Spanish Fork • Suddenly, a team that seemed unflappable was struggling.
The San Juan Broncos had, for the most part, cruised through the Class 2A softball tournament en route to Saturday's championship game. But when all that stood between them and a title was an Enterprise team that San Juan had beaten by 10 runs the night before, the Broncos found themselves in some trouble.
In the top of the fourth, sophomore pitcher Tatiana Su'e Su'e, one of the tournament's most dominant players, tripped while fielding a bunt and allowed an Enterprise run to score. One batter later, Su'e Su'e cleanly fielded a bouncing ball, looked the runner back to third Â and then threw wide of first, allowing two Wolves to cross the plate.
Su'e Su'e and the Broncos, however, would not let the 5-1 deficit bother them.
"I never had a doubt," the pitcher said after the 6-5 comeback victory. "I knew we were going to win."
San Juan coach Craig Swenson gathered his players and told them to keep calm.
"I told them there was a lot of softball still to be played," said Swenson.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth, San Juan senior shortstop Brooke Lyman stepped to the plate, looking for a single.
Instead, her grand slam leveled the game.
"I was just trying for a base hit and it kept going," Lyman said. "I was expecting it to come inside because they had been pitching me inside all day. So I was just planning on it."
The Broncos lineup is filled with powerful hitters who had combined for 44 home runs on the season coming into the title game.
"Now we've hit 45 this year," Swenson said, "and the 45th was the one that meant the most."
Enterprise pitcher Dakota Robinson had been solid before Lyman's blast. After a rocky outing against San Juan on Friday night, Robinson helped her team battle back to crush Manti and earn a rematch with the Broncos in the double-elimination tournament.
"After you have a loss like we did against San Juan yesterday, you don't quite know how the girls are going to react," Enterprise coach Duane Wallin said. "But they came back and they fought. We got some momentum going against Manti and it carried us through Â almost all the way through."
Su'e Su'e and Lyman both singled in the seventh, setting the table for senior Lexus Latham, who was 0 for 3 on the day before her last at-bat.
"I'd been struggling and I just had to deliver. It was time," Latham said, as tears streamed down her face and she clutched tight to the championship trophy.
Latham's hit to center drove in Su'e Su'e, who was mobbed by her teammates at the plate.
Storylines San Juan 6, Enterprise 5
R Broncos senior Brooke Lyman hits a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth, tying the game.