MANTI—Most teams give up two home runs and head home with a loss on their record. Manti softball is not most teams.
The Lady Templars pushed their record to 9-0 last week with an 8-2 win on the road against the Emery Spartans. Manti maintained its top spot in the Deseret News 3A rankings and the top spot in the overall state rankings, per MaxPreps.com.
Emery batters got solid connections on two hits, both of which turned into single-run homers, but outside of that, it was all Templars.
Junior pitcher Tiffany Hermansen pitched a stellar game, allowing only three total hits and 15 strikeouts. Hermansen’s pitching looked so good that many of Emery’s batters were swinging before the ball was anywhere close to the plate.
Emery got an early lead with a home run at the bottom of the first inning, the third first-inning lead Manti has allowed to opponent this season. In the top of the second inning, junior Ashley Rasmussen got across home plate on a throwing error to third base to tie the game.
Later in the inning, Hermansen showcased that she was more than just a pitcher, booming a home run over the left-field fence for a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the third, sophomore Haylee Daniels cracked a line drive to left field with the bases loaded and scored two more runs, notching a 4-1 lead as the Lady Templars began to pull away.
Emery briefly got back into it in the bottom of the third as their first batter smacked a home run over left field to bring it within two, the second time Emery hit a home run with the first batter of the inning.
In the top of the fourth inning, sophomore Alivya Osborn got across home plate on an unforced error from a ground ball, then in the next at-bat, senior Kassidy Alder stole home as Emery’s catcher scrambled to collect a fast, low pitch.
With two outs and a 6-2 lead during the fourth inning, senior Katie Larsen came out with a signature, driving shot, sending a home run sailing over the left-field fence to score two runs and offer a benediction on Emery’s upset hopes.
It was Hermansen’s day, finishing with a home run, a perfect batting average and dominating the Spartans with her pitching.
Manti squares off at home with rival North Sanpete this Friday. They’ll travel to face Delta the following Tuesday.