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Cari Doutre, Leader Sports Writer
The Bear River girls’ softball team made history! On Monday the Bears won their fifth straight championship title, something no Utah high school team has never done.
The journey to the title wasn’t an easy one for the Bears as they faced rain delays on Friday and lost the first game during Monday’s finals to Spanish Fork.
The Bears first faced the 2011 defending 4A state champs Spanish Fork on Saturday and came away with a hard-fought 10 inning win, 6-5. From there the Bears easily beat Snow Canyon in the semi-finals 13-3 just to meet up with Spanish Fork once again, but this time for the title.
Monday started out on a low note for the Bears as the Dons quickly ran up the score, plating 16 runs in three innings before the game was called. Bear River suffered offensively and defensively, unable to score any runs and had too many errors in the field. Spanish Fork beat Bear River 16-0.
“It was heartbreaking,” said starting pitcher Jordan Theurer about the loss. “The first game we weren’t focused and everyone was just off their game a little bit.”
“It was just a little overwhelming,” senior centerfielder Morgan Summers said about the loss. “We thought we were ready but we weren’t.”
“We just got throttled. It was terrible,” coach Calvin Bingham. “I told them not to lose their composure and I wanted them to stay in there and represent themselves to the end.”
Bingham’s strong words between games made a world of difference as the Bears came back strong and confident. Summers started the Bears’ hitting streak in the first inning making it home on Theurer’s RBI single. Senior Shaunie Owen smacked a two-run double bringing in Theurer and Kassi Fronk before Erin Fox and Tyree Haramoto got on base. Senior first baseman Bekah Wheatley hit a two-run double followed by Madison Scoffield’s RBI ground out. The Bears totaled seven runs in the first inning. Fox added an RBI single in the second inning, following Theurer’s triple earlier in that inning.
The Bears maintained a tight defense not allowing Spanish Fork to score any runs. Spanish Fork had bases loaded with two outs in the third and fifth innings but couldn’t get a run in on Theurer’s fastball or Fox’s hot glove at shortstop. The Bears beat Spanish Fork 8-0 for the championship title.
“Words can’t even explain the feeling,” Summers said after the win. “I can’t even cry because I’m so sad it’s over. We bounced back so strong from that last game.”
“All of us got our heads together after the first game and we knew we were going to have a good game,” Owen said.
“This is the best team we’ve played in a championship game,” Bingham said.
BR 4, Canyon View 0
First up for the state tournament the Bears faced last year’s second place finishers Canyon View on Thursday. The Bears proved once again why they are the defending state champs.
Canyon View failed to score any runs on Bear River’s tight defense. Fox earned the first run of the game in the third inning hitting an RBI double bringing in Owen who hit a double before Fox. In the fourth inning with bases loaded Theurer hit a two-run single followed by Owen’s RBI single.
BR 6, Spanish Fork 5
All teams had a break from softball on Friday due to weather delays so Saturday’s games were treated as Friday’s games should have been and the championship game was moved to Monday.
Bear River got on the scoreboard first in the second inning off of Carleen Hunsaker’s RBI single but Spanish Fork took over from there with a home run in the fourth inning followed by another run scored on an RBI single. Spanish Fork continued scoring in the fifth inning off a two base Bear River error.
Down 3-1 going into the bottom of the sixth inning Taylor smacked a huge two-run double to tie up the game, which went into extra innings.
Neither team scored any runs in the eighth inning. Hunsaker popped up in the ninth inning bringing in Taylor for a run but Spanish Fork tied it up again. In the 10th and final inning Theurer, hit a two-run home run and gave up only one run to Spanish Fork in the bottom of the inning for the win 6-5.
BR 13, Snow Canyon 3
Bear River then faced Snow Canyon in the semi-finals for a hard-hitting win. Taylor hit a two-run home run in the second inning. The seventh and final inning was where the action was. Fox hit a two-run double, Haramoto had an RBI single but it was Summers who stole the show. With bases loaded and two outs Summers had no choice but to swing and swing hard. The speedy left handed hitter smacked a grand slam over center field fence for a 13-3 win and a spot in the finals. “I wasn’t expecting that at all,” Summers said after the game. “I was sprinting my hardest to get a home run.” Summers didn’t realize until later that she actually hit the ball out of the outfield.