The Grantsville softball team has had a lot of blowout wins this season, but it is also showing it has a knack for winning close games as well.
The Cowboys showed that ability again Thursday afternoon, coming up with big hits at big times to beat an up-and-coming Union squad 3-1 in a Region 10 game at home, led by Brayle Crosman’s two-run home run and a clutch RBI double by sophomore Hannah Butler late in the game.
Grantsville (12-1, 2-0 Region 10) took a 2-0 lead on Crosman’s home run with two outs in the third inning, a no-doubter to left-center field that landed on the adjacent Little League field on a windy day. Union (15-4, 1-1) got a run back in the fourth inning, but managed only three hits total against Grantsville pitcher Alese Casper and a solid Cowboys defense.
Grantsville coach Heidi Taylor said she has been impressed with the way her young team has come together.
“They’re having fun,” she said. “We really want them to have fun and they want to learn. They’re sponges for information. We’ve moved people around just about every game. Everybody is happy to be anywhere, just doing their job. I just have loved every second of being with these girls. They’re awesome.”
Butler drove in Addison Smith with an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning, following Smith’s double with one of her own.
“I think everybody, one through nine, wants that hit,” Crosman said. “They want the opportunity to get up there and hit the ball in a moment like that.”
Casper came out on the winning side of a pitcher’s duel, striking out 12 and walking one in a complete-game effort. Madison Bostick was stellar for the Cougars, allowing just two earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts and no walks. No player on either team had more than one hit.
It was the kind of game the Cowboys expected from the Cougars, who were coming off a big win over Tooele earlier in the week and lost two games to Grantsville last season by a combined four-run margin.
“Their team is good,” Taylor said. “Their pitcher [Bostick] is good. We knew it was going to be a close game and we had to play good ball.”
Grantsville’s only loss this season came to top-ranked Eagle (Idaho) in the championship game of the March Warm Up tournament in St. George. Outside of that 13-3 defeat, the Cowboys have outscored their opponents 116-23.
Crosman said the key to the Cowboys’ success is simple.
“Nobody’s a superstar here — everybody’s playing for each other,” she said. “Instead of somebody being a standout, everybody’s playing as a team.”
Grantsville faces a tough week ahead, with non-region games against Class 2A powerhouse Manti and defending Class 3A champion Bear River, as well as a Region 10 showdown with county rival Tooele.