Lady Spartan Softball prepares for state
The Emery High Lady Spartans prepared for the opening of this week's Utah State 2-A softball championship tournament by playing three games against non-region opponents last week. Emery defeated Delta 11-10 and Gunnison 18-17 before concluding the regular season with a loss against 3-A opponent North Sanpete.
This week Emery will begin play with a noon start ball game against Rowland Hall at the Spanish Fork Complex located at 295 West Volunteer Drive in Spanish Fork. Volunteer Drive comes off Main Street at around 600 South.
With a win, Emery would face the winner of the Manti-Kanab ball game at 6 p.m. that evening while a loss would make the Spartans face the loser of that game at 4 p.m. that afternoon.
Last week's play showed the strength and weakness of the Spartans, they can both score a lot of runs while at the same time give up a lot of runs.
Against Delta on Tuesday, Emery was down 10-6 going into the bottom of the seventh inning. Kambrie Hinkins led off the inning by hitting an inside the park homerun. Jessica Mason then pinch hit for Emery's last batter in the lineup and promptly hit a homerun over the fence. After leadoff batter Gentry Noyes singled to right field, Hailee Beckstead promptly hit the ball over the left field fence for a 2-run homer that tied the game. The next batter was Ashton Bell and she ended the game with a homerun over the centerfield fence. This game shows that Emery is never really out of the game even though it appears that they might be.
Against Gunnison on Thursday, Emery started the game by scoring seven runs in the first inning and then ended the game by scoring four in the bottom of the seventh for the win.
In that first inning, Noyes walked to leadoff the game followed by a homerun by Beckstead. Bell singled with the next two batters grounding out. Emery then scored five more runs with two outs. With Bell now at third base, Makayla Clark doubled, Amber Petersen singled, Hinkins got on base due to an error, Jarica Huntington singled, Noyes was up for a second time and she doubled to left scoring the final runs of the inning.
Emery scored once in the second inning, twice in the fourth inning and four times in the fifth inning before winning the game in the seventh inning. Both teams had 18 base hits in the game and both teams committed 7 errors.
Manti is the favorite going into the tournament as they are 20-0 for the season. San Juan won region 15, Emery's region, and are the defending 2-A state champion. After that, the field appears to be wide open for a team to do well if they play good ball for these three days.
Ashton Bell is a good pitcher and should do well this week but she will need her teammates to help her out by committing no errors. Emery's offense has been strong all season and all batters in the lineup can deliver for the Spartans. Good luck this week.