Three weeks ago, No. 2 seed Duchesne beat Gunnison Valley in a doubleheader by 13 runs and then 17 runs, so it was natural to expect much of the same when they met Thursday afternoon in the winners bracket of the 2A state tournament.

That’s how things were humming along for Duchesne as it scored three runs in the first, second and fifth innings and led comfortably by seven heading into the seventh.

The defending state champion Eagles nearly gave it all away.

Gunnison strung some hits together and put pressure on Duchesne’s defense, scoring five runs in the top of the seventh before a ground out to first ended the threat with the tying run on base.

It was a “phew” moment for the Eagles, who advanced through the winners bracket and will face No. 3 seed San Juan at 10 a.m. at Spanish Fork Sports Complex.

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“First game jitters. Softball’s a game of momentum. So when you let the other team have it, you lose it then you got to get it back, we had our time getting it back right there at the end,” said Duchesne coach Kyle Grant.

Kelsey Grant earned the win on the mound with 10 strikeouts, but had a difficult time getting the final out against the resilient Bulldogs.

“I think the girls know that everybody’s gunning for you, you have a target on your back and everybody wants to beat you. We’ve played well this year, but when you get here in a tournament setting, anything can happen. Everybody deserves to be here and there’s lots of good things here. So our girls know they can’t take anything for granted but definitely a lot of pressure.”

Lexi Morlan led the way at the plate for Duchesne going 2 for 3 with two doubles and four RBIs, with Kelsey Grant adding three RBIs of her own.

Gunnison Valley’s JaKelle Sorenson had a huge day at the plate in the loss going 4 for 5 with four RBIs.

Other teams who marched on through the 2A winners bracket were No. 1 Enterprise, No. 3 San Juan and No. 4 Parowan.

Parowan narrowly edged No. 5 seed Beaver in a back-and-forth game, with Parowan winning it in the bottom of the seventh inning with a walk-off two-run single by Maycee Anderson.

Madison Adams was great in the circle and at the plate for Parowan, striking out eight Beaver batters to earn the win while she went 2 for 4 at the plate with two RBIs and a home run.

“We talked before we came up here and a big part of it was like, hey, ‘You know, something’s gonna go wrong. It’s a game of mistakes, you’re capitalizing on their mistakes. You’re doing your best to not make one but it’s gonna happen.’ And we had that rough. I think it was the third or fourth inning where we had that rough little stretch. And we talked about when we were out there. We had to be together. We had to come together and just do it as a family and do it and do it together. So that was I think that’s our big thing for this year,” said Parowan coach Shelby Bartlett.

Top seed Enterprise and No. 3 seed San Juan had a much easier time of things in their wins.

Trinity Whatcott dominated on the mound for San Juan as she struck out 11 batters in just five innings of work as the Broncos beat South Sevier 10-0.

“They’re following our game plan, they’re sticking to the game plan, want to make sure that we hit the ball and stay in our own hitting zones and be a little more selective and play solid defense,” said San Juan coach Mike Bowers.

Next up for San Juan is defending champion Duchesne, which it lost to in a doubleheader this season, 19-4 and 17-2. Bowers is hoping his team can find a little success in the third meeting like Gunnison did.

“We have a really tough game next, we play Duchesne, they’re super tough, but we have a game plan and if they can execute and get a little lucky we’ll be fine.”

Top seed Enterprise methodically pulled away from Millard for the comfortable victory as Blakelee Christiansen dominated on the mound with eight strikeouts, and then Dacee Terry did the damage at the plate going 3 for 5 with a double and four RBIs.

“Once we settled in and stuff we just played our game and did our thing and had fun and hit the ball like we’re capable of hitting,” said Enterprise coach Katye Jones.