Prep softball: Lehi continues impressive run in 5A tournament
Taylorsville • A week ago, the Lehi softball team lamented its bad luck as a region champion relegated to a No. 3 seed after losing a pair of coin flips.
Now, the Pioneers are in the best position possible and the envy of Class 5A.
After Wednesday's 6-1 state tournament semifinal win over Layton, Lehi advances to Thursday night's championship round. The Pioneers have played four games against four region champs in these playoffs, and have won all of them.
In order to not win the state title, either Layton or Taylorsville will have to defeat Lehi twice. Those two schools meet on Thursday afternoon in the consolation final. The winner will advance to the title round.
"We just figured that no matter what, we're going to have to beat good teams," Pioneers coach Whitney Thomas said. "We're a confident team and we just wanted to come out and take care of business. The girls played well today."
As has been the case for the past week, it was a balanced performance for Lehi. The bats showed up, steadily knocking in runs, with Stephani Zimmerman and Kacie Freudenberger coming up with homers.
That was enough for sophomore pitcher Sydney White to do her thing. She wasn't as spectacular as she was last week, and found herself in a couple of jams.
But she's proven to be one of the most competitive pitchers in the state. And when she found herself with the bases loaded, with one out and nursing a 3-1 advantage in the bottom of the fifth inning, she responded with a pair of strikeouts to negotiate her way out of trouble. In turn, her teammates provided her with more run support, as Taylor Tahbo cleared the bases with a double in the top of the sixth inning.
"At this stage, I know I'm not going to blow the ball past anyone," White said. "So I've just been trying to stay calm and work my corners. I want to be able to put the ball in good spots and see what happens."
Last year at this time, the Lehi players found a huge stick, which they converted into a staff'. Today, they carry that stick with them to every game and every practice, adorned with the purple and white school colors.
O At Valley Softball Complex
Winners' bracket final
• Lehi 6, Layton 1
Losers' bracket final
• Layton vs. Taylorsville, 2:30 p.m.
• Lehi vs. Layton/Taylorsville winner, 2:30 p.m.