Gunnison gets most wins, North Sanpete mostly loss, at Payson Softball tourney
PAYSON—For the Lady Bulldogs, last weekend in Payson was a step forward in the win column, but the same could not be said for the Lady Hawks.
Both Gunnison’s and North Sanpete’s softball teams took to the Payson Icebreaker last Saturday, April 1, and their final results were inverted images of each other. While the Lady Hawks struggled to a 1-3 tournament mark, the Lady Bulldogs made their mark with 3-1, including a solid win over Enterprise, ranked No. 1 at the time in 2A by Deseret News polls.
North Sanpete took a convincing 16-0 win against Dixie the morning of the tournament, but then fell three straight in tough games against ranked teams, No. 4 (4A) Uintah, 7-1, No. 5 (3A) Desert Hills, 9-0, and in No. 4 (5A) Pleasant Grove, 7-3.
Gunnison, on the other hand, started off high with a 6-1 win over Enterprise, then fell to Union, 7-6, in a big letdown. The Lady Bulldogs bounced back later in the day with wins over Dixie, 7-0, and Lehi, 4-3.
North Sanpete Lady Hawks
In their lone victory, the Lady Hawks had hot bats against the struggling Lady Flyers, winning an easy victory in four innings.
After that, things cooled down as North Sanpete could get nothing done against Uintah or Desert Hills. Desert Hills enforced their will early, scoring six runs in the top of the first inning in the blowout win.
Against Uintah, the Lady Hawks scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the second inning to take a 1-0 lead. Uintah got their bats going in the top of the fourth putting points on the board at will, and North Sanpete simply couldn’t keep up.
Against Pleasant Grove, the Lady Hawks were down 2-1 after the first inning, but scored in the bottom of the third to tie it up. Three innings went by with nothing happening for either side, but the Lady Vikings found their groove right at the end to rattle off five scores at the top of the seventh and hand North Sanpete their third loss of the day.
“I feel we have a very good team,” Hawks head coach Sharon Christensen said. “We did not play to our full potential in the Uintah and Desert Hills game. We will focus on fewer errors on defense and getting our bats going on offense.”
North Sanpete hosted 3A rival Juab last Tuesday (results unavailable at press time) and will go on a two-game road trip, facing Canyon View tomorrow and Carbon next Tuesday.
They currently hold a record of 7-6.
Gunnison Lady Bulldogs
Things could not have started off on a higher note for Gunnison than they did against highly-touted Enterprise. The Lady Bulldogs were solid in every facet of their game. Sophomores Emily Brackett and Hallie Bjerregaard led Gunnison on offense with two RBIs each. Brackett’s scoring came off a double, her only hit of the game.
The Lady Bulldogs managed 11 total hits.
At the mound, Bjerregaard pitched three strikeouts and allowed seven hits and one run.
The Lady Bulldogs scored five runs in the bottom of the second inning to run away with the victory.
Perhaps the only downside of the game was that it could have been an even wider margin of victory, as shown by the 14 runners that were left on base in total.
“We hit girls in when we needed, played some great defense and kept Enterprise’s bats down,” Gunnison head coach Tyson Brackett said.
All the heat dissipated, though, when Gunnison faced Union. A close game tipped just in the Lady Cougars’ favor in the end, despite Gunnison outhitting Union, 10-8.
The Lady Cougars broke the game open with five runs in the top of the second inning, taking a 5-2 lead over Gunnison, before the Lady Bulldogs answered back in the bottom of the third with three runs to make it 6-5. After Gunnison tied it up, 6-6, at the bottom of the fifth, Union sneaked in one last run in the sixth inning and then quickly dismantled the Lady Bulldogs’ offense to ensure the victory.
Gunnison’s batters struggled against the Lady Cougars, striking out seven times, but junior Kezzley Winn led the way with two RBIs, two runs, and no strikeouts.
“We had a few things go wrong on defense and didn’t get the timely hits that we got against Enterprise,” coach Brackett said. “We left base runners in scoring position too many times. We didn’t have good team chemistry that game and it showed.”
Though the loss derailed the momentum for a short time, Gunnison didn’t take long to get back into winning form, winning out in the tournament with their last two games.
Against Dixie, Brackett shined in the easy win with a home run to score herself, while Bjerregaard pitched four strikeouts and only one hit.
Against Lehi, Bjerregaard wasn’t the same, allowing eight hits, walking four batters, and not pitching any strikeouts, but excellent fielding backed her up and helped the Lady Bulldogs get the win, while senior Jerusha Miner got two RBIs at the plate.
“Overall, a great tournament for Gunnison,” coach Brackett said.
Upcoming for North Sanpete, they hosted 3A rival Juab last Tuesday (results unavailable at press time) and are now going on a two-game road trip, facing Canyon View tomorrow and Carbon next Tuesday. They currently hold a record of 7-6.
Gunnison now holds a record of 6-4, and has yet to play a fellow 2A team. Their season continues at Delta today at 3:30 p.m. before they have a home-and-home series on Wednesday and Thursday against North Sevier.