Trinity Whatcott pitches a perfect game as #3-ranked San Juan softball team cruises past Panguitch into 2A state second round
by Rhett Sifford
The San Juan High School softball team took full advantage of their home field matchup in the first round of the 2023 2A Utah State Softball Tournament this past Saturday, May 6.
Pitcher Trinity Whatcott pitched a perfect game – that’s right, a perfect game – and the team scored multiple runs in every inning to dominate #14 Panguitch 15-0.
Whatcott becomes just the seventh pitcher in Utah softball history to record a perfect game. It’s only the 20th perfect game and the 103rd no-hitter in Utah softball history.
Reflecting on Whatcott’s accomplishment after the game San Juan Head Coach Mike Bowers commented, “If you think about how many games are played each year and how many years the game has been played, she’s in small company.
“One thing people forget about: A perfect game requires solid defense and her team gave her that,” he observed.
The Lady Broncos entered the state tournament as the #3 seed and earned a home game in the first round by virtue of their 19-9 regular season record.
While no Lady Bobcat even reached base in the game, San Juan opened with a five-run first inning, scored three in the second, three more in the third, and closed out the win with a four-run fourth inning.
Freshman Elizabeth Palmer and senior Hailie Palmer led the offensive attack with a solid three RBIs each. Interestingly, two freshmen hit home runs for San Juan in the win: Elizabeth Palmer and Averie Gilson.
Three Lady Broncos were perfect at the plate. Gilson was 2 for 2 with an RBI and three runs scored, Palmer was 1 for 1 with her three RBIs all coming on the homer, and Trinity Whatcott was also 2 for 2.
Hailie Palmer and Kaeah Howard were both 2 for 3 on the day and Howard drove in one run for the Lady Broncos.
Avina Cordova and Elise Dalley both went 1 for 2. Cordova hit a double and scored two runs; Dalley had one RBI. Danika Meyers and Sadie Cosby had an RBI apiece despite not registering a hit.
San Juan stole five bases in the win. Cordova snagged two of them and Gilson, Naataanii Lacy, and Howard all got one apiece.
And what else can you say about Whatcott’s performance on the mound? She struck out eight of the 12 Lady Bobcat batters she faced and, helped by the defense behind her, allowed no baserunners in a comprehensive and historic shutdown.
As is always the case, the competition will get tougher each round of the postseason, so as San Juan travels to Spanish Fork this Thursday, May 11 for a barrage of games to conclude the tournament, they’ll move ahead from the excitement of their first round win and get steeled for a big challenge.
Coach Bowers says the team is playing very well at this point of the season, focusing on continuing to improve, hone their craft, and playing with courage.
“We have a sound plan for this weekend and we’re confident that we will make a lot of noise at state,” he detailed.
The tournament resumes for the Lady Broncos Thursday afternoon at 12:15 when they take on #6 South Sevier in the second round.
It’s a rematch of the 2A Central rivals’ doubleheader on April 20 in Blanding which San Juan swept 11-7 and 16-14. The rubber match promises to be a doozy.
If the Lady Broncos can get past the Lady Rams, they’d be set for a very tough matchup in the state quarterfinals most likely against #2 Duchesne, but possibly #7 Gunnison Valley.
A loss at any point in the tournament would drop San Juan to the one-loss bracket where they would remain in state title contention as long as they can avoid a second loss.
One thing’s for certain as the team prepares for their trip north: A 2A Utah State Softball Champion will be crowned on Saturday, May 13 in Spanish Fork.
The Lady Broncos haven’t worn that crown since 2013 but they’re pretty confident and determined to make it happen this weekend.