Chloe Bytheway had victory on her mind.

The senior Grantsville pitcher had plenty of help from her teammates in running up a 10-0 lead on the No. 3 North Sanpete Hawks, but the final frame was for her to finish. Bytheway faced North Sanpete’s final batter, senior catcher Kady Cook, and struck her out in three pitches to deliver Grantsville the 3A state championship in a 10-0 win in just five innings. The win helped the Cowboys reclaim the top spot after losing in the quarterfinals last year, and it is their fifth state title in the last six seasons.

“I feel like we’re on top of the world right now,” Bytheway said. “I’m so proud of my team and everything we’ve accomplished this year.”

High school softball: Enterprise back on top with its third 2A state championship in four seasons

Grantsville entered as the No. 1 seed in the bracket and played like it throughout the tournament. The Cowboys shut out a hot-hitting North Sanpete squad in both the semifinals and the title game, and overall, they allowed just three runs in the whole tournament, all to Carbon in the quarterfinals.

Bytheway had about five different pitches facing the Hawks, who averaged 8.24 runs per game in the season, and she used all of them to hold their batting lineup without a single hit. The Hawks reached first base a single time in the top of the fifth and final inning on an infield error. Bytheway finished with 10 strikeouts.

The Cowboys had eight seniors on their squad hungry to reclaim the throne after falling to eventual champion Manti last season.

“(The title) has been a goal for us all year,” Grantsville coach Tony Cloward said. “The team put a lot of work in. We had eight seniors starting this year, and they came to work. They have been dedicated in the offseason and in the weight room. They’ve done a lot of great stuff … it’s those eight seniors that led us to this.”

The Hawks were on fire entering the title game. They had just won the one-loss bracket final in a 13-3 run-ruling over their cross-county rival, the defending champion Templars. Those bats came in hot, but Bytheway cooled them off in a hurry. She struck out the first batter and had five total Ks by the bottom of the second inning.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys decimated the Hawks’ fielders by committee. There were no home runs and only two doubles, and Grantsville scored multiple runs on sacrifice fly hits.

“The big moment wasn’t too big for them,” Cloward said. “They came out and were loose and hit the ball really well.”

The senior class for Grantsville was more than just softball champions. Many of them were wrestling champions, tennis champions, or part of the basketball team that made the title game just months ago. That experience made the big moment a lot smaller.

The loss ended an equally inspired season for North Sanpete, who made the championship game for the first time since 1994.