Grantsville's Annie Williams had been in this position before but with less than favorable results. The junior stood at the plate with two outs and two runners on base in the top of the seventh inning Saturday, her team trailing Parowan 9-8 in the finals of the 2A state softball tournament.
Last year, Williams faced the same situation in a tourney elimination game but failed to bring the runners home, and Grantsville went home empty-handed."At first I was thinking `just walk me,' " said Williams of her pressure-filled at bat. "And then I thought that I wanted to hit it . . . to show 'em I can do it."
Williams did just that, stroking a full-count, bloop single into shallow left field that scored two runs in a 10-9 victory, handing Parowan its first loss of the tournament. Grantsville then went on to defeat Parowan again 9-1 to win the first softball championship in school history.
Williams had a key hit in the second game as well, smashing a three-run triple in the bottom of the sixth inning that broke open what had been a tight 3-1 game.
The two wins gave the Cowgirls a bit of revenge over the Rams as Parowan won the first meeting of the teams on Friday 6-5, dropping Grantsville into the one-loss bracket. The Cowgirls had to defeat Grand 4-0 Saturday morning before getting another shot at Parowan.
"We knew that we could (win three games)," said Grantsville coach Bridget Allie. "(Annie) got to redeem herself. That was key right there."
Williams wasn't the only player who stood out for the Cowgirls. Junior pitcher Angie Strickland, nursing a pulled groin muscle, pitched all 21 innings for Grantsville, while hitting a double against Grand and getting an RBI in the first game against Parowan.
"She's pitched great for us all year long," Allie said of Strickland. "In the three games today she proved everybody wrong as she pitched hard and still had a little left in her at the end."
Also coming up big for Grantsville was junior Laura Davis. The third baseman drove in eight runs against Parowan, blasting a grand slam in the first inning of the first game and adding a three-run homer in the sixth inning of the second game to all but seal Grantsville's championship.
In the first game against Parowan, the Cowgirls had leads of 4-0, 6-3 and 8-6, only to watch the Rams come back each time. Parowan eventually took a 9-8 lead in the bottom of the sixth after a collision between two Grantsville outfielders on a routine fly ball with two outs allowed the go-ahead runs to score.