Bulldogs win region with perfect 8-0 record

Photo courtesy Shanell Knudsen
The Gunnison Valley softball team poses for a photo with the division trophy. Back row (L-R): Laurynn Stewart, MeiLani Jensen, Robyn Christiansen, Raven Pickett, Halle Pollock, Kennedi Knudsen, Maggie Bartholomew, Hadlee McDonald, Lexee Keisel and Addi Sylvestor. Front row (L-R): Molly Blackham, Brinley Hansen, KoriAnn Jensen, Sara Blackham, Rilee Dyreng, Bentlee King and JaKelle Sorenson.

GUNNISON—Upon defeating North Sevier, the Gunnison Valley softball team officially won the region early last week.

They won the game on Tuesday, April 27 17-2 to improve to a perfect 8-0 in the region, which also includes Wayne, Piute and Millard. The team went on to lose at South Summit the next day, 14-4, and beat Emery on Monday, 11-6.

“We did what we needed to do against North Sevier, Coach Tyson Brackett said. “In the second inning, we came out scoring and just kept scoring.”

JaKelle Sorenson and Raven Pickett both went 4-for-4, including a double and triple by Sorenson. Rilee Dyreng and Maggie Bartholomew each had three RBIs.

He also commended the job Kennedi Knudsen did on the mound. She pitched all four innings, recording seven strikeouts.

“She’s starting to hit her spots better. All her pitches are starting to work now,” Brackett said.

Whereas the South Summit game started well for Gunnison Valley, which went up 3-2 in the second inning, six errors in inning three allowed the Wildcats to score 12 runs.

Brackett attributed the result of the game in part to those mistakes but also gave credit to the 20-2-1 Wildcats’s players.

“They’re strong. The pitcher was really good. I think she’s going to play Division-I [college softball],” he said.

On Monday against Emery, Gunnison Valley piled on runs early and led 8-4 by the third inning.

Brackett is pleased at the strides his young team has made this year.

“They went beyond other people’s expectations, but as coaches, we knew that they had it because they’re all athletes and a good team,” he said.

He touched on their athleticism and chemistry as players, citing the fact that many of them used to play summer softball together.

The Bulldogs played their last regular-season game at 3A North Sanpete yesterday.

The team has been anticipating today, when the UHSAA is set to announce seedings for the state tournament.

The Bulldogs are 14-8 and are behind only Duchesne, which is 17-7, in wins this season.

In total, 16 teams will enter the 2A state tournament. All 16 teams will play a first-round game Saturday. The winners of the first-round game will have a bye in the second round, meaning they get a break until the following Thursday. The losers in the first round will have to play a second game Saturday to stay alive in the tournament and play the next Thursday.

Gunnison is expected to be given one of the top seedings, which means it will host the first round of games Saturday.