maxfield decided to hit her second homerun of the day in the top of the seventh inning.

Tooele managed to score one run in the bottom of the sixth inning and five more in the seventh inning wasn’t enough to catch up as they handed Bear River the 2021 4A state championship.

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Cami Gibbs and Calvin Bingham, May 22, 2021 - Photo by Todd Burton
Lady Bears celebrate Cami Gibb's home run, May 22, 2021 - Photo by Micah Capener

After plenty of celebration from the team, parents, coaches and fans, it was time for the Lady Bears to head home.

Waiting to greet them was a community full of excitement and pride for the Lady Bears as they were escorted to Bear River High by local law enforcement vehicles and fire trucks from the Garland and Tremonton fire departments. People lined Main Street in Tremonton from the Box Elder County fairgrounds to 300 E. It continued with even more cheering crowds lining 300 E. clear to Bear River High ending an exciting day for the Lady Bears.

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May 22, 2021 - Photo by Cari Doutre

Little did the team know that the excitement wasn’t over yet – at least not for their teammate Olivia Taylor. It all started during Bear River’s first game against Tooele High on Saturday, May 22.

Taylor, a senior at Bear River High, made a remarkable mid-air catch at centerfield that propelled her backward and over the mesh homerun fence, causing her to flip over while keeping the ball in her glove the entire time.

And it was all caught on video which meant it didn’t take long for Taylor’s catch to make its way to nearly every major media outlet in the country.

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Photo by Micah Capener, May 22, 2021
Photo by Micah Capener, May 22, 2021
Photo by Micah Capener, May 22, 2021

From ESPN to “Good Morning America” and everywhere in between, Taylor became a celebrity overnight and five days after “the catch heard around the country” she is still getting national media attention. Taylor has already made several virtual interview appearances with some of the country’s biggest media agencies including Major League Baseball’s own broadcast channel.

When asked Taylor what the past few days has been like for her she replied, “it has been super busy and crazy but fun at the same time!”

Watch Bear River Live and's highlights and post game coverage, including an interview with Olivia Taylor, from last week's Bear River High softball's state tournament HERE!

Photo coverage provided by Todd Burton, Micah Capener and


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