High school softball: Spanish Fork blasts its way to 5A state championship
Spanish Fork hit four home runs in both games against Mountain Ridge to win the 5A championship series 2-0
As Spanish Fork’s softball team celebrated its Game 1 win over Mountain Ridge on Thursday, star shortstop Brooklyn Pintar turned to her teammates and coaches and joyfully exclaimed, “just seven more innings,” knowing her team needed to beat Mountain Ridge again on Friday to claim the 5A state championship.
Pintar quickly clarified that she was also fine winning “in five innings, or even three.”
Spanish Fork didn’t quite close things out in three innings on Friday, but for the second straight game it only needed five innings to beat Spanish Fork in the 5A state championship best-of-3 series, rolling to the 13-2 victory in Game 2 to capture its first state title since 2017.
“It doesn’t feel real. It’s amazing.” — Spanish Fork’s Trinity Benson
“It doesn’t feel real. It’s amazing,” said Trinity ‘Hot Wheels’ Benson, the team’s speedy leadoff hitter.
Benson opened the bottom of the first inning with a leadoff single, and her teammates just kept smashing the ball behind her in the order as Spanish Fork capitalized on two Mountain Ridge errors grab the early 8-0 lead.
It added four more runs in the second inning and one in the third, coming up just short of the 15 runs needed to close the game out in three innings at the Spanish Fork Sports Park.
The production came throughout the lineup, with all but one batter reaching base.
“Very strong, and we have been all year. That’s kind of been our strength. You can walk one to get to the next, or one strikes out the next one steps up. They’ve just been there for each other and have had each other’s back,” said Spanish Fork Natalie Jarvis.
In Game 1 on Thursday Spanish Fork led 6-1 after the first inning, and it crushed underdog Mountain Ridge’s hopes early again in Game 2 with the 8-0 lead.
Spanish Fork starter Avery Sapp was a big reason for the early dominance.
She struck out the side in the top of the first inning, finishing the game with eight. Mountain Ridge did tag her for back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning by Tasha Hokanson and Mylee Milne, but the damage was minimal as it merely cut the deficit from 13-0 to 13-2.
“She commanded this game and she wanted it so bad, we knew we wanted one game, and I think she went out there with that mentality. She was a hero here,” said Jarvis.
Sapp said her change-up and rise ball were working really well on Friday. It worked well on Thursday too in the latter innings after she allowed five hits through the first two innings.
“I was really pushing myself to work for a better game and not let them get ahead like that to put pressure on us,” said Sapp.
She did that with three quick strikeouts to open the game.
That set the table for Spanish Fork’s bats to go to work.
Benson and Pintar both doubled in the first inning, with Sapp and Aubree Leonard hitting back-to-back home runs as well as Spanish Fork paraded 12 hitters to the plate. Sapp and Leonard both homered in Game 1 as well.
The inning could’ve ended much early for Mountain Ridge but a couple of errors in the infield gave the Dons extra at bats. With as potent as that lineup is, giving it five outs is always a recipe for disaster.
Peyton Hall helped extend the lead to 12-0 in the second inning with a three-run home run, and in the third Pintar added a solo shot to center.
After the coach, Jarvis said she’s been blessed to coach such a great collection of athletes.
“So much love for each other. They were there for each other when people were down, they have just come together as a family, and couldn’t be prouder for them,” said Jarvis. “They all deserve this so much. I have four great seniors who have been leaders since Day 1. So proud of them.”