The 3A class of high school softball got its second round of tournament play underway Thursday in Spanish Fork. The round featured matchups between No. 1 Manti and No. 8 Morgan, No. 2 South Summit against No. 10 Union, No. 3 Grantsville vs. No. 6 Emery, and No. 4 Carbon against No. 5 Grand County.
There were few surprises as Manti overpowered Morgan 14-3, South Summit defeated Union 9-6, Grantsville took down Emery 10-7, and Grand County beat Carbon 7-3.
Manti, the favorite to win the tournament, was the first team to punch its ticket to Friday’s quarterfinals. The Templars throttled Morgan, picking up the 11-run win. The high scoring top seed did most of its damage in the fourth, scoring 10 runs and taking full control of the game. It marked the third straight game that Manti left the field triumphant in five innings or less, as the mercy rule was enforced in its favor.
Templar head coach Susan Hatch emphasized the importance of finishing games so quickly. “(Rest is) very important. We’ve got some tough games ahead of us,” she said. “It could be a difference of being worn out mentally and physically drained. But it’s important to play (our) game.”
Another team that played its game was South Summit. The Wildcats held Union to a mere two runs through the first six innings, growing the lead to seven before the final inning. South Summit’s offense exploded in the sixth, propelling the school into the quarterfinals.
The Wildcats will face Grantsville tomorrow morning, following the Cowboys win over Emery. Grantsville took control of its game in the third inning, scoring six runs and extending the lead to nine. Emery senior center fielder Janessa Weston did all she could to revive the Spartans, ripping a three-run shot over the fence in the sixth. Yet Grantsville proved to be too much for Emery, as it banished the Spartans to the loser’s bracket.
Region foes Carbon and Grand County matched up for the third time this season, with the Red Devils leading the entire way. Grand County jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Starting pitcher Jaci Shumway led the charge for the Red Devils with three home runs. Despite being outhit by the Dinos, Grand County ended the day with four of its five hits going the distance.
“We didn’t hit like we should have. We just didn’t really hit well,” Red Devil head coach Brook Shumway said. “We had great defense — it’s really what saved us. We just played a good solid game.”
Grand County will need another solid game to get past its next opponent: Manti. Coach Shumway feels his team has a good shot at taking down the Templars. “We played them earlier in the year and it was a tight ballgame. We gave up four runs in the first inning or I think we could have won that game. We felt if we could get (past) Carbon, we could get (past) Manti.”
The Red Devils will face off against the Templars Friday at 10 a.m. Grantsville and South Summit will matchup at the same time. The winners will meet at 2:30 p.m.