Lady Spartan softball got back to business starting the 2023 season on the road in Manti. Tied at eight going into the sixth, the Spartans used six runs in the next two innings to take the 14-10 win.
Last season Emery ended with a 16-9 overall record, including a 5-3 region mark, earning them the No. 5 seed in the 3A State Championships. The Lady Spartans won their opening round meeting with Ogden, but fell into the lower bracket with a loss to South Summit. The season came to an end at the hand of the Union Cougars, 4-1.
The Manti Templars, last years 3A Champions, jumped out in the bottom of the first taking a 2-0 lead. The Spartans came out in the top of the second getting on the board as Alivia Christman would send a bunt back to the pitcher scoring Emjae Adair. Holding the Templars scoreless in the bottom of the second, Emery would take the lead in the top of the third as Madi Bunnell collected a double on a line drive to left, bringing home Aspen Taylor and Jalynn Fox. Manti went on to score four in the bottom of the inning taking back the lead 6-3.
With a 6-5 score in the top of the fifth the Lady Spartans would rally to get some insurance runs moving the score to 8-6, but the Templars would come back in the bottom of the inning the inning to tie the game up at eight.
The last two innings were where Emery turned up both the offense and the defense starting in the sixth. With the bases loaded in the inning Manti would walk Christman bringing home Alexis Ungerman. Madi Thomas singled in the next at bat, driving in Fox and Bunnell, putting Emery up 11-8. The Spartans held the Templars without a run in the bottom of the inning.
Going into the seventh, Emery would rack up another trio of runs when a Bunnell single added two more runs as Shannon Johnson and Fox would score. On the next play, Tailynn Minchey would ground out, giving Bunnell the opportunity to score from third making it 14-8. In the bottom of the inning Manti could only manage a pair of runs, and Emery would come away with the 14-10 victory.
Bunnell led the charge for the Lady Spartans going 3-4 from the plate with four RBI’s and a pair of runs scored. Johnson had a good day at the plate as well with a 3-5 performance, a pair of RBI’s and a run, and Christman was 2-3 with two RBI’s in the big Emery win.
Taylor earned a complete game win surrendering 13 hits and five earned runs while striking out seven.
The Lady Spartans will be on the road Thursday when they travel to face South Sevier.
They will then head to St. George for tournament play this weekend.