Carley Guymon looks down, licks her right hand like an NFL quarterback, and deals a fireball of a pitch over home plate. Strike, rinse, repeat.
The Maple Mountain pitcher kept East High School’s hitters off balance all day, recording 10 strikeouts en route to a 5-3 win Thursday in the Class 4A softball winners’ bracket quarterfinals.
The scoring happened early as Maple Mountain jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second when third baseman Sydnie Wilson hit a bases-loaded double to the left-field fence. East’s sophomore pitcher, Michelle Thomas, added some run support to her pitching effort with a two-run shot a half inning later, setting the scene for an offensive explosion.
However, Guymon settled down and started recording strikeouts and easy outs. Maple Mountain scored again in the top of the third after a double to center brought home the runner on second base, and scored once more in the top of the fourth on a single.
East’s offense came up empty from the second inning, and in the top of the sixth, Thomas was subbed out for Angelique Lokeni. The home team threatened again with two outs in the bottom of the seventh with a last-ditch single by Aliyah Franco to bring the runner on second home and make the score 5-3.
However, Guymon came through once again and closed the game out on a grounder to second, securing the victory for Maple Mountain.
Coach Cassie Reese praised Guymon for her performance and said the early runs scored by Maple Mountain’s offense were important after Lokeni came on.
“It’s really important for our pitching. It makes them feel more comfortable and settled down,” Reese said. “I wanted them to score more, but that second pitcher had our number.”
Guymon said she wasn’t worried when East put a few players on base in the last inning, saying she had to pitch her game and hit her spots to get the final out.
“We kind of just had to calm it down and keep the momentum [going] our way instead of giving it to them,” the pitcher said.
Third baseman Sydnie Wilson didn’t share her pitcher’s steely resolve.
“I was really nervous. They’re great hitters,” Wilson said.
Maple Mountain will play Spanish Fork in the winners’ bracket semis on Tuesday.
Reese said she hopes Maple Mountain can continue rolling along behind Guymon’s arm.
“I think what we need to do is just keep building on what we’re doing. Right now we’re on a roll and we need to keep that roll going,” Reese said. “They just keep improving every game; it’s awesome.”
Winners’ bracket quarterfinals
• Spanish Fork 7, Olympus 5
• Maple Mountain 5, East 3
• Bonneville 4, Clearfield 2
• Salem Hills 4, Woods Cross 0
Winners’ bracket semis
At Valley Softball Complex
• Spanish Fork vs. Maple Mountain, 4:30 p.m.
• Bonneville vs. Salem Hills, 6:45 p.m.
Maple Mtn. 5,East 3
R Maple Mountain’s Carley Guymon records 10 strikeouts.
• East’s bats are kept in check after a two-run homer in the second, not scoring until two outs in the last inning.