Emery softball finishes fourth in state tourney
The Emery High Lady Spartan softball team returned home from the 2-A Utah State softball tournament Saturday afternoon with a fourth place finish in the sixteen team affair. The Manti Templars defeated San Juan 8-4 Saturday to claim the championship. Manti had been the favorite throughout the season to win this year's title and completed the season with just a single loss, a loss at the hands of 5-A Taylorsville. Manti was led by senior pitcher Kali Thomsen, a granddaughter of Huntington residents Ed and Jeanine Thomsen. San Juan was the defending 2-A champion.
Emery's fourth place finish is the best finish by a Spartan team since they started playing the sport around 25 years ago. Emery's offense hit close to 30 homeruns this season, a record by a Spartan team as first year coach Shaun Bell did a good job of focusing his players throughout the season and in the tournament.
Emery started the tournament by playing Rowland Hall, a team they then defeated 16-0 in four innings. Emery had seven base hits in the game including a homerun by Ashton Bell and a double and a triple by Gentry Noyes. Singles were hit by Taylor Payne, Abby Jacobsen, Makayla Clark and Amber Petersen.
The Spartans then faced Manti in the second game and trailed 4-2 after four innings of play only to lose the game 13-2 as the Templars scored at will in the final two innings. Clark hit a homerun in this game with Bell hitting a double and single. Noyes had the only other hit, a single.
Emery rebounded in the third game and defeated Delta 6-5 to keep their hopes alive. Delta scored all their runs in the third inning while the Spartans scored once in the first, fifth and seventh innings and three times in the sixth inning. Emery had seven hits in the game with five being singles and two being doubles. Noyes and Clark had the doubles while the singles went to Hailee Beckstead, Jacobsen, Clark, Peterson and Jarica Huntington.
In the first game on Friday, Emery defeated South Sevier 15-5 after pounding out 17 base hits. Emery scored five times in the second inning, once in the fourth and sixth innings and then eight times in the top of the seventh inning. Bell led the way with two doubles and two singles and Beckstead and Payne each had three singles in the game. Also hitting a double was Noyes and Jacobsen. Others with hits were Clark with a single, Peterson with two singles, Kambrie Hinkins with two singles and Huntington with a single.
Emery then faced Gunnison and the Spartans defeated the Bulldogs 6-2. Emery scored a single run in the first inning as Noyes doubles and scored on a Beckstead single. Emery then scored five runs in the second inning and then held on for the win. In that second inning, Clark started off the Spartans by hitting a double to centerfield. After an out, Hinkins hit a sacrifice fly to score Clark. Huntington and Noyes then singled and scored on another Beckstead single. Beckstead then scored as Bell hit a homerun over the centerfield fence.
Emery then faced South Summit in a game for the right to play San Juan. Emery scored once in both the first and second innings to grab the early lead but the Wildcats closed out the game by scoring eight unanswered runs to win 8-2.
Noyes walked to lead off the first inning, advanced in a Beckstead single and scored on a Jacobsen single. Petersen scored Emery's other run by walking to lead off the second inning, got to second on another walk to Noyes and scored on a ball hit by Beckstead was misplayed for an error.
Emery will lose seniors Beckstead, Clark and Jacobsen next season but should return a team ready to challenge again.