PAYSON—Save for a shutout loss to a familiar adversary, the Lady Templars reestablished themselves in the 3A race last weekend at the Payson Ice Breaker tournament.
Manti softball went 3-1 in the tournament on Saturday and pushed their record to 7-9 overall. The Lady Templars prevailed over 6A Pleasant Grove, 4-2, and Emery, 9-1, then took out the host team, Payson, 7-1. Only 5A powerhouse Spanish Fork got the better of Manti, 13-0.
Since clawing their way to their first win on March 15, Manti has gone 7-2 and is trending upward in their performances each week. “To keep improving to where we need to be as a team,”
Coach Susan Hatch said, “we need to be more consistent with our hitting and continue improving our mental preparation to each game.”
Initial RPI rankings, which were released last Friday, put Manti at No. 7 in 3A.
Strong hitting saved the Lady Templars in the beginning as they faced a tough Pleasant Grove team. Seniors Hadden Taylor and Kathrine Crouch each whacked a decisive home run single as the Templars rallied from a 2-1 deficit to score a run in each of the final three innings to win.
This clutch effort staved off a strong batting performance by the Vikings, whose hitters combined for a home run, a triple and two doubles.
Manti’s win against Emery was an exercise in embracing the moment. With the score at just 1-1 at the bottom of the seventh inning, Manti seemingly broke the Emery pitcher and peeled out eight runs, mostly derived from singles. Junior HayLee Daniels hit a double, while Crouch led the team with three RBI.
Payson proved yet another squad that Manti would wear down and beat in the final innings. Holding only a 1-0 lead going into the sixth inning, the Lady Templars broke the game open with four runs. Senior Tiffany Hermansen had a home run, while senior Rylee Jarvis led with two RBI.
Spanish Fork was a completely different challenge. The Dons’ power hitting has been at an insanely high level this season, and Manti saw no different. Spanish Fork ripped off an unbelievable six home runs to run away with the victory in five innings. Manti combined for two total hits.
Manti will have a busy week ahead as they take on North Sanpete on Tuesday and Friday. In between, the Lady Templars will travel to face 5A Wasatch on Wednesday.