As is tradition, all three Tooele County high school softball teams enter this weekend’s first round of the Class 3A state tournament with championship aspirations.
The battle-tested squads from Grantsville, Tooele and Stansbury finished 1-2-3 in the Region 10 standings. Grantsville’s two region losses were on the road against Tooele and Stansbury, while THS and SHS also split their two meetings.
But when the dust settled, Grantsville came away with the Region 10 title, while Tooele beat Stansbury for second place on head-to-head run differential. That means Grantsville will play host to a first-round pod this weekend and the other two teams have to travel.
Grantsville (20-5, 6-2 Region 10) will face Region 11’s fourth-place team, Juan Diego Catholic (12-8, 5-5 Region 11) in a first-round game Saturday at 10 a.m. in Grantsville. The Cowboys routed the Soaring Eagle 16-1 in four innings in the season opener March 7, a game in which Grantsville pitcher Alese Casper tossed a no-hitter and pounded out three hits at the plate. The teams also have common matchups against Bonneville, Bear River and Ridgeline, with GHS going 2-2 against those teams and Juan Diego going 1-3.
The winner will automatically advance to next Thursday’s second round in Spanish Fork. The loser will play the loser of the game between Region 9 runner-up Desert Hills and Region 12 third-place finisher Canyon View in an elimination game at 2 p.m. Saturday in Grantsville.
Tooele (12-11, 5-3 Region 10) will travel to Cedar City on Saturday to meet Logan (8-14-2, 5-5 Region 11), which finished third in Region 11. The game is scheduled to begin at noon at Cedar High School. The Buffaloes and Grizzlies did not meet during the regular season, and Bear River is their only common opponent — Logan lost three games to the Bears by a combined 39 runs, while Tooele suffered a narrow 6-5 loss to the defending state champions.
The winner advances to next week, while the loser must play an elimination game against the loser of Saturday’s game between Region 9 champion Cedar and Carbon, the fourth-place team from Region 12. The elimination game will be played at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Stansbury (17-8-1, 5-3 Region 10) has perhaps the toughest draw of Tooele County’s three teams, drawing a first-round matchup against Region 11 runner-up Ridgeline (17-8, 9-1 Region 11) at 10 a.m. Saturday at Juab High School in Nephi. It will be the first meeting between the Stallions and Riverhawks on the softball diamond, though they both faced Bear River, Davis and Grantsville. Ridgeline split two meetings with Bear River, lost by two runs to Davis and was beaten 8-2 by Grantsville. Stansbury lost 13-7 to Bear River, 7-4 to Davis and split two meetings with Grantsville.
The winner advances to a likely matchup with Region 12 champion Juab and Southern Utah-bound pitcher Taylei Williams in next Thursday’s second round. The loser faces an elimination game against the loser of Juab’s game against Hurricane, the fourth-place team from Region 9, at 2 p.m. Saturday in Nephi.