Prep 3A softball: Juan Diego trounces Judge Memorial
Published: April 2, 2012 11:53PM
Updated: August 5, 2012 11:31PM
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Paul Fraughton | The Salt Lake Tribune. Judge Memorial base runner Lexi Walker is tagged out on the first base line by Juan Diego's Alyssa Brusatto. Juan Diego defeated Judge in the game played on the Judge Memorial field. Monday, April 2, 2012

Immediately following the Juan Diego softball team’s loss Friday at Wasatch, the team’s four seniors took it upon themselves to schedule the next practice.

They wasted no time and called the team together bright and early — 7:30 a.m. — on Saturday.

“We just talked about how we need to work hard every game,” senior pitcher Erin Fitzpatrick said. “And just bringing our team together to be more unified and play hard together.”

Apparently, the message was received loud and clear. The Soaring Eagle thumped rival Judge Memorial in a confidence-gaining 15-3 victory Monday.

Fitzpatrick had four hits and scored three runs and teammates Mel Meacham, Presley Whetman, Jaici Bishop and Kacie Freudenberger each added three hits to give Juan Diego (8-3) its first Region 10 victory.

“Friday’s loss was a good eye-opener for us,” Juan Diego coach Paul Archuleta said. “One through nine in our order has the power to put it out of the ballpark. We’ve been sporadic, but we’re starting to put it together.”

Juan Diego jumped on Judge sophomore Sydney Austin and smacked 22 hits in five innings, including seven doubles.

The support was more than enough for Fitzpatrick (6-2), who struck out six Bulldogs.

“We started strong and worked hard,” Fitzpatrick said. “Judge is our rival, so it’s always a good game when we play them.”

Lexi Walker had two hits for the Bulldogs (6-7, 1-1), who had a three-game win streak snapped.

It was the third consecutive game and fourth time this season the Soaring Eagle scored more than 10 runs.

Archuleta said this year’s team, more than any in recent years, demonstrated the unity and chemistry needed to push Juan Diego to the top of Class 3A.

And that starts with Fitzpatrick, whom the coach calls the team’s “rock.”

“I put it all on her shoulders,” Archuleta said. “If it’s not out here, then it’s off the field. I can’t express how much she means to this team.”