Grantsville will attempt to win its fifth consecutive 3A state softball championship this week at the Spanish Fork Softball Complex.
The No. 2-seed Cowboys advanced easily in the double-elimination tournament with a 16-0 victory over 15th-seed Ben Lomond in Grantsville on Saturday. The Cowboys face 10th-seed North Sanpete on Thursday at 12:15 p.m. With a victory, Grantsville would face the winner of Manti (3) and Canyon View (6).
The Cowboys are one of eight undefeated teams left in the tourney— North Sanpete, Grantsville, Canyon View, Manti, Emery, South Summit, Carbon and Grand County.
Four one-loss teams are still in the tourney including Providence Hall, Juab, Union and Morgan.
Grantsville spent the first few days of this week focusing on North Sanpete.
“We have scouted them hard and will prep for them. They are all that matters right now,” said coach Tony Cloward.
The coach said there always is pressure on the team due to all the success in the past.
“We work really hard as a staff and team to focus on the now. We don’t think about yesterday or tomorrow. The girls have done a great job with this. They are hungry to earn their own recognition,” the coach said.
“We definitely have a target on our backs. We get everyone’s best game. Morgan even admitted to us that everything they have done and do is directed to competing with us,” he said.
Grantsville’s team is relatively young with only two seniors and very few players with playoff experience.
“Our pitching is strong and our defense has been solid all year, and our sticks are heating up. Could be a great combination,” Cloward added.
Carbon is the top seed in the tournament and Grantsville is second. The Cowboys dropped a game to the Dinos 13-2 early in the year, but came back and shut them down in the most recent game in Price 14-2.
Grantsville started the season with losses to Riverton, Skyridge, Carbon, Cyprus, and Canyon View, and has gone 18-3 since those games.
“We purposely schedule hard opponents early and throughout the season. It helps make us better. We don’t treat win/lose with substance. In fact we had an official tell us once. ‘You know why Grantsville is always good?’ I said Why? He said `because you’re not afraid to play hard teams and take a loss.’ Our schedule has been our strength. We had one of the hardest schedules this year. We are hoping it will pay off again in the end,” Cloward said.