Utah highschool softball: Manti beats South Summit for 3A state title

Box Score

Tiffany Hermansen wasn’t about to look at one other crew have fun on the sector at her expense. That’s how her freshman and junior seasons ended, and it was depressing.

On Saturday, she lastly acquired to expertise the euphoria of being a state champion.

Hermansen mowed down South Summit Wildcat batters in Saturday’s 3A state championship, solely permitting one hit and main the Manti Templars to the 13-0 victory in 5 innings at Spanish Fork Sports Complex.

Hermansen completed the event with a 5-0 file, solely permitting 5 runs in 5 video games.

“I was pretty confident. I work really hard, especially me and my catcher. We work too hard to lose, so I’m really happy and I felt really confident we could do it,” mentioned Hermansen, who struck out six batters.

Against South Summit in Friday’s winners bracket recreation, Hermansen earned the win in a good pitchers duel, 3-2.

She gave up two solo dwelling runs within the win, and people dwelling runs served as further motivation within the rematch.

“I’ve always been taught no matter what, even if they hit a home run, you come back and you shove it down their throats,” mentioned Hermansen.

The two hitters who hit dwelling runs in opposition to Hermansen on Friday went 0 for 4 on Saturday with three strikeouts.

Hermansen was nearly untouchable by all of the Wildcat hitters as she mentioned her curveball and magical three-knuckle change have been working splendidly.

“I’ve taken second all my years of high school, and so this moment is just the icing right on top of the cake,” mentioned Hermansen.

Manti scored six runs within the first inning after which added two extra within the second to race to a giant early lead.

The speedy Madison Scottorn led off every of these innings with singles and rapidly got here round to attain.

Manti’s pace on the bottom paths put stress on South Summit’s protection all recreation, and the Wildcats rapidly discovered themselves in a gap they couldn’t dig out of like they’d in earlier rounds of the event.

The state title was Manti’s first since 2016, and was further candy for coach Susan Hatch, who’s retiring after 18 seasons as head coach.

She finishes with six state championships (2007, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2022).

“I’m so happy for the girls, they worked so hard and they shined today. They brought their A game,” mentioned Hatch.

Early within the season, nevertheless, it didn’t essentially appear to be Manti had the chemistry of a state championship crew, because it began 0-7 taking part in robust competitors down in a preseason event in St. George.

Hermansen mentioned her crew discovered an vital lesson — they wanted quite a lot of work with their bats.

So that’s what Hermansen and her teammates did, they went to work believing within the slow-and-steady strategy Hatch laid earlier than them.

“She’s definitely a stickler with softball, she definitely pushes us to our full potential. We wake up at 5 a.m. almost every week doing early morning workouts and Susan believes us and she pushes us to our max cause she knows we can do it,” mentioned Hermansen.

All these reps with Hatch yelling out, ’You’ve acquired yet another,’ made a distinction on Saturday.

Hatch is aware of these early losses have been eye openers for her gamers, however they have been a crucial step within the course of.

“That’s what my philosophy has been from Day 1, you have to play the best to be the best and I would rather play a strong team and get my butts kicked than play a team that’s not even going to push us,” Hatch mentioned.

“That’s also beneficial for us because we see what work we have to do to improve from there.”

After South Summit misplaced to Manti on Friday to fall into the 3A one-loss bracket, it labored its means again into the 3A championship recreation with a 6-3 win over Grand in an elimination recreation Saturday morning.

From there although, the Wildcats appeared to expire of gasoline within the rematch with Manti, as they rapidly fell behind and couldn’t contact Hermansen with any hope of a comeback.

All 9 batters in Manti’s lineup recorded hits within the championship recreation, with Hermansen and Maquette Hansen each doubling and Kathrine Crouch main the way in which with three RBIs.

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