Kaitlyn Thomson catches the fly ball in center field.
The 2012 2-A softball season is rapidly drawing to a close as the teams wrap up region play and prepare for the upcoming state tournament. With the tournament starting next week in St. George, Emery lost a game with San Juan at home that gave the Broncos the outright region title for this season. With the 8-3 loss, Emery finishes region play at 6-2 versus 8-0 for San Juan, the defending 2-A state champs.
Last week, Emery also hosted Desert Hills in a non-region game and the Spartans escaped with a 9-8 victory over the Thunder. This week, Emery will play two non-region games as they prepare for tournament action. Emery hosts Gunnison on Tuesday afternoon and then on Thursday, the Spartans will travel to Uintah to close out the season schedule.
San Juan opened the game Thursday by scoring three runs in the first inning. After the first two Bronco batters flew out, the first to right field and the second to left, Emery had an opportunity to get out the inning unscathed. The third Bronco batter popped up to short right field but the Emery second baseman could not keep the ball in her glove and the batter got on base. The next two Bronco batters hit home runs and so instead of being out of the inning with no runs, San Juan led 3-0.
Emery responded in the bottom of the inning with two of their own runs. JoLynn Jennings singled to left side of the infield to start things off for Emery. After the next two batters got out, Whitney Roper lined a single to centerfield to score the first Emery run. Roper then scored as Jaiden Huntington doubled. Emery trailed 3-2 after the first inning.
After both teams went scoreless in the second inning, San Juan scored a single run in the third inning. San Juan led 4-2. Both teams then went scoreless in the fourth inning.
In the fifth inning, San Juan sent nine batters to the plate and six of then got on base with four of them scoring. A home run, a single, two walks and a pair of errors helped the Broncos pad their lead to 8-2.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Jennings walked to lead off the inning, Bryton Hess also walked and then Huntington got her second RBI of the game as she singled to left field to score Jennings. Hess had the only other base hits for Emery, a double in the third inning and a single in the fifth inning.
Against Desert Hills, Emery scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to sneak away with a non-league victory. In a seesaw game, Emery led 1-0 after the first inning only to see Desert Hill tie the score at 1-1 in the second inning. The Thunder took the lead in the third inning by scoring another run to lead 2-1.
In the fifth inning, Desert Hills padded their lead by scoring three additional runs to lead 5-1. Emery scored a run in the bottom of the fifth inning to trim their deficit to three runs and then the Spartans reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning by scoring four runs.
In the top of the seventh inning, Desert Hills tied the score with a single run sending the game into extra innings. The Thunder then scored two runs in the top of the extra inning to put pressure on the Spartans but they responded with the winning runs to take the game.
Emery had 17 base hits in the game, 13 singles and four doubles. Desert Hills had 10 base hits. Emery committed four errors while Desert Hills committed three.
Jo Jennings led Emery with three singles and Jennings also scored two runs. Whitney Roper also had three singles in the game. Hailey Cloward and Kaitlyn Thomson each had a pair of singles. Jeridi Price hit two doubles with Auminee Bennett and Bryton Hess also having a double in the game. Both Bennett and Hess each had a single also. Huntington also hit a single in the game.
After the two games this week, Emery will participate in the state tournament the following Thursday- -Saturday in St. George.