NEPHI — For Juab pitcher Taylei Williams there are few things she enjoys more —and she has a knack of doing it quite a bit.
During her team's 10-0 win over Hurricane on Saturday in the first round of the 3A state softball playoffs, Williams was able to pull the string often — leaving opposing batters flailing helplessly.
"I love it so much and I really try hard not to laugh or even smile," Williams said of her often-devastating change-up. "It's all about getting outs for the team, but that's definitely my favorite way to get them."
Williams faced just 15 batters in a game that was shortened by two innings due to Juab establishing a 10-run lead after four and a half innings. She didn't allow a hit, much less allow a single ball hit out of the infield, while striking out 12.
"We're lucky to have her," said Juab coach Tina Squire. "She was great today, but that's the type of player she is for us."
Williams flashed an extremely live fastball that Hurricane batters couldn't catch up with. When they did make contact, the ball was often fouled back, save for three grounders hit weakly that were easily recorded for outs.
Oh yeah, Williams also did quite well at the plate.
In her three at-bats Saturday, she responded with two home runs and a double. Her first round-tripper came in the first inning to give Juab a 2-0 lead, while her second came in the top of the fourth — pushing the lead to 10-0.
"I had a good game today, but I couldn't have done it without my teammates," Williams said. "Everyone played great today and got good hits."
Maddie Myers and Kloie Park each added RBI singles in the second and third innings before Olivia Durbin really broke things open with a bases-clearing double in the fourth — pushing Juab's lead to 8-0.
With the first win of the 2017 playoffs in their back pocket, the Wasps seem primed for another deep run — hoping to avenge last year's 2-1 loss to Bear River in the championship game.
"That's been on our minds and our goal since that game," Squire said. "We have a lot of the same girls back and we try and make sure we play every game like it's the championship."
With the win, Juab advances to take on Ridgeline in the second round of the winner's bracket.
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