TAYLORSVILLE — The Royals' pregame ritual had to change before Wednesday's quarterfinal softball game, and not because of the weather.
"We came immediately from graduation to be here," said Roy assistant coach Travis Flint after Roy defeated Riverton 3-0 Wednesday at Valley Softball Complex.
His daughter, reigning 5A MVP McCauley Flint, didn't seem bothered by the unusual pregame hoopla. The pitcher led her team in warm-ups, just like she always does, despite participating in graduation ceremonies just hours earlier.
"We haven't seen that before," said Travis Flint with a smile. "But she handled really well. She was quietly focused."
When asked if it was an emotional day for him, he choked back tears.
"Without a doubt," he said after watching his daughter strike out 13 Riverton batters in the win. "But not just because of her. This whole group, they're a great bunch of kids. I've enjoyed being with them every day."
That's because softball isn't something they take lightly in the Flint household.
"Some people think of softball as a silly game," he said. "We'll go home and talk about this game for two hours. … It's brought my family closer. It's been a tremendous blessing."
McCauley Flint was outstanding in the circle, and then she also drove in the game's first run with a double in the sixth inning. Her teammate, Payton Palmer, scored from second after getting on base by smacking her own double.
Kaylee Phelps hit a single that allowed Flint to score. Meagan Parker also hit a double in the seventh inning that scored Palmer with Roy's third run.
Travis Flint said the Royals were overly exuberant because they didn't have the kind of offensive outing they wanted to in the game.
"I give credit to their young pitcher," said coach Flint. "She threw a great game, kept us off-balance."
Riverton's Courtney Platt threw a complete game and her coach was equally complimentary of the sophomore.
"Our pitcher and catcher were amazing," said Riverton head coach Emily Bateman. "I can't say enough about them."
The loss means Riverton will take on Weber in the one-loss bracket Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
"We've just got to show up," Bateman said. "We've got to survive. It's win or go home. I shouldn't have to do much to motivate them."
Roy will play the winner of the Taylorsville/Murray game in the semifinals at 6:45 p.m. Thursday.
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