Park City softball team finishes season with losses to Cedar, Lehi
The Park City High School softball team finished its season Saturday with two losses, falling to Cedar and Lehi in the Class 4A state playoffs in Cedar City.
They lost to Region 9 No. 1 Cedar 15-0 on Saturday morning, and to Region 10 No. 3 Lehi 13-3 in the consolation bracket later that day.
However, this was the farthest the team had gotten in years.
Coach Shannon Gebbia said the Miners put up a better fight than the scorelines showed, and that the Miners only struck out twice against Cedar over the game.
“They just made plays,” she said of the Redmen. “Their second baseman made a diving grab to throw out our runner at first. But I was really happy that we hit. We put the bat on the ball, just right to people.” (The Redmen will be known as the Reds next year after a school board vote to change Cedar High School’s mascot.)
The Miners’ afternoon game against Lehi was the last for a generation of players who had built the team up from a consistent losing record to a season at close to .500, and had made the playoffs for the first time since 2011. It was also Gebbia’s last game with the Miners. She will focus on finishing her bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Utah, where she will seek a volunteer position with the university’s softball program.
The team and Gebbia’s last game together got off to a rough start. The Miners went down 8-0 to the Pioneers before scoring three runs in the top of the fourth inning. Lehi answered with four more in the bottom of the inning. After a scoreless fifth for the Miners, Lehi scored one final run, bringing the score to 13-3.
Senior Diana Boyce, who joined the team this season, pitched for the entirety of both games.
“She pitched well,” Gebbia said. “We would hit the outside corner and they would base hit it to right field, like you’re supposed to on an outside pitch. … They just hit everything we threw at them, they had some really good bats.”
Gebbia said the team finished their season with tears, not so much for the losses but because their time together was over. Instead of opting to ride home with parents who had come down to see the games, the Miners re-boarded their bus and drove back to Park City, where they could still make prom.
“They could have asked to go home with their parents so they could get back sooner, and that right there shows you what a true team is,” Gebbia said. “They chose to get back on the bus together, and it was a party. They brought the microphone and a speaker and had karaoke on the way back. It was insane.”
The team will lose most of its starting lineup, with seven seniors graduating this year.
“I can’t say enough about the seniors,” Gebbia said, mentioning that Annie Sheinberg, Amanda Riely, Vanessa Heredia and Tiana Clevenger have been with the team all four years, and played an important role in developing the Miners.
“They are the heart and soul of the team, along with juniors Landon Albright and Ari Clevenger,” Gebbia said. “Those six especially, they have been with us from game one to Saturday.”
The Miners will lose their starting first baseman (Sheinberg), their starting shortstop and most consistent hitter (Riely), who finished her four-year tenure with the Miners with only seven strikeouts. The Miners also lose their starting catcher, Heredia, their starting left fielder, Tiana Clevenger, starting pitcher, Boyce, utility player Taylor Volmrich, and right fielder Evelyn Quevedo.
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The Miners ended up on the wrong side of a close game on senior night but are still fighting for playoff seeding.