Mustangs softball win state championship
Jun 18, 2018 01:19PM
● By Greg James
The Mustangs won their first state softball title in a thrilling extra-innings game over Syracuse. (Photo courtesy of Herriman softball)
By Greg James | [email protected]
The Herriman Mustangs captured the 6A state softball championship.
“It feels great; it was awesome and a great experience,” Mustang head coach Heidi McKissick said. “I always knew they could do it. It was just if they wanted to do it.”
The Mustang run to a championship included an exciting final game, a 6-5 extra-innings victory over Syracuse. Junior pitcher Libby Parkinson sent the game into the additional innings with a bottom-of-the-seventh-tying home run.
“Players think about the moment forever,” Parkinson said. “I have always dreamed of it, but it did not feel like it was real. I felt like I needed to do something to lift my teammates because I had put us in the situation the inning before.”
Parkinson had hit two batters in the top of the seventh, and those two runners scored the go-ahead runs. McKissick said the team worked together to lift each other up after its tough inning.
“We had some exciting things go in,” McKissick said. “Krystal (Kemp) gave us a great play from left field to give us a chance. That was a momentum changer.”
The Titans loaded the bases in the top of the eighth. They lifted a shallow fly ball to left fielder Krystal Kemp, who then fired a bullet to home to cut off the go ahead run. The momentum immediately shifted in the Mustangs favor.
“Starting this season, I knew we would have a chance,” McKissick said. “They all just needed to play together. Our seniors all played well in the tournament. That really made me feel good.”
The Mustangs hosted Hunter in the first round of the tournament. Kemp, April Visser and Alexia Arredondo all had triples in the 9-1 victory.
In the second round, they defeated Clearfield 8-2. Parkinson led the team with a home run and a triple and also pitched a gem.
In the tournament quarterfinals, the Mustangs again coasted to a 11-6 victory over Layton. That set up a semifinals matchup with Bingham.
The Mustangs scored early and often against the Miners. By the fifth inning, they held a 7-0 lead and held on for the 8-2 victory. Bingham did not let up. It had eight hits but could not get runs across the plate. The win avenged last season’s loss that knocked them from the tournament.
“Bingham always plays well,” McKissick said. “They have magic up their sleeves in every game.”
This is the school’s first softball state championship. The Mustangs graduate five seniors, and McKissick said next year’s team should be just as good.
“Next year, Libby will be a senior, and we have some young kids coming up that are pretty good,” McKissick said. “Next year will be a different perspective and new attitudes.”
Herriman entered the tournament as the Region 3 champions. Its 6-2 region record sent it to a 22-10 overall record and the No. 1 seed in the tournament.