MANTI—With the first week of playoffs on the softball diamond in the books, the Manti girls’ softball team looks as untouchable as ever.
The No. 1 Lady Templars pulled zero punches with a 17-0 trouncing of No. 16 Summit Academy last Saturday, moving on easily to the second round and notching their 25th win of the season. Offense and defense for the Templars was dynamic as they finished the game in four innings per the mercy rule.
Juniors Tiffany Hermansen and Ashley Rasmussen combined for a dominant no-hitter, pitching two innings each and combining for 11 strikeouts out of 12 batters faced.
At the plate, Manti had 13 hits, and eight of the 13 were for a double or more.
Hermansen set the tone early, striking out Summit Academy’s first and second batters, and keeping the third one off base.
Manti’s batters responded in no time at all as senior slugger Katie Larsen hit her first triple of the entire season, cracking a drive straight into center field to give Manti a quick 1-0 lead. The downpour started quickly after, with Manti turning only four hits into a 7-0 lead after the first inning.
At the bottom of the third, senior Sadie Cox scored two runs with a home run to left field.
Then, at the bottom of the fourth, with an 11-0 lead, the Templars put the Bears away for good. Junior Adalee Olsen was the first batter up, and she launched a hit over the right field fence for her first home run of the season.
With the final pitch, Rasmussen, already having herself a day as part of a dominant pitching performance, put the last nail in Summit Academy’s coffin with a third home run over left field that activated the 15-run rule after four innings.
Manti’s shutout win was the sixth in seven games going back to the regular season as Manti preceded the first round of the playoff with a non-region rout of 6A American Fork, 16-0, the Monday prior.
Manti’s second round matchup this Thursday at the Spanish Fork Softball Complex will be against arguably one of their most underappreciated sports rivals—the Morgan Trojans. The Trojans hold the No. 8 seed in the tournament and are coming off an 8-6 comeback win over Juab.
Provided the Templars get past Morgan, their remaining playoff schedule will take place in Spanish Fork on Friday, with a potential championship game on Saturday.