Pahranagat Valley’s Middle School girls softball team did it the hardest way possible at the Heat Stroker 14-and-under softball tournament in Kanab, Utah June 13-14.
The girls lost their first three games, then won four in a row on Saturday to win the Silver Division of the tourney.
Coached by Guy Davis and Lenny Taylor, the team was made of all but two from Pahranagat Valley Middle School. Ashlyn Wadsworth, Rachel Bunker, Kaityln Davis, Madi Taylor, Gracie Carter, Sarah Back, Alyson Egbert, Hannah Castleton, and Kaitlin Higbee, with two girls from Pioche, Kailey Kelley and Brinley Wadsworth.
Davis said, “All the girls were equally instrumental in the successful weekend, showed a lot of character and heart. We took 11 girls and had only two pitchers and one catcher. Ashlyn and Kaitlyn alternated as pitchers and Madi caught all seven games over the weekend.”
The girls lost both of their games in pool play on Friday, to Enterprise and Gunnison. On Saturday, they were seeded into the four-team double-elimination Silver Division Bracket.
The girls lost their first game 4-2 to Beaver, Utah, and moved into the loser’s bracket, facing elimination in any game thereafter.
The next game was with Tuba City, Ariz., and PV won 9-1, which moved them to the loser’s bracket final with South Severe, and here again the PV girls won 10-9.
That put them in the championship, up against Beaver again, a team they would have to beat twice to win the title.
In the final games, PV had big leads only to see Beaver make late rallies. Taylor said PV led 8-2 in the first game, and Beaver rallied, but Alamo won 8-7. And in the winner-take-all championship, Alamo had a 6-1 lead, then in the last inning had to snuff out a two-out, four-run rally by the Utah team for the 6-5 win.
Having to play four games on the same day, with only 10 minutes or so time in between was a real test of the girls stamina and character, Davis said. “They definitely had to earn it.”
The turnaround from losing the first three games, Davis thought, then winning their last four games on the same day was indicative of “their working together, gaining confidence, and really starting to put the ball in play, playing well together and never giving up.”
He noted, “The competition over there, was a lot stronger than what we had seen during our regular season, but once they adapted to the different competition, they were able to step it up. There’s some good things to come in high school for this group,” Davis said.
It was a sweet return to the tournament for the girls who lost in last years finals to Kanab.