SPANISH FORK — The Roy softball team got off to a fast start and held off Maple Mountain late to come away with a 4-3 victory.
Caylie Phelts started the early effort by the Royals — belting a two-run triple in the first inning.
"We preach a lot to attack early and get the other team on its heels right off the bat," said Roy coach Amanda Koford. "Anytime you can get off to an early lead, it puts some doubt in the other team's heads, and we did well in doing that today."
An RBI single from Kylee Blau in the top of the sixth inning gave the Royals a 4-1 lead, but Maple Mountain wasn't quite done.
"It got a little bit scary there, but I have a lot of seasoned athletes on this team, and I know that they can smell a big game, and they know what is at stake," said Koford. "So we didn't need to harp on them when it got close — they know what they need to do and they did it."
A big key for Roy was pitcher Jamie Aiken, who was able to rebound from a rocky sixth inning to hold Maple Mountain scoreless in the seventh.
"Jamie is awesome — she's just my little workhorse," said Koford. "She does a great job of never getting too high or too low and nothing is ever too big for her. She does a great job at not keeping a lot on her mind, so I knew she'd come through in that final inning. She continued to hit her spots and she stepped up big for us."
With the win, Roy earns itself a spot in the winner's bracket when the 4A playoffs go to the Valley Softball Complex in West Valley City. For Koford, she likes where her team is.
"This is where it really gets fun and it's obviously fun being in the winner's bracket," said Koford. "We need to get a few more people hot, but we're playing well and we'll keep on playing as long as we're allowed to."