MANTI—Make it 14 straight for the Lady Templar.
Manti softball notched their 14th straight victory last week in the game that mattered more than any so far, shutting out No. 14 Richfield, 9-0, as the No. 3 seed in the first round of the UHSAA 3A State Softball Tournament last Saturday. The win was their 20th of the season, making it the fifth time the Lady Templars have won 20 or more games in a season since 2014, and the third straight season doing so (not counting 2020).
Prior to the playoffs, Manti finished the regular season on a 13-game winning streak with a highly encouraging win over 5A Salem Hills, 5-4, last Monday. The Lady Templars overcame multiple issues in the game, being outhit 9-7 and committing five fielding
errors, but thanks to two RBI each from seniors Rylee Jarvis and Hadden Taylor, they pulled out the win with four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take the lead.
Manti then concluded region play with a 7-0 shutout win over Union, completing their undefeated 8-0 run through Region 14, winning their region games by an average of 8.7 runs. Against Union, Taylor and fellow senior Ashley Rasmussen each notched two RBI. Senior Tiffany Hermansen pitched seven strikeouts and allowed only three hits.
Hermansen was absolutely ruthless from the pitching mound in Manti’s first playoff action. Richfield’s inability to get on base could be largely attributed to her as the senior pitched a no-hitter with an astonishing 12 strikeouts, one short of her season-high.
“Our defense was great,” Coach Susan Hatch said, “but we need to make adjustments and improve at the plate with our offense.“
Richfield’s solid defense was keeping them in the game despite being scoreless as Manti entered the bottom of the sixth inning only leading 3-0. Then the hits started rolling with numerous base hits for Manti. Facing two outs, Hermansen then added a sweet little exclamation to a solid outing with a three-RBI home run over left field to break the game open.
Just to add some extra spice to the win, Jarvis matched up her teammate with a three-RBI home run of her own, this time over center field, donning a pink cowboy hat and yelling to the crowd as she headed back to the dugout.
The win marked the seventh time this season that Manti has shut out their opponent.
The Lady Templars will be taking on No. 6 Canyon View at home this Thursday in the second round of the tournament. Manti faced Canyon View earlier this season, beating them, 20-7.