Miners are low, but spirits are high | ParkRecord.com

Miners are low, but spirits are high

PCHS softball team has lost nine straight games

Stansbury High School's ALyssa Oxborrow 30 swings and misses at the ball, which is suspended in the air after bouncing out of Park City High School's Vanessa Heredia's 25 mitt, after a pitched from Park City senior AShley Farquharson during a game on Thursday afternoon. THe Miners fell to the Stallions 18-2.

When at a Park City High School softball game, it's sometimes hard to tell the score. The scoreboard that sits beyond right field doesn't work, but for Head Coach Shannon Gebbia and the Miners, that's exactly how they'd prefer it.

"It doesn't matter if we are getting beat 50-0 or 2-0, we're never going to give up and you're going to go out there and play [the game] like it's 0-0," Gebbia said.

It's a good thing the Miners don't pay much attention to the tally. The scoreboard hasn't been kind to them this season. Ever since winning the season opener 19-12 over Ogden, Park City has lost nine straight games, including Thursday afternoon's home game with Stansbury, an 18-2 loss.

Despite the heavy deficit, Gebbia found some positives to take away from Thursday's game.

"We held them to four runs in the first inning," she said. "You go back even last year and that's a completely different situation. Obviously, it's a seven-inning ball game and we need to fix it, so that we can play competitively for seven innings."

While playing for seven innings still poses issues for the Miners, that first inning was somewhat of a success. In addition to holding the Stallions to four runs and staying in the game, the Miners were able to get two runners on the bases.

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"We're making outs that we weren't making before and forcing them to hit the ball, rather than giving them free passes," Gebbia said.

Each loss this season has come by ten-plus runs, with most of those games ending early due to the mercy rule in place. For any team, the losing can catch up it, leaving the players uninterested and unmotivated to get through the season.

But these Miners don't pay attention to the score, so they are always going to play hard until the umpires stop the game.

They also always appear to be having fun, a pillar of the program. The players are singing and chanting throughout games, Gebbia's dog is running around the field and the dugout and the players sport smiles, despite the score. Maintaining a positive outlook on a losing team can be hard, but the Miners have accomplished just that.

Their secret? Play hard, no matter what, Gebbia said.

"They have learned not to worry about what anyone thinks outside of how they play their game," Gebbia said of her players. "I told them that you earn respect not by winning ball games, but how you play the ball game. I think they are finally getting that. Slowly but surely, they're earning the respect of these teams."

One of Park City's goals heading into the season was to win a region game, something it hasn't done during Gebbia's tenure. While that still hasn't come to be, the Miners believe it could happen any day, against any team. Until then, they will aim to break the nine-game losing streak they are currently on when they host Hillcrest on Monday afternoon.

When these two teams played last season, Park City held a lead late in the game, only to fall 13-9 in the final inning. Gebbia said the players are really looking forward to this one.

"We know our schedule well in advance and we know what games that we can win," Gebbia said. "We know the ones that we can compete with for seven innings, so we know Hillcrest is one of those.

"They've been hungry since last year to play Hillcrest."

Monday's game between Park City and Hillcrest is scheduled to start on Monday at 3:30 p.m. at Park City High School.