The Lady Spartans of Emery High advanced in the state 3-A softball playoffs with a tense, hard fought victory over the Wasatch Wasps at Cedar High School last Saturday to advance to the state tournament this week in St George. Emery won the game 11-10 after losing an 11-4 advantage.
After going scoreless in the first two innings of the game, Emery found themselves down 3-0 going into the top of the third inning. Due to a couple of infield errors, Wasatch had scored three unearned runs in the bottom of the second inning to take the early lead. Wasatch scored a single run in the bottom of the third inning.
In the top of the third inning, Emery started a new trend by scoring at least one run in each of the next four innings. Emery scored twice in the third inning, three more times in the fourth inning, once in the fifth inning and then five runs in the top of the sixth inning to lead 11-4 and things looked good for the Spartans at this point.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Wasatch's first batter walked, the next batter struck out and the next singled. The next batter then hit a homerun to right field to narrow the gap to 11-7. Emery got the final two batters of the inning out.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Wasatch had the top of the lineup up to bat to try and save the game for them. Up to this point, the first four batters for Wasatch in three previous plate appearances each had not had a base hit and had been on base a total of only two times, once a walk and once due to an Emery throwing error.
In the top of bottom of the seventh inning, the leadoff batter doubled down the left field line, not a good sign. The next two batters hit groundballs to the infield that were bobbled and all of a sudden, a run had scored and two batters that should have been out were now on base.
With the lead cut to three, no outs and two runners on, the next batter doubled to right field scoring another run and the lead was now two. The next batter hit a grounder to the pitcher, Whitney Roper, who came home with the throw and catcher Markette Tanner tagged out the Wasp runner and Emery had the first out of the inning.
The next batter singled, scoring another run to narrow the gap to one run at 11-10 and still two on base with only one out. The batter now was the Wasatch batter that had homered in the sixth inning. This is where things became intense. The batter hit a sharp line drive that shortstop Bryton Hess snagged for the out and then caught a runner off base and like that the inning was over as was the game and Emery celebrated a hard fought victory.
Emery scored two runs in the third inning. Bennett walked, Jo Jennings singled and Makiah Sherman loaded the bases when the left fielder dropped her fly ball. Bennett and Jennings scored on a single to centerfield by Hess.
In the fourth inning, Jaiden Huntington singled to right centerfield and then Shelby Mason, on the first pitch to her, hit a homerun to leftfield that cleared the fence by at least fifty feet. Jeridi Price then doubled and scored on a pair of passed balls by the Wasp catcher. Emery now had their first lead of the day at 5-4.
In the fifth inning, Tanner got hit by a pitch, Hess singled and Huntington then singled to score Tanner. With two on and only one out, the next two Spartan batters got out to end a bigger threat.
In the sixth inning, Bennett got out to start the inning. Jennings then walked after she battled the Wasatch pitcher to a full count after she fouled off seven additional pitches, as she stayed alive in the batters box. Sherman tripled to right field, scoring Jennings. Tanner singled to right field scoring Sherman. Hess singled to right field, advancing Tanner to third base. Hess then stole second base and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Tanner scored and Hess was now on third base.
After Roper got out for the second out of the inning, Huntington doubled to centerfield scoring Hess. Mason then singled and Huntington scored and Emery led 11-4. Price ended the inning by flying out to centerfield.
Emery had 13 base hits in the game including a pair of doubles, a triple and that homerun. Hess and Huntington, both sophomores for Emery, led the way with three hits apiece. Mason, a senior, was the other Emery batter with more than one base hit. Each of these three batters had two RBIs also. Roper limited Wasatch to seven base hits and three walks but those pesky errors made things way too interesting as those errors gave Wasatch five unearned runs.
Emery will now play this Thursday at 2 p.m. against Cedar High in St. George at the Little Valley fields. The address for the complex is 2995 S. 2350 E. To get there go to River Road, drive south to 2800 South and then turn east to 2350 E. and then south. River Road runs parallel to the freeway in front of the new hospital, Lowes and Target.