MANTI—For only the fourth time all season, the Lady Templars’ defense allowed a fifth runner to get across home plate.
As the Manti softball team scored 18 of their own runs in the same game, that’s about all the bad news one can find.
Manti pushed their stellar record to 19-2 last week, still unbeaten as 3A teams go, as they claimed series sweeps over both Union and Juab. They beat Union in two games, 18-5 in the first, and 10-0 in the second. In between those two games, they claimed a second win of the season over Juab, 9-2, maintaining a perfect record in Region 14.
The Wasps held Manti to nine runs and broke a double-digit scoring streak of four games. Manti’s 10 runs over Union in a shutout win was the 13th double-digit scoring effort for the Templars, who are averaging 11.2 runs per game.
As for the defense, all they’ve done so far is hold opponents to 2.2 runs per game, a mark that not only leads 3A by a wide margin, but is the third-best in the state behind 6A Riverton and 5A Spanish Fork.
Game one against Union was all Manti from the start as the Lady Templars piled on 14 runs in the first two innings, leading to an early finish via the mercy rule at the bottom of the fifth. Junior Tiffany Hermansen and junior Katelon Crouch each put a ball over the fence, scoring home runs each to combine for six RBIs together. Nine different batters got at least one RBI for Manti in the game.
Against Juab, Manti again got off to a fast start with five runs in the first inning, but cooled off from there as neither team scored for three more innings before Manti went ahead, 7-0 at the top of the fifth, and the Templars played a full seven innings for only the eighth time this year. Junior Adalee Olson led in RBI with three, while five different Templars hit a double each.
In the second game against Union, it was all about defense as the shutout effort came with Hermansen at the mound, pitching nine strikeouts and allowing only two hits. Manti got out to a 5-0 lead after the first inning and ended it in five innings. As icing on the cake, senior Sadie Cox cracked off her first home run ever in a Manti uniform.
Coach Susan Hatch said the difference between the two games against Union was all down to the pitch up quality. “Three of the five runs scored in the first game were unearned, all from walks,” Hatch said, “so our pitcher made it a goal to have zero walks—which she accomplished.”
The Templars’ path to the playoff looks to meet little resistance in the coming week as they take on an 8-10 Delta team and a 2-8 American Leadership squad. They’ll finish their season next Monday with a non-region matchup against 6A American Fork.