MORGAN — When Morgan's Kami Poll plays softball, she never stops having fun. Against Park City on Friday afternoon, she wore a nonstop smile, chuckled when she threw a wild pitch and even joked with the opposing coach during an at-bat.
Winning was just icing on the cake.
Poll threw a complete game in the Trojans' 7-4 win over the Miners in nonregion play. She also hit an RBI triple and scored two runs.
Yeah, you could say she had some fun.
"I love it," Poll said. "It's my favorite sport — all the way. The last couple of years we've been in a rut. This year we've come out so hard. It's been fun."
Leading Morgan's softball program out of its rut is reason for Poll to smile. The Trojans have struggled in recent years, as they haven't reached the state tournament since 2004.
But Morgan, which improved to 5-3 with the win over Park City, is expecting a breakthrough season. The Trojans need just one more victory to equal last season's win total.
"We're excited about the team this year," said Morgan coach Robert Kilmer. "They're hard workers, and they really want to do a lot. We're really positive about the team and what they've done so far."
Against the Miners, the Trojans took control of the game by manufacturing runs. Morgan put pressure on Park City by stealing four bases in the first three innings, and the Trojans were able to build a 6-1 lead by taking advantage of mistakes by the Miners.
"Our philosophy is 'aggressive bases wins games,"' Kilmer said. "We don't want to stand around and wait for someone to do something. We want to try and make it happen on our own."
Kari Reed, Kevi Reed and Heaven Barnett also contributed singles during Morgan's strong start. Freshman Whitney Titus hit a triple and scored a run in the sixth.
Poll had a couple of tough innings but was at her best down the stretch. She did not allow any hits in the final three innings and recorded three of her five strikeouts during that span.
"I just kind of focused more," Poll said. "I just knew I had to buckle down and pitch it in there."
Park City didn't win on Friday, but it seems to be much better than it has been in several years. Pitcher Aundrea Hargroder threw well against Morgan, scattering just five hits in a complete-game effort. Amy Giuliano hit a two-run single in the fourth, and Randi Kuhni had two hits.
"We're definitely improved," said Miners coach Scott Chester.