ST. GEORGE—In seasons past, Manti’s appearances at the Red Rock Invitational in St. George have been a chance to show the whole state that the Lady Templars were ready to roll.
This year, it was anything but a happy trip as Manti softball dropped every game of the Invitational to begin their season with a rather shocking 0-7 record.
In a series of bad breaks, the Lady Templars fell in their season opener to 5A Lehi, 4-3. They then fell in St. George to 6A Layton, 7-6, Snow Canyon, 10-2, and Bear River, 4-2, on Friday, followed by 5A Springville, 5-2, Crimson Cliffs, 5-4, and Desert Hills, 7-5, on Saturday.
When asked about the level of concern with Manti’s cold start, head coach Susan Hatch said she is “not concerned at all.”
“All of the teams we played are all upper classification teams,” Hatch said. “Other than one game we played, all other games played were losses of 1-2 runs. We knew going into the tournament that we are nowhere near the ability we want to be or are capable of achieving. Our goal is to continue improving each game.”
The Templars have not started a season 0-7 since 2015, when they began 0-8. Hatch’s squad, known for defense, competed in that regard but could not get hits to string together, a common occurrence in early-season tournaments, although less common for a program at Manti’s standard.
Manti did see their first home run of the season against Crimson Cliffs, coming off the bat of senior Tiffany Hermansen. Additionally, junior Madison Scottorn, last year’s team leader in triples, got another one while hitting against Snow Canyon.
“We have extremely talented girls on our team,” Hatch said. “Our challenge right now is utilizing the talent our players have in the positions that best work for our team. It will take a bit of time to get this figured out.”
The Lady Templars will have another busy week as they face Cedar City on Tuesday. They’ll then be on the road to take on one of 3A’s top squads this year in Canyon View on Thursday.