TAYLORSVILLE Cedar softball coach Tom Cardon called a time out and gathered every player on the field into the pitcher's circle even the outfielders.
"We've worked really hard on poise this year," said Cardon after the fourth-ranked Redmen upset the second-ranked Cowboys 4-3 in the second round of the 3A softball tournament Thursday at the Valley Softball Complex. "I just said, 'Ladies, if you've got to dive, dive. The tying run is on first; Play it in front of you. We got what we asked for."
Junior pitcher Kellie Kastanes said she was focused only on trying to strike out what she hoped would be the final out.
"We were pretty stressed," said Kastanes. "We know one pitch, one error, one hit can make a difference in the whole game ... Softball is such a mental game. You have to tell yourself you're going to do it; there is no other option."
Instead, catcher Whitney Waters, a sophomore, threw out that tying run as she tired to steal second. Freshman shortstop Kazie Kupfer made the tag.
"I was focusing on the strikeout, but Whitney saved my butt," said Kastanes.
The win not only felt good, but it will actually benefit the young Cedar squad, who rely almost exclusively on Kastanes for pitching.
"There is less pressure," Kastanes said of remaining in the winner's circle. "We get to sleep in, and we get to have that good feeling."
Cardon was proud of his team, which consists of seven new starters.
"I am excited about this game," said Cardon. "I am absolutely thrilled with what's happened today."
Kastanes finished with two key singles and three RBIs, as well as throwing a solid game. Reggi Edwards, first base, hit a single in the fourth inning, which ended up being the game-winning run.The win means the Redmen (12-11) will take on Wasatch (12-12) at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the winner's bracket.
UINTAH 5, EMERY 3: Pitcher Taylor Craven hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Utes the winning runs. The loss sent Emery to the one-loss bracket where they faced Morgan at 7:30 Thursday. The Utes move on in the winner's bracket to play Bear River today at 1:30 p.m.
BEAR RIVER 9, HURRICANE 7: The Bears survived a Tiger rally in the sixth inning to win the second-round game. Kim Knudsen went 3-for-4 and scored twice, while Shaunee Christensen went 2-for-4 and scored two runs. Madison Jensen had a double and two RBIs for the Bears. Josi Summers earned the win in the circle for the top-ranked Bears, who will face Uintah.
WASATCH 8, JUAN DIEGO 0: The Wasps shut out the third-ranked Soaring Eagle. Janeece Veazie earned six strikeouts to lead the defensive effort, but it was the Wasatch offense that was smoking hot Thursday night. Allie Jeppson went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, while McKell Oldham had a double with two RBIs.