BICKNELL—The Gunnison Valley softball team defeated Wayne last Wednesday to improve to 5-4 before heading into an off week for spring break.
The Bulldogs won in five innings by the mercy rule of leading by at least 10 runs after five innings. Each of their wins this season has been by the mercy rule, outscoring their opponents 77-13 in five games.
“[Wayne is] a brand-new team. So they were better than I expected,” said Coach Tyson Brackett.
Sophomore Lexee Keisel started the game at pitcher. She struck out six over three innings. Brackett said in the third inning, her outing “kind of fell apart” when two walks, a hit and some fielding errors allowed four runs, making the score 6-4.
Brackett brought in junior Kennedi Knudsen and said it was good to have both pitchers to get some time on the mound anyway. Knudsen’s pitching put an end to Wayne scoring for the day.
“They couldn’t touch Kennedi,” Brackett said. Knudsen faced ten batters, striking out eight and walking two.
Five Bulldogs contributed at least one RBI. Senior Sara Blackham and Knudsen each had a double, and junior Hadlee McDonald went two for three and scored twice. Junior Raven Pickett crossed the plate three times.
Friday evening, Gunnison Valley was supposed to host Millard. Due to weather, it was rescheduled for April.
“When I had to make a decision, it was a blizzard. An hour later it cleared up,” Brackett said.
Over the weekend, most of the team competed in a junior-varsity tournament in Payson, where they played four games Saturday. None of those will count toward the varsity team’s season.
“It’s good for them to play that many and get to see some good pitching,” the coach said.
After spring break on Tuesday, April 6, the team will host 5A Salem Hills, one of the only teams they faced last year.
“They have some good players on their team; their coach is great,” said Brackett.
In a two-game series in 2020, Gunnison won handily at Salem Hills, but the Skyhawks won in Gunnison.