TAYLORSVILLE — After helping Herriman defend its 6A softball title with a 9-3 victory over Layton on Thursday, Mustang pitcher Libby Parkinson couldn’t keep from laughing.
“We won the crazy tournament!” she explained, alluding to the epic adventure the past two weeks that included almost daily postponements, rain delays and venue changes. “You think you are going to play and then you are not going to play and then you are not sure where you are going to play.”
Such scheduling adventures favor the team in the unbeaten bracket, which was Herriman. Region 1 champion Layton, which lost in the third round, had to battle back in the one-loss bracket to make it to the final day.
Lancer coach Kiley Crockett alluded to what was a difficult situation.
“Yesterday was just a grinder of a day,” he said. “We graduated on the field. Then, last night, we were waiting around to see if we were going to play or not going to play. We got back home at 11 p.m. and came back here at 9 a.m. It was a grind the last couple of days.”
Layton didn’t appear to show any signs of fatigue at first as the Lancers got out of the gate quickly, taking an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when Halle Duke singled in Brooklyn Pritchett.
But the veteran Mustangs fought back with a two-run home run by Parkinson in the third that put them ahead for good.
“We have been here before,” said Herriman coach Heidi McKissick. “We knew to relax and know the runs will come. Libby is the one I want in that situation. She is my clutch.”
Layton’s fatigue may have been in a factor in some key baserunning areas that stifled two potential rallies.
“The little things killed us today,” said Crockett, who praised Herriman for being a great team. “We were tired. But the way they fought and the way they competed, I am so proud of them.”
Herriman just kept pounding the ball, scoring four runs in the third with Alexis Smith delivering the key hit — a two-run single — and Shalee Hoffman singling in another run.
Parkinson, who ended her prep career on the Salt Lake Community College softball field where she will start her college career next spring, added two more in the sixth with a double, making it 9-1.
Layton didn’t go quietly, rallying for two runs in the bottom of the seventh with Sadee Watkins delivering an RBI single. The game ended on a Lancer baserunning error, fitting in with the theme of Layton simply being a tired team.
And, finally, the crazy tournament came to a close fittingly under slightly threatening skies.