South Summit softball finishes season as state runner-up
Wildcats’ run to championship game includes major upset, crazy comeback
South Summit High School’s softball team came home from the Class 3A state championship as the state runner-up, but it was only two days earlier that it didn’t look like the Wildcats were going to play for a state championship.
The Wildcats faced Emery on Thursday for a spot in the next round. While a loss wouldn’t end their season, it would make getting to the championship game much more difficult. South Summit trailed 11-6 entering the bottom of the seventh inning. The Wildcats rallied for six runs in the frame to come away with a miraculous win and move on. While their journey eventually ended with a 13-0 loss to Manti — South Summit’s second tournament loss to the Templars — there are no feelings of disappointment for South Summit coach Cody Bowen and his team.
“It was certainly a lot of fun,” he said. “It was a good run and certainly exhausting and gut-wrenching and emotional. It was a great weekend.”
South Summit entered the postseason as the No. 4 team and easily dispatched Juab 16-6 before the aforementioned Emery game. The Wildcats came back against Emery by scoring a pair of runs before hitting a three-run home run to tie the game at 11 apiece. An error later in the inning allowed the Wildcats to walk it off.
“We just said, ‘It only takes one time through the lineup,’ and ironically, that’s exactly what happened,” Bowen said. “We had nine batters – every girl ended up going to the plate in that seventh inning.
“That’s the one thing that I love about sports is that at any time you can go into instant euphoria and jubilation and excitement. It’s one of those games we’ll never forget, and I don’t know if we would have made it out of Thursday if we lost that one.”
South Summit’s magical run continued with a 4-2 upset of top-seeded Carbon on Friday. Senior Indee Jones clubbed a three-run home run to put the Wildcats on top 3-0 in the third inning and pitched a complete game with only one earned run. Jones signed to play softball for the College of Southern Idaho.
“She’s been our best player all along and she’s powerful from the plate and she’s an amazing pitcher,” Bowen said. “Sky’s the limit for her, and we’re going to miss her for sure. She’s been amazing.”
Later on Friday, a loss to Manti sent South Summit to the losers’ bracket to start Saturday’s games. The Wildcats edged out Grand County 6-3 for a rematch against Manti for the state championship. However, South Summit lost 13-0 to end its season.
“It was a heck of a run, and it’s our first 3A trophy,” Bowen said. “Of course, we’d like to have won, but it was a good accomplishment for us and I’m very proud of the girls and our team.”
South Summit has accomplished back-to-back 20-win seasons, ending the 2022 season with a 21-11 record. It hasn’t always been easy, and Bowen credited his players for their hard work and dedication over the years.
“I think we’re the second smallest in 3A, and we always are outnumbered in terms of depth,” he said. “It was just a testament to these girls and their hard work. They’ve been playing together since they were 9 and 10. They’ve always dreamed of playing in the state championship and winning it.”
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