Miners softball beats Ogden to keep playoff hopes alive
On Wednesday, the Park City Miners softball team was riding a high. The team had just beaten Ogden, its second Region 11 win and its third win in a row, keeping the team in the running for the state playoffs. The win was another small sign that the team is turning a new leaf after years of anchoring the Region 11 leaderboard.
“We are hitting our stride, finally,” said Shannon Gebbia, head coach of the Miners. “And I think we’ve gotten outside a lot more, we’ve broken down the basics and gone back to hitting, and their confidence is skyrocketing.”
After losing to Ogden 15-5 earlier this year, the Miners beat the Tigers 21-6 at home.
It started with a slow inning for the Miners, with Ogden earning runs through aggressive base running, but the Miners kept pace, tying the game at 4-4 after the first inning. Then, the Miners quieted Ogden’s steals by picking off runner in the second and earning a string of runs.
“We broke it open in the bottom of the second,” Gebbia said. “We put up at least eight or nine runs in that inning.”
After another suffocating inning from the Miners’ defense, Ogden slowed down and the Miners continued to victory.
The recent wins put the team in new territory in terms of their region options, and ties last year’s longest winning streak.
“It feels good because, since my freshman year, we haven’t been winning a lot of games,” said junior left fielder Tiana Clevenger. “But our whole team has been keeping at it, and to get some wins and make some progress feels really good.”
The team still has a long road to the Class 4A playoffs, but it’s by no means out of the question. To advance, the team would have to earn a higher position than Ogden, which would mean beating Juan Diego (0-7) twice and Ben Lomond (0-7) again – then the Miners would tie Ogden’s record and take fifth-place in region based on a higher run differential.
It could also go to the playoffs by earning an upset over Stansbury (6-2) or Tooele. The prospect seems outlandish based on outcomes in previous seasons.
“That’s just so crazy,” Clevenger said when asked about the prospect of going to state. “It would be so insane.”
Clevenger stood with her teammate, Selina Ochoa in the dugout, who said that the recent results show how tired the team has gotten of losing, which has translated directly into a willingness to work harder.
“I think we are just ready to get rid of the–” Ochoa said, turning to Clevenger for the right phrasing.
“Losing streak?” Clevenger offered with a laugh.
“Would stigma be it?” Ochoa offered, then continued. “(The stigma) of people thinking we’re just always going to lose. I think all of us are just done with that and want to show people that we can play.”
A minute later, there was a commotion on the field and Ochoa turned to look out of the dugout. Vannessa Heredia, the team’s catcher, had hit a home run in batting practice.
She hadn’t hit one in a varsity game yet, and neither had Ochoa, but the senior said that it’s on the way.
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