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It’s Official; Garland Dynasty
Leader Assistant Editor
They did it again.
Junior catcher Kim Knudsen hit an RBI-single in the bottom of the 10th inning on Saturday to give the Bear River softball team their second straight 3A state championship, and fourth since 2001.
The Bears defeated Uintah for the second straight day, this time by an 11-10 score.
“I’m mighty proud of (the girls),” head coach Calvin Bingham said shortly after taking a celebratory Gatorade bath. “This has been probably the most enjoyable group of girls I’ve worked with. It’ll probably be, for me, the most satisfying championship since I’ve been coaching.”
The road to the title wasn’t easy for the Bears. Thursday night, the team had to rally for an 8-inning, 6-2 victory over North Sanpete after giving up a 2-0 lead in the seventh. Friday’s games were somewhat easier, with senior pitcher Josie Summers striking out 19 total batters over two complete games of work, giving the Bears victories of 6-2 over Union and 6-0 over Uintah. Satuday’s game was a much different story, however.
Things started out slow for the Bears in their rematch with Uintah, as the Utes jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on a two run single by Maddison Robb just three batters in. Summers would settle down over the next five innings, holding Uintah scoreless while the Bear bats came alive.
Bear River would score five runs over that span, including two solo home runs by tournament MVP Kelli Smart in the second and sixth innings. Bear River held the 5-2 lead heading into the top of the 7th, just three outs from the title.
Saturday, May 16 – BEARS WIN! BEARS WIN! BEARS WIN!
Kim Knudsen hit an RBI-single in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Bear River Bears their second straight 3A state championship. The Bears defeated Uintah for the second straight day, this time by an 11-10 score.
Things started out slow for the Bears, as Uintah jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first off of starter Josie Summers. Summers would settle down over the next five innings, holding Uintah scoreless while the Bear bats came alive. Bear River would score 5 runs over that span, including two solo home runs by sophomore Kelli Smart. That was the score heading into the top of the 7th with Bear River just three outs from the title.
Uintah wouldn’t go away quietly, as the first three batters of the inning scored on a three run home run. Summers, who had pitched complete games in the three previous playoff contests on Thursday and Friday, was moved to first and Nicole Johnson took the mound. Johnson got the Bears out of the inning without any further damage, but Bear River failed to score in the bottom of the frame to send the game to extra innings.
The Uintah offense stayed hot in the top of the eighth, as the Utes scored three times to take a commanding 8-5 lead. Bear River fought back and capitalized on a number of Uintah mistakes to tie the game at 8. Neither team scored in the 9th, but Uintah once again took the lead in the top of the 10th, scoring two runs to put the score at 10-8.
Kylee Fronk led off the bottom of the 10th with a single, driving in the runner on second (who started there thanks to the international extra innings rule that has each team start each half inning with a runner on second). Fronk was then moved to third on a single by Kallie Bowcutt, who moved to second on the throw. Bowcutt scored to tie the game on a hit by Madison Jensen, who also moved to second. That brought up Knudsen, who lined a ball to the outfield to score Bowcutt, giving the Bears the victory.
See this week’s issue of the Leader for more on the girls’ amazing win, and watch our web site in the next day or two for video of the win.
Friday, May 15 – On to the State Championship
The Bear River girls’ softball team has advanced to the 3A state softball championship after beating Uintah 6-0 Friday night. Pitcher Josie Summers followed up a strong performance earlier in the day with an even better one in the nightcap, as she once again went the distance, pitching 7 innings with 10 strikeouts in the shutout.
The Bears got on the board early, as leadoff hitter Kallie Bowcutt reached first on an error in the top of the first, and was driven home three batters later by a Summers single. Bear River scored again in the top of the third when Nicole Johnson reached on an error and Madison Jensen crossed the plate. The game stayed at 2-0 until Bear River scored four runs in the top of the seventh, highlighted by a 2-run single by Kayla Webb.
The team returns to the field tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. to take on the winner of the North Sanpete/Uintah game, which takes place at 10 a.m. Check back here after the game to see if the Bears win their 2nd straight state title.
Friday, May 15 – Softball beats Union
Bear River beat Union 6 to 2 in the quarterfinals of the state 3A softball championships in Spanish Fork . The big inning came when the Bears scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Two runs were on a double by Josie Summers, she then scored on an error off of Kayla Webb’s bat. Webb scored on a ball hit by Kelli Smart that was bobbled by the first baseman.
The Bears scored two more runs in the bottom of the sixth when Kylie Fronk hit a fly ball which was dropped by the leftfielder. Summers got the win, pitching all seven innings with nine strikeouts, giving up two runs and one earned run. The team now plays at 6 p.m., Friday, May 15. (Watch for an update on this web site later tonight.) If they win they advance to their second straight championship game, which would be Saturday at 12:15 p.m. If they lose, they play at 10 a.m. and would have to win three games to repeat.
Thursday, May 14 – Bears Win First Game at State
The Bear River softball team won their first game Thursday in Spanish Fork at the 3A state championships. They defeated North Sanpete 6-2 and now play Friday at 1:30 against Union. If the win that one they play again at 6 p.m.
Against North Sanpete, the Bears built a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the seventh, but a 2-run HR by the Hawks’ Shelby Earl tied the game up. The Bears broke loose for four runs in the top of the 8th, keyed by Kim Knudsen’s RBI single.