GARLAND — Between her genetics and her environment, it seems Kapri Toone was destined to grow up on a softball diamond.

But it is her relentless work ethic that made her time on the field something special.

“Probably because that’s all her mom and dad did growing up,” said Cameron Toone about how his daughter first found herself involved in softball as a youngster. “When she got old enough, she probably didn’t have much choice, but she learned to love it. ... She grew up with a softball in her hand.”

Not only was Toone born to parents who played softball and baseball, she also happened to grow up in Garland, a northern Utah town that is so passionate about the sport, they built an indoor practice facility so there would never be a day without softball.

But if the two-time state champion pitcher was born into the perfect situation, she took advantage of every opportunity, and that helped her become one of the state’s most consistent hitters and effective players. Her efforts, in the circle, at the plate, and in the locker room during her senior season led her team to a 4A state softball title and earned her the 2018 Ms. Softball award.

Bear River's Kapri Toone. Photographed at Bear River High School in Garland on Friday, June 8, 2018.
Bear River's Kapri Toone poses for a photo at Bear River High School in Garland on Friday, June 8, 2018. | Laura Seitz

“The thing I like about her is her work ethic,” said Bear River coach Calvin Bingham, who has led the Bears program long enough to have coached Toone’s mother, Katie, on his first state championship team. “She gets really serious about practicing. If we don’t practice as much as she wants, she stays after, and she does what she has to do to get more practice.”

Cameron Toone coached his daughter from the time she was young and said one of the things he admires most about her is her dedication.

“It’s been really gratifying as her dad and as her coach in the summer to see how much work she put into it,” he said. “She never complained about going to practices. She always wanted to get better, and she always wanted to be the best. But you always wonder, is it going to come together at the end? So to see it come together at the end, for me to see the success and happiness it brought her, it certainly was fun to see.”

Toone shared time in the circle as a freshman but was the team’s No. 1 pitcher by her sophomore season when she led the team to a 3A title. In her four years at Bear River, the team has played in the championship game every season.

Toone finished her final prep campaign with a 22-3 pitching record and an ERA of 2.75.

She’s not a really outspoken, rah-rah-rah type person. She leads by example. You don’t hear her getting after people. She just works hard and hopes people will do the same. – Bear River softball coach Calvin Bingham, on Kapri Toone

As talented as she was in the circle, she was just as instrumental in the Bears' potent offense. She scored the Bears' first run of the state title game with a solo home run in the first inning against an extremely talented Spanish Fork squad. She finished with a .474 batting average, including 45 hits, 13 doubles, 32 RBIs.

“She is just pretty darn good,” said Spanish Fork coach Don Andrews. “I had a really good team this year, and other than maybe one pitch, she handled us really well.”

Toone began playing basketball when she was a sophomore.

“She’s very competitive, but she’s caring,” her dad said. “She felt a little bit out of place at first (on the basketball court), but she was kind of a Dennis Rodman, rebounding and playing defense. She played softball 10 months out of the year, so she was ready for a couple of months break.”

Bear River's Kapri Toone poses for a photo at Bear River High School in Garland on Friday, June 8, 2018.
Bear River's Kapri Toone poses for a photo at Bear River High School in Garland on Friday, June 8, 2018. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Bingham said Toone never tried to rest on her laurels.

“I think the thing that’s unique,” Bingham said, “is that some people, when they get to be seniors, they get satisfied with their ability and talent. They think they’ve got it made. That hasn’t been her attitude.”

Bingham said Toone’s commitment to getting better every day wasn’t just about her own success. Her desire to improve included never wanting to let her teammates down, and it made her one of the team’s captains.

“She’s not a really outspoken, rah-rah-rah type person,” Bingham said. “She leads by example. You don’t hear her getting after people. She just works hard and hopes people will do the same.”

Toone and her fellow senior captains — centerfielder Mercedes Call and shortstop Taylor Fox — gave the team a special brand of leadership, the coach said.

“They have been fabulous,” Bingham said. “They work hard and they’re so positive. They started the tradition at the end of each practice of having someone share an inspirational thought. They rotate it around, and somebody gives a thought about being positive and working hard. They’ve just been great leaders, great girls.”