Spanish Fork • After pitching five games in three days, Manti’s Kali Thomson finally got what she wanted.
She held the state 2A softball championship trophy and watched her coach, Susan Hatch, get a water-cooler shower.
StorylinesManti pitcher Kali Thomson goes 5-0 in the state tournament, allowing just seven runs.
» Manti outscores its opponents by a combined 61-7 in its five tournament wins.
» San Juan’s Natalie Swenson goes 4 for 6 with two doubles in the two losses to Manti.
Class 3A softball schedule
» Grantsville 11, Union 1
» Payson 4, Dixie 0
» Cedar City 7, Carbon 0
» Stansbury 12, Juan Diego 0
» Canyon View 11, North Sanpete 1
» Uintah 9, Bear River 7
» Tooele 11, Morgan 1
» Juab 2, Snow Canyon 1
At Spanish Fork Softball Complex
» Grantsville vs. Payson, 3 p.m.
» Cedar City vs. Stansbury, 3 p.m.
» Canyon View vs. Uintah, 3 p.m.
» Tooele vs. Juab, 3 p.m.
Winning sure is fun.
Thomson went 2 for 4 at the plate and pitched her fifth complete game of the tournament to help Manti cap off a remarkable season with an 8-4 win over San Juan on Saturday afternoon in the title game.
"I’m really mentally exhausted and my body is a little sore, but other than that I was so ready," Thomson said. "This was worth working for. This is the best thing that could have happened this year."
Unlike any of its four previous four state tournament games, this one had some suspense.
Manti was clinging to a 6-4 lead in the fifth inning when San Juan threatened to tie the game. Tatiana SueSue reached base on an error to begin the inning. Justin Hutchins followed with a single, but just when it looked like the Broncos had something cooking, the Templars cut the power to the inning.
Emily Royer popped up a bunt in front of the plate. Thomson dove head-first to try and catch the ball in the air, but it popped out of her glove. Manti catcher Natalie Peterson alertly picked up the ball and threw to third to cut down the lead runner. Thomson then got out of the inning by getting the next two batters to ground out.
It was San Juan’s last chance because after the Templars got out of the inning, Amanda Naylor came up clutch when she came through with a two-out, two-run single in the sixth inning to push the lead to 8-4 and give Thomson all the run support she would need.
"I think this is something every kid should have the opportunity to experience," Hatch said. "It’s hard to describe the feeling. You just like to see them work hard for something and get rewarded."
San Juan came out swinging. The Broncos scored two runs in the top of the first inning compliments of run-scoring singles from Hutchins and Royer, but Manti had the answer for every San Juan rally.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Templars answered with five runs. They used a two-run double from Naylor and an RBI single from Elizabeth Palmer to go along with two San Juan errors to take a 5-2 lead.
But the Broncos continued to put the pressure on. Nataiah Swenson doubled and scored in the second inning and again in the fourth to trim the lead to 5-4.
Manti answered with a run in the fourth when Kemri Stilson scored on a Madison Blauer single.
The win helped Manti finish off a 26-1 season. Its only loss was a game to Taylorsville the weekend before the state tournament.
San Juan, the Region 15 champs, ended the season at 17-9.
"My girls played tough from the first day until now. They gave me everything they had," said San Juan coach Craig Swenson. "We were just a hit here or a hit there away. Manti is very well coached. They’re just a great team."
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