The Stansbury Lady Stallions had everything to play for on Friday with senior day, a share of the region championship, and a chance to host the upcoming week’s opening round of the 3A state tournament.
Nothing was left to chance, as the Lady Stallions powered their way to a 10-0 victory over the Grantsville Cowboys, which gave them a share of the region championship with Bear River. Stansbury clinched the No. 1 seed for the state tournament thanks to a higher run differential than the Lady Bears.
“It’s the same thing we’ve been doing all year long,” Stansbury coach Bridget Clinton said. “We’re just competitive, and they trust in each other. When someone doesn’t get it done, someone else will step up. They have their back, and they just play hard for each other.”
Clinton said the dominant win came because all aspects of Stansbury’s game were at a high level.
“We had great pitching, great hitting and great defense,” she said. “They were pumped up since it was their last home game for the seniors. Today was a little more special because we were playing for the region championship, and it’s a rivalry game with Grantsville. They were just mentally prepared, and they went out and did what they needed to do.”
Kimbri Herring gave up just one hit in the game, which was a double to Grantsville’s Amy Matthews in the top of the fourth inning. Herring recorded five strikeouts during the five-inning, mercy rule victory.
Stansbury scored early and often. As usual, Janessa Bassett opened the bottom of the first inning with a bunt single and then immediately stole second base. Beth Chipman drew a walk, and Katelyn Robinson drew a walk to load the bases for Karlee Manzione. She picked up a sacrifice hit to score Bassett, and then Anjalee Batchelor placed a base hit to left field to score Chipman and Robinson for a 3-0 advantage.
The Cowboys held down the Lady Stallions in the bottom of the second, but then Batchelor got things started again in the bottom of the third. She got on with a base hit and was followed by a Jocelyn Kaufmann base hit. Qyncee Horrocks came in as a courtesy runner for Kaufmann, and that brought up Lindsay Guymon. She put down a sacrifice bunt, and then an error on the throw to first allowed her to reach safely and score Batchelor. Horrocks then scored when Guymon stole second base. The ball was overthrown, and the score was 5-0 at the end of the inning.
Jade Callister came in to pinch run for Manzione in the bottom of the fourth inning. Kaufmann then placed a hit through the middle of the infield to have runners on the corners for Guymon. She hit the ball right to Grantsville’s Maddie Johnson at third, who threw over to Bailey Critchlow at first. However, the ball bounced in the dirt and Guymon was called safe. That sent Callister home to make the score 6-0.
Whitney Fields tried to get an offensive rally started for Grantsville in the top of the fifth. She knocked a blooper into left field, but Robinson raced in and slid into the grass to make the catch and rob Fields of a base hit.
Manzione came in during the bottom half of the inning with the bases loaded, which was her third bases-loaded opportunity of the game. She tallied just one RBI in her two previous opportunities, but she delivered this time. Manzione knocked a base hit to score Elise Sutherland and Bassett for an 8-0 lead.
Kaufmann kept it going with an RBI double for a 9-0 lead, and then Guymon knocked the game-ender with an RBI double, giving Stansbury the win. An 11th run came in to score on that final at-bat, and that is how the final score was reported, but the game officially ended when the 10th run crossed the plate.
“We’ve got to hit the ball a lot better than we did today,” Grantsville coach Heidi Taylor said. “What did we have, one hit? We can’t win a game with one hit.”
Taylor said the approach at the plate needs to be tuned up a little bit if the team is to have success in the state tournament.
“I want them to have the confidence to hit the pitch that they see and want to hit,” she said, “but at the same time I don’t want them swinging at junk.”
Taylor echoed Clinton’s remarks when she said Stansbury has the total package.
“Their defense is good. Their offense is good,” Taylor said. “They’re a tough team. Whoever meets them (in the tournament) is going to have to play their best game because they’re definitely a good team.”
Grantsville travels to Spanish Fork on Saturday to play against Canyon View in the opening round of the state tournament. Stansbury will stay at home and host Hurricane in the opening round.