A grand slam, given all the elements that must fall into place, is tough enough.
So when Hunter centerfielder Tess Matagi hit two of them Thursday in a 16-0 rout of Kearns, it was all the more notable.
“It’s a rare thing, I’m told,” the sophomore said.
Just how rare? By comparison, the feat has only been pulled off 13 times in Major League Baseball, according to Baseball Almanac.
“You know how unusual that is?” Hunter coach Wes Haymond said. “That’s like finding a hen’s tooth in a chicken yard. I’ve been around this game forever and I’ve never seen that. It blew me away.”
Matagi’s first bases-loaded home run came in the second inning with two outs. Her next at bat, in the fourth inning, she did it again.
Matagi has hit eight home runs this season to lead the Wolverines, who are 12-6 (4-2 Region 2) and before losing two of their last three had won 11 straight games.
That Matagi is leading the way is somewhat unexpected. The 16-year-old said she has played softball for only four seasons, but her coach thinks she has the potential to play beyond high school.
“She has all the tools to play Division I [college softball],” Haymond said.
Matagi said her goal this year was to hit a home run in each Region 2 game, but she has come up short twice, most recently Tuesday in an 11-1 loss to Viewmont.
But then came the game against Kearns and, Matagi said, “I guess that made up for it.”
Alta storms back
In a game with superlative production, why not have extra innings as well?
Alta baseball overcame deficits of seven and five runs on Friday to beat Jordan 16-15 in the third game of the series, which determined first place in Region 3 going into the final two weeks of the regular season.
Alta scored five runs in the seventh inning to tie the game at 13 and force an extra inning, where they scored three more.
The Hawks (12-7, 6-2) have series remaining against Brighton and West Jordan, while the Beetdiggers (9-8, 5-3), will play Copper Hills and Brighton before the Class 5A tournament begins.