MORGAN—For the Lady Hawks, playoff seeding is like your mom’s age last Sunday: It’s just a number.
Earning the No. 10 spot in the UHSAA 3A State Softball Championship tournament, North Sanpete softball scored nine runs unanswered in the first five innings of an upset win over No. 7 Morgan, 9-2, in the first round of the playoffs last Saturday.
North Sanpete entered the tournament with a regular season overall record of 11-15 following two impressive wins to get prepared. Sophomore Indigo North cracked a home run right over center field, scoring three runs as they beat Juab, 9-2, last Monday to conclude region play, finishing second in Region 14.
The Lady Hawks then soundly beat county neighbor Gunnison Valley, 23-9, last Tuesday as they combined for an astounding five home runs. Senior Heather Howarth hit two home runs and led with six RBI, while sophomore Dally Bailey hit two over the fence herself. Sophomore Paeton Johnson hit a home run and had four RBI.
North turned it up again in the first round of the playoffs with a home run against Morgan, finishing with two RBI. Junior Lucy Oldroyd and senior Heather Howarth also had two RBI each. Morgan came into the contest with a 19-8 record, but strong hitting by the Lady Hawks, who combined for 13 total hits, kept the Trojans on their heels.
The Lady Hawks also played exceptional defense. They committed only one fielding error, and sophomore Paeton Johnson had yet another solid pitching performance, pitching all seven innings and striking out eight batters while only allowing six hits. Johnson also had three hits to lead the team and did not strike out.
Head coach Landon Bailey could not be reached for comment on the week’s games during the holiday weekend. North Sanpete will continue in the playoffs with a tough matchup against No. 2 Grantsville this Thursday. The Lady Hawks last faced the Cowgirls in the one-loss semifinals in the 2019 state tournament, falling 6-2 as Grantsville went on to win a state title