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Morgan High softball wins region championship for 1st time since 1990s

By Patrick Carr - Standard-Examiner | May 5, 2022

Patrick Carr, Standard-Examiner

Morgan High's softball team poses with the Region 13 trophy after clinching a co-region championship Thursday, May 5, 2022, at Ogden High School.

OGDEN — Morgan High’s softball team was supposed to play its final region game of the season, with a chance to win a share of the Region 13 championship, April 29 at Ogden High.

But about an hour before first pitch, and after the Trojans had already got on the bus, the umpires had to back out of the game.

The game was rescheduled to Monday, May 2, then rescheduled again to Thursday after more scheduling conflicts.

Morgan had already been waiting decades to win a region softball title, given the school’s most recent one came in the early 1990s. It’s believed the last title was in 1990 or 1994 — either way, it was when big, tall hairstyles were still the thing.

Six extra days of waiting were worth it for the Trojans, who beat Ogden 23-6 to finish the regular season as co-Region 13 champions with Grantsville.

“Dang good, I mean we played great and did a good job,” Morgan senior Viana Johnson said.

The Trojans (18-8, 7-1 Region 13) started Thursday’s game well, had a brief lull in the middle and scored 10 runs in the sixth inning to invoke the 10-run rule.

Johnson hit 5 for 5 with five RBIs and a double, her best hitting day of the season. Lexi Hardman hit 5 for 6 with three RBIs and three doubles. Callie Averett pitched four innings and earned the win in the circle.

Kaiya Peterson drove in three runs with two doubles and Tess Polad drove in two. The team had eight doubles overall.

Ogden (3-10, 1-7) shortstop Arecely DeLeon hit 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two doubles and Trinity Probasco hit 2 for 2 with a double.

The Tigers trailed 12-3 heading to the bottom of the fourth inning, but didn’t roll over and scored twice to keep some distance between them and the 10-run rule.

Ultimately, Morgan wasn’t to be denied.

“It’s a testament to all the work we’ve put in as coaches, and the players and the parents who bought into it,” head coach Billy Peterson said.

Morgan split the season series with co-champs Granstville, who’s long been a softball powerhouse and who’s generally controlled whatever region the Cowboys call home. Morgan won the first meeting, a 9-8 comeback win on the road that validated the team’s big goals.

“I think the energy going into that game was great. I think we just kind of stuck with it, worked hard and carried the energy all the way through. When we won we just knew we could stick with anyone,” Johnson said.

Grantsville won the second matchup 9-3 in a 10-inning game that was tied 1-1 heading to the 10th. Then Morgan took care of business in its final three region games to put a new trophy in the cabinet.

Even though it’s been a long time since the Trojans won a region softball title, Johnson said the players felt like that was a realistic goal before the season started.

This year’s Morgan team is young, with just three seniors. Two freshmen lead the Trojans in batting average and a third freshman is fifth in average.

“I think the girls, the freshmen especially, they’ve bonded so well together and they’ve won so many tournaments together, they kind of expected this,” Billy Peterson said. “They’ve won a ton of tournaments together. I think, in a way, they set the tone by just their attitude.”

Teams will learn their playoff seeds Friday morning when state tournament brackets are released.

Morgan’s RPI ranking had been hanging around at No. 5 in recent weeks and if the Trojans get to No. 4, they’d host early-round games on Saturday. Ogden is guaranteed to be on the road.

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