PAYSON—A couple more runs here and there, and the Lady Bulldogs would have come home Saturday with a whole lot of forward momentum. Sadly, there were just a few drops too little left in the tank as Gunnison softball went 1-3 against some tough teams at the Payson Ice Breaker tournament last Saturday.
After being outmatched by Snow Canyon, 20-1, to begin the tournament, the Lady Bulldogs suffered losses to both Union and North Sanpete, 7-6 in each game. In between the two results, Gunnison manage to salvage a win from the tournament in the form of a solid 13-5 victory over Juab. The Lady Bulldogs’ overall record now stands at 7-8.
Initial RPI rankings released last Friday slotted the Lady Bulldogs at No. 5 in 2A.
“We played some difficult teams this weekend,” Coach Sara Ellsworth said. “Although we lost by one in two of our games, the girls were able to come alive with their bats in the final innings of each game. They are gaining confidence in every game they play, and I’m glad we’ve had these tough, close matchups. They are preparing us for [the playoffs]. Now we’ve got to find a way to win those close games to take our team to the next level.”
The Lady Bulldogs were overwhelmed by one of 4A’s best teams in the first game as Snow Canyon racked up 16 hits, two of them home runs, en route to a win in five innings.
Gunnison battled back and forth with Union in what was one of the more entertaining matches of the tournament. The Bulldogs gained the first advantage with a 3-0 lead after the first inning, only to be answered by Union with four runs in the second to take the lead.
It was a 4-4 tie after another run by Gunnison in the fourth. Then, in the final inning, Union pulled ahead 7-4, putting all the pressure on the Lady Bulldogs in the final frame. Gunnison pulled off two runs, but couldn’t quite get the third, falling just short of the chance for extra innings. Senior Raven Pickett hit a home run and led the team with two RBI.
The Lady Bulldogs took out their frustrations on Juab in the next game, pummeling them from the plate as Pickett and junior JaKelle Sorensen each hit a home run, and the team combined for 10 hits. Pickett led with three RBI. Juab had the early lead, 3-1, and led 5-4 going into the fourth inning, but the Lady Bulldogs peeled off nine runs at the top of the fourth, and the game ended.
In the final game, Gunnison struggled through most of the match contending with county neighbor North Sanpete. It was 7-0 for the Hawks going into the bottom of the sixth inning, but then Gunnison’s bats woke up, and the team pulled off six runs in the final frame, falling just shy of a would-be marvelous comeback. Pickett again led with two RBI.
The Lady Bulldogs will continue region play taking on North Sanpete this Tuesday, and they’ll have a doubleheader at home on Friday hosting San Juan.