Bulldog softball notches three wins, one loss

Ben Lasseter / Messenger Photo
Junior Kennedi Knudsen winds up to pitch to a Duchesne batter last Thursday, while sophomore Lexee Keisel and junior Raven Pickett watch from first base and third base, respectively.

After two straight weeks of playing four games in each, Gunnison Valley softball is 4-4, with wins and losses both close and lopsided.
Last week, the Bulldogs defeated region rival Piute on Tuesday and 3A South Sevier on Wednesday, 15-0 and 16-1, respectively, both at home.
“I was proud of how they came out. It was just adjusting from really fast pitching during the weekend, and they still adjusted,” Coach Tyson Brackett said in reference to a tournament the team played in St. George against bigger schools a few days prior.
Junior Raven Pickett hit two doubles and a single in three at-bats against Piute, as she and junior Kennedi Knudsen each drove in three runs. Sophomore Lexee Keisel allowed only one hit on the mound and hit a home run, according to MaxPreps stats.

Ben Lasseter / Messenger Photo
Sophomore Lexee Keisel approaches home plate to a mob of teammates after rounding the bases for a home run against Piute on Tuesday, March 16. The left-centerfield shot was part of a 15-0 rout at home.

Against South Sevier, sophomore Bentlee King led batters with three hits and five RBIs. Knudsen struck out 11 batters and allowed only two hits.
On Thursday, Duchesne, one of the top teams in 2A, came to Gunnison and overcame a 5-1 Gunnison Valley lead to win 6-5.
“It was a good game,” Brackett said. “We had one bad inning. We still had three opportunities and couldn’t get one across the plate to tie. It was one of those games to learn from.”
After Duchesne struck first with a run in the top of the first, Gunnison Valley scored five runs in innings two through four, powered by two RBIs on two hits from sophomore Rilee Dyreng and one RBI by senior Sarah Blackham.
In a big fifth inning, Duchesne sequenced hits placed all over the field with errors and walks to score just enough runs for the Eagle defense to cement the win.
“Even if there’s adversity, we’ve still gotta come out,” is what Brackett said he told his team after it missed opportunities to tie or take back the lead.
On Friday, Gunnison Valley travelled to western Salt Lake City to overwhelm 6A Granger, 10-0.
“Their girls are a lot taller, a lot bigger. When I looked at their stats, they had some girls who could swing it,” Brackett said.
Keisel pitched that one, which the coach said had the effect of throwing off the Lancers’ timing with slightly slower velocity than is typically seen in 6A ball. Granger did not make this offensive adjustment that Gunnison Valley managed against Piute earlier in the week and only got one hit.
Dyreng went 3 for 4 with two doubles, and junior Hadlee McDonald also had three hits. Keisel and sophomore JaKell Sorenson each drove in two runs. Knudsen was absent and did not play.
Today, the Bulldogs travel to Wayne for a regional game. On Friday, Millard will come to Gunnison for a game Brackett predicted to feature “good pitching both ways.”