Lady Miners slug it out
In the past, whenever the Park City High School softball team won a big game, the players celebrated as if they had just won the World Series.
But after outslugging 5A Cottonwood 16-12 Saturday morning in Murray, the Lady Miners took the win with class and were a bit coy.
"It was like they’ve been there before," said head coach Scott Chester.
Park City’s explosive offense lived up to its hype as senior shortstop Laura Kubicki led the way, launching two homers in the third inning the second being a tape-measure grand slam and finishing the game 4-for-5 with seven RBI. Sophomore Morgan Cormier, junior Shelby Johnstun, along with Kubicki, each had a double in the game.
Park City jumped out to an early 4-0 lead over Cottonwood, but the Colts answered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the first inning.
Park City’s starting pitcher, freshman Casey Picillo, was hit for nine runs in the early going, but settled down after the first two innings and allowed the hard-hitting Lady Miner offense to get back into the game.
"We flat-out outslugged them," Chester said.
Park City’s offense busted the game wide open as Kubicki and her teammates put up a whopping nine runs on the board in the third inning to take a 13-9 lead.
Chester said Picillo was noticeably nervous early on, but he reminded her that her job is to simply throw strikes and leave it to her supporting cast to make defensive plays behind her.
He added that once the Colts jumped out to a 9-4 lead, one of Park City’s seniors approached Picillo in the dugout and reminded her that the game was not over.
That senior was right. The Lady Miners went on to play stellar defense over the course of the seven-inning win; something Chester said is the most important to his team going forward. Picillo pitched the entire game and earned the win.
"The only way you can win games is if you play defense," he said.
While Cottonwood isn’t one of the better 5A teams in Utah, a win on the road in the year’s first game is a huge step for this Park City team with playoff aspirations.
"We definitely have to get better," Chester said. "We’re going to see teams better than that."
The Lady Miners head to Ogden today to face Ben Lomond High School, a team which lost its first game of the season 25-12 to South Summit.