by Scott Boyle
The San Juan Lady Broncos homered their way to their third state softball championship last Saturday with a dramatic 6-5 win over the Enterprise Wolves.
With eight home runs for the tournament, Coach Craig Swenson’s Swing-for-the-Fence crew won the Bronco’s third 2A State Softball title in six years and played in their fifth state title game in those six years.
But this particular group of girls is used to winning state titles, having won nearly every year since third grade.
The gals started things off with an easy 15-0 win over North Sevier that only took four innings. Pitcher Tatianna Sue’Sue added to her state leading home run total with a homer, and held the Lady Wolves hitless in four innings. L’Sha Eldredge’s double went along with 11 San Juan singles and the Broncos were in the next round against Millard.
The Lady Eagles proved a worthy opponent. In fact, Sue’Sue had to hit a dramatic home run in the bottom of the seventh inning just to tie the hungry Lady Eagles.
Lexus Latham scored the winning run in extra innings, scoring from second on a bunt by Kellie Palmer and a throwing error by the Eagles. Eldredge, Brooke Lyman, and Justin Hutchins also all homered.
That win landed the Broncos in a quarterfinal game against the top-ranked Manti Templars. Sue’Sue used all her experience to stifle the Templar bats, only allowing one run and the Broncos moved on, 4-1, earning a shot at another tournament favorite, Enterprise.
The Bronco bats were alive against the unbeaten Lady Wolves, rushing to an 11-1 victory. Sue’Sue hit her third home run of the tournament and Brooke Lyman her second.
But Enterprise was not going away quite that easily. After besting Manti to earn the finals back against the Lady Broncos, Enterprise scored four runs in the fourth inning and led 5-1 in what would prove to be the last game of the tournament.
After that, the Lady Broncos were simply looking to finish the game strong to catch momentum for the final game, when they loaded the bases in the sixth inning and Brooke Lyman up to bat.
Lyman, a senior with two home runs in the tournament, and a long career in softball and baseball providing motivation, cranked one out of the park for a grand slam and tied the stunned Lady Wolves, 5-5.
Then, in the seventh inning, after Sue’Sue reached second base, Latham slapped the single to the outfield that brought the Lady Broncos that third title.
All those homers gave the Broncos another record, 45 home runs on the season, the most by any team, baseball or softball in any classification.
Sue’Sue, Hutchins, and Lyman are 1, 2, 3 in 2A home runs with 14, 12, and nine, respectively.
The Lady Broncos finish with a 25-4 record for the year.
The Bronco boys acquitted themselves well in the 2A Baseball tournament, winning two before bowing out.
After going 1-1 on the first weekend, the Broncos beat the Richfield Wildcats, 6-5, in spectacular fashion, when Barkley Christensen knocked in the winning run in the extra eighth inning to keep the Broncos alive again.
With the win, the Broncos were pitted against the eventual second place Parowan Rams. The Rams used fine pitching to slow down the Bronco bats and earn a 5-2 win, eliminating the Broncos from the competition.
The Broncos finish the season with a 13-11 record.
Track and Field
Monticello dominated the Region 19 track meet in Blanding on Thursday, with both the boys and girls winning the team championships.
MHS boys bested second place Whitehorse High, 344 to 122 with the Buckaroos winning ten individual events.
The girls from MHS similarly won first, 179 to 42 over second place Whitehorse and ten more individual events.
PJ Leiataua had three first place medals while winning the triple crown of throwing: shotput, discus and javelin.
Collin Hatch was a double winner in the distance events, the 1600 and 3200, while Jens Brewer doubled up in the 400 and 800 meter runs, and Jake Duncan came out of retirement to win both the 110 and 300 meter hurdles.
Joseph Engel took first place medal in the high jump. Justin Wright was second three times in a difficult trio, the 800, 1600, and 3200 meter races.
Brian Tanner was second in the 300 hurdles and third in the high jump. Tyler Bird qualified with two thirds in the 800 and 1600 meter. Zach Johnson qualified in all three throwing events, taking third in shotput and discus and second in javelin.
Jared Tanner qualified in high jump with a second place finish and Engle also qualified in the long jump with a third place leap.
Arianna Reay captured three individual first places, with wins in the 100-meter dash, the high jump and the long jump.
Kaitlyn Clark won twice in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles. Shania DeAnda won the 200-meter dash, Cambria Welch the 400 meter, Brittany Keith the 800 meter, Mikaela Hughes won the discus and Devin Dalton the javelin.
Nancy Johnson finished second twice in the 200 and 400-meters, Nathalie Reay was second in the 400, third in the 200 and third in the long jump. Zoe Chadwick qualified with a second place in the 300 hurdles, Mekayla Leiataua was second in the shotput and third in the discus, and Aapree Sheeran was second in the high jump.
San Juan had three winners in the girls events and one winner in the boys as Richfield dominated the Region 15 meet.
McKale Simpson is champ in long jump, Samantha Giddings won shotput and Jenny Sherrow won the javelin. Simpson also qualified second place in the 100 hurdles and Brittany Bleak is third in high jump.
Ammon Mitchell grabbed the first place medal in the 110 hurdles. He added a third place in the long jump to qualify twice. Three other Broncos finished third; Max Morley 400m, Christian Sherrow 800m, and Mike Monson shot put.
The state track meet is at Brigham Young University this week, the last event of the year. Good luck to everyone.