Lady Hawks punch past
Lady Templar rivals 8-2, 10-3
By James Tilson
Apr. 12, 2018
MANTI—In a cross-county and Region 15 rivalry series, the North Sanpete softball team (11-2, 6-0 region) continued its torrid start to region play by sweeping the Lady Templars of Manti (5-8, 2-3 region) last week, 8-2 and 10-3.
On the first game of the series on Tuesday, April 3, North Sanpete traveled to Manti to take on the Lady Templars.
The Lady Hawks jumped to an early lead with two runs scored in the first inning and continued adding to the lead throughout the game with strong hitting up and down the lineup. The Lady Hawks were led by Addelyn Brotherson, who hit three for four, with a double and a home run, and two RBI.
The Lady Templars managed to put two runs on the board in the fifth inning off a home run by Jentry Young. But the rest of the Templar lineup struggled to get anything going offensively.
Nakiah Taylor for North Sanpete was the winning pitcher, and Amie Squire for Manti picked up the loss.
On the return trip to Mt. Pleasant on Friday, April 6, the Lady Templars looked to get back a win from the Lady Hawks and ruin their home opener. But once again, the Lady Hawks opened up the game with two runs in the first inning.
This time, however, Manti struck back behind some disciplined hitting and some wild pitching by North Sanpete starter Lexie Olson.
The Lady Templars chased Olson off, scoring three runs in the third inning.
But Landon Bailey, North Sanpete’s coach, inserted talented freshman pitcher Graciee Christiansen into the game, and she did not allow another run for the rest of the game.
After the third inning, the North Sanpete bats came alive, scoring eight runs on four home runs by Aubree Ison, Graciee Christiansen, Brooke Price and Lexie Olson.
Christiansen picked up the win for the Lady Hawks.
Bailey acknowledged these games carried extra emotion for his team, even though he tried to play it down: “Last week’s games were big for us. Manti is a great team with excellent coaches, and we knew we would have to play really well to beat them. We tried to not place any extra emphasis on the games, but our team knew they needed to play their best to win.”
Coach Susan Hatch for Manti said her team is continuing to improve and showed some signs of that improvement last week: “We started playing sooner in the game, although we didn’t stay mentally in the game through all seven innings, and we had better team communication.”
After last week, North Sanpete carries an undefeated record in Region 15 play at 6-0.
Halfway through the region schedule and carrying a two-game lead on second-place South Sevier, the Lady Hawks are positioning themselves for a strong postseason run.
Bailey said his team’s attitude is what is pushing them to this level: “They are constantly working and trying to get better. They get along and support each other, and most importantly they are having fun. It has been a great start so far, and we just hope we can keep it going.”
Manti, at 2-3 in Region 15 play, is only one game below .500 and in fifth place in the region. However, Manti is only one game out of third place and two out of second.
The rest of the season will feature a very tight region race for seeds going into the playoff.