Twenty-one runs in a state tournament game?
It wasn’t too much to ask of the North Sanpete softball team.
The Lady Hawks (14-10) beat Judge Memorial 21-2 in the 2021 Utah High School Activities Association/Mountain America Credit Union 3A State Softball Championships.
They did so in the loser’s bracket after falling 15-11 in the playoffs to Union, which North Sanpete beat just three games and eight days earlier.
Earlier in the week, the Lady Hawks won 10-4 at Juab (Monday, May 3) before falling to Gunnison Valley 8-2 (Tuesday, May 4).
Against Judge Memorial, North Sanpete scored 15 runs in the second inning alone. (Not that six runs in the first inning was bad.) Madyson Steadman went 3-for-3 with five runs batted in while Kady Cook went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. In fact, five Lady Hawks had at least two RBIs. Graciee Christiansen got the pitching win, according to the Deseret News.
In the Union game, there were five lead changes before the Cougars stretched their lead from 9-8 to 14-8 with a five-run sixth inning.
“We knew going in to this game that it was going to be tough,” North Sanpete Coach Landon Bailey said. “The game ended up being very competitive, with both teams scoring a lot of runs.”
Union scored on both of the Lady Hawks’ excellent pitchers, Christiansen and Heather Howarth. The Cougars’ Allie Earl had an astounding seven RBIs.
“Union did a great job of hitting and we had a difficult time getting them out,” Bailey said. “All of their players were hitting very well and they kept putting the pressure on our defense.”
Lexie Green, Indigo North and Christiansen each hit two RBIs as Christiansen scored four runs. Christiansen went 4-of-5 at the plate and North, 3-of-4.
“We actually hit the ball really well, too, but we just couldn’t quite slow them down enough,” Bailey said. “It was a fun and exciting game that went back and forth.
“I give them total credit for the way they played in that game,” Bailey said.
Against Juab, North had four RBIs and Green, Kady Cook and Jada Bailey each scored two runs. Green and Jada each went 3-of-4 at the plate. Howarth pitched a complete game.
“We played really well this game,” Bailey said. “It was a great team win with many of the players making big contributions. If we get our entire lineup to hit like they did in this game, we will be a tough team going forward.”
Bailey was complimentary of North.
“Indigo North is only a freshman and she is really starting to figure things out,” Bailey said. “She is extremely strong and has the ability to hit the ball very hard. She has become a big part of our lineup and I can’t wait to see what is able to accomplish.”
In the Gunnison Valley game, the Lady Bulldogs scored five runs in the third inning.
“Gunnison played extremely well in this game,” Bailey said. “Their pitcher did an outstanding job and we didn’t really figure her out. We didn’t ever get our bats going and we had some very costly errors that they took advantage of.”
In her return from injury, Christiansen pitched a complete game and scored both of the Lady Hawks’ runs.
“It was good to have Graciee back and hopefully this game will help her get back to playing the way she can,” Bailey said.
At 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the Spanish Fork Softball Complex, North Sanpete faces the winner of the Manti-Morgan game, according to the UHSAA.
All other statistics not referenced are from MaxPreps.