Despite the wind, cold and the threat of rain, the Grantsville girls kept their bats and gloves hot for a home-field, 12-2 rout of Juan Diego on Saturday morning.
In each of the first two innings, the Cowboys scored three runs to the Soaring Eagle’s one per inning.
The game featured a trio of home runs — a first-inning smack from Alese Casper, her first ever; then Juan Diego’s Taporah Hanniman answered with Juan Diego’s second and last run; and finally, Brayle Crosman added her seventh career round-tripper.
With that, the GHS girls tightened the grip, holding Juan Diego the remainder of the game.
The third inning was the GHS squad’s hottest inning with five runs scored, for an 11-2 advantage.
Bats were flying in the third when Maddison Peterson hit an RBI single to left field with full bases, bringing in Kylie Leach in for the Cowboys’ seventh run.
Next up was Breanna Dzierzon with a two-run single, driving in Addison Smith and Hannah Butler with Grantsville’s eighth and ninth runs. Then, Casper hit a two-run double, with Peterson and Dzierzon adding runs 10 and 11.
Clark walked after hitting a series of more than five foul balls, but was left on base with the next three batters’ outs. Juan Diego turned on the pitches striking out the final two batters — Reannon Justice and Leach.
At the top of the fourth, GHS coach Heidi Taylor gave Casper a rest and put in freshman Bailey Frischknecht at pitcher. Frischknecht took up where Casper left off.
“She gave up only one hit and one walk in the fourth and the fifth,” Taylor said.
Frischknecht struck out the first Eagle batter. Next at bat was Makelle Regenecht, who hit a pop to center field. Leach snagged it for the second out. With a full count, Frischknecht walked the next batter. But Clark snagged Sydney Mamano’s hit to second and whipped the ball to first for a quick double play.
Juan Diego held GHS scoreless in the fourth. Smith was first up and out, with a hit to shortstop and an out at first. Butler’s hit, also to shortstop, was another out at first. Frischknecht hit a single past the third baseman for a base hit. But Dzierzon hit a pop to the third baseman and was out at first.
Frischknecht continued her streak striking out first and last batters in the fifth inning. Leach caught Bella Sadillo’s pop to third for a second out. The third batter of the inning, Britney Walken’s double to center field meant nothing but the Eagles were done as the last batter swung and missed the final pitch.
In the final at-bats, Casper smacked the ball to left for a base hit, then stole second and third as the next batter, Clark, worked through her first three pitches — two balls and a strike.
Finally, Clark hit an RBI single, batting in Casper for the final score. Grantsville delivered the 12-2 win.
The GHS girls’ second round of the state tournament will be against Desert Hills at 1 p.m. Thursday in Spanish Fork. The Thunder took second in their region to first place Cedar.
GHS will continue with its same game strategy of hitting the ball “where it is pitched, making plays when given the opportunity, having fun and not overdoing anything,” Taylor said.