The Stansbury softball team appeared on its way to a strong bounce-back performance against Springville on Wednesday, playing the Class 4A Red Devils to a 3-3 tie through the first four innings.
However, the wheels came off for the Stallions in the fifth, as three errors contributed to 10 Springville runs that led to the Devils’ 13-3, run-rule-shortened win at Stansbury High School.
“They’ve just got to be mentally tough when they make a mistake,” Stansbury coach Bridget Clinton said. “Mistakes are going to happen –– they’re not professional athletes. You’ve just got to learn from it and try not to repeat it, and your teammates will pick you up and minimize the damage.”
The Stallions (2-2), coming off a blowout loss to a talented Copper Hills squad 24 hours earlier, took a 2-0 advantage in the second inning on RBI singles by Makayla Witkowski and Lindsey Allie. Springville answered with three runs in the top of the third on a bases-clearing double by Rylee Harris, but Stansbury tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on Aly Oxborrow’s one-out RBI double that scored Ashley Thompson from first base.
But that’s when things started to go wrong for the Stallions, as the Red Devils (6-2) took advantage of Stansbury’s mistakes.
“When you give good teams three extra chances in an inning, they’re going to make you pay, and they did,” Clinton said. “That’s just how it goes early in the year. It happens. It’s all part of preseason softball. We need to shore up our defense. Our hitting’s been OK and our pitching was good, but we just had too many errors and gave them too many extra chances.”
A wild pitch on the third strike allowed leadoff hitter Alyvia Woolsey to reach base, and she scored the go-ahead run after back-to-back singles by Mary Fredrickson and Mykenzie Ferran. A sacrifice fly by Lizzy Donnelly drove in another run, and Teresa Morse hit an RBI single to make it 6-3. Sydnee Morgan followed with an RBI double off the top of the left-field fence to extend the lead to 7-3.
Wild pitches, passed balls and a pair of errors in the field allowed Springville to continue to stretch the lead and chased Stansbury starting pitcher Witkowski from the game. Witkowski allowed 10 earned runs on 10 hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Reliever Bailey Christensen allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on three hits with one walk and one strikeout in one-third of an inning.
Despite the tough loss, Clinton and the Stallions weren’t discouraged. In fact, Clinton said playing games against teams like Springville that will make the Stallions pay for their mistakes will prove beneficial in the long run.
“It doesn’t do us any good to play games against teams where we can just rack up 20 runs,” Clinton said. “We want to play against good teams, and if we get beat, we get beat.”
Stansbury will travel to St. George for the Sunroc Tournament, playing five games over a span of two days. The Stallions will face Canyon View, Manti, Spanish Fork, Bear River and Salem Hills.