Dons dominate: Spanish Fork wins another state softball title

Reigning player of the year Avery Sapp leads a sweep of Lehi

(Isaac Hale | Special to The Tribune) Spanish Fork pitcher Avery Sapp (5) winds up a pitch during the second game of a best-of-three series between the Spanish Fork Lady Dons and the Mountain Ridge Sentinels as part of the 5A state softball championship held at the Spanish Fork Sports Park on Friday, May 28, 2021.

Provo • Spanish Fork came into the 5A softball championship as the heavy favorite, and the Dons looked every bit the part in a sweep of Lehi. The complete-team victory gave the program consecutive state championships in the school’s second 5A year.

The two games showcased how well-rounded the Dons are. The offense exploded for a 15–2 win in game one Thursday night before the defense led the way to a 4–0 championship-clinching victory Friday afternoon.

Thursday’s 15-run performance was powered by hits from eight different Dons. Friday’s game featured last year’s Gatorade Player of the Year Avery Sapp on the mound, who showed why she is one of the best in the state with 10 strikeouts in a complete-game victory.

The versality and completeness of Spanish Fork was the epitome of the team’s season. Players and coaches were quick to point out the group’s unity after the win, which they say was forged through team pickleball and lucky goldfish.

“They’re a team,” head coach Natalie Jarvis said. “They all wrote team on their hand. We come as a team, and we win as a team.”

Friday’s clinching game started slow, with defense on display from both sides. Both teams turned early double plays, and Sapp had seven of her strikeouts in the first three innings. She credited her defense for her comfortable performance.

“I can throw my game knowing that behind me, even if I make some sort of mistake, that I have my team behind me in order to pick me up or make a play. Either way, we’re good,” Sapp said.

The scoring started in the bottom of the third when classification home run and RBI leader Peyton Hall brought home Tatum Hall off a triple to right field. The Dons then continued to frustrate the Lehi hitters, with the Pioneers registering just three total hits.

In the bottom of the fifth Spanish Fork finally flashed the offensive explosiveness it used throughout the postseason. An Emmie Olson double and Ellie Olson walk set the stage for Tatum Hall to be the hero when she smashed a home run into the right field scoreboard.

“I was just so happy because I’m not really a big home run hitter, I usually just hit straight line drives. So being able to hit that for my team to win just felt really great,” she said.

After the ensuing celebrations, the home plate umpire ruled that only two of the three runners would count as “coach assisting” interfered with the play. Jarvis said after the game that the third runner missed home plate, only going back after a push from an assistant coach. Regardless, the play was enough to cement the Dons’ victory, which was further assured after an insurance run was added in the bottom of the sixth off an Alyce Archuleta triple, bringing the game to its 4–0 final.

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