All Sanpete teams have good change for great seasons
There isn’t a sport that Sanpete County truly excels at quite like softball.
The softball season is underway this week all across the state of Utah, with North Sanpete, Manti, and Gunnison all looking to keep their teams trending up. Last year, the three schools produced winning seasons each, and the Lady Templars brought home the 2A state championship. Now begins the title defense, and for others, the continual pursuit.
“Lady Hawk softball is back!” new head coach Sharon Christensen says with excitement.
After a successful tenure as the head coach of the Lady Hawks, Tyler Bailey stepped down this season and handed the reigns to Christensen, North Sanpete’s athletic director. The Lady Hawks ended last year with a 13-11 season that ended with a first-round exit from the 3A playoffs.
“We have high hopes for this young yet experienced team,” Christensen said.
Coming back this year is senior Catherine Lund, who was signed earlier this year to Snow College’s 2018 freshman class. Lund recorded four doubles and a home run last season. After Lund comes a boatload of youthful underclassmen, who had plenty of experience playing for the Lady Hawks last year.
North Sanpete begins its season facing Emery next Tuesday at home. Game time is slated for 3:30 p.m.
It can’t get much better than a championship, but now that the Lady Templars are in the clouds, it’s time to put in the work to stay there.
Coming off a title-winning season, Manti still returns most of their players from last year, a big reason why they are ranked No. 1 in 2A in the state of Utah, per Deseret News. Their 2016 posted a 25-3 record with a 9-1 region mark.
Former seniors Mikeala Cox and Amanda Naylor accounted for 12 home runs last season, a loss the young Manti team hopes to make up for. Freshman Lexie Alder proves a difference maker this season after batting 10 doubles last season.
Manti begins defense of its title on the road against Delta next Tuesday.
Manti might have taken the hardware, but they certainly weren’t the only team to impress last year.
Gunnison finished last season with a 22-10 overall record, going 8-2 in region to take second in the 2A East. Their championship hopes were cut short by an unceremonious first-round exit at the hands of South Sevier.
No teams are ranked in the top five of the relatively weak 2A East, led last year by Grand, but the Lady Bulldogs have reasons to do even better this season. Although 2016 marked the departure of four seniors, their big hitters, senior Jerusha Miner and junior Emily Brackett, both return after last year saw the two hit 10 combined home runs.
The Lady Bulldogs began their season against Millard last Tuesday at home. They will be on the road next Tuesday at Provo.