We’re trying to change the culture at our school. We want to win, that’s what we expect and we’re going to go out and battle. These girls are doing awesome. —Granger head coach Sam Vidal
TAYLORSVILLE — A three-run seventh inning propelled the Granger Lancers’ softball team to a 5-4 win at Taylorsville on a cloudy and windy Wednesday afternoon.
“Really, we’ve just been stressing these girls all year long to stay focused, and that’s what they did, they responded to those challenges and it paid off,” Granger head coach Sam Vidal said.
A 2-2 tie was broken in the top of the seventh inning when Caitlyn Olsen hit an RBI double to give the Lancers a 3-2 advantage.
“A lot of people can say that I’m not big on small ball, I know when to do it, but I just believe in these kids and I want them to believe in themselves. We’ve got big hitters on this team and that’s just me believing in them, so great job on her part,” Vidal said.
After Tabile’s double, the Granger players seemed to build off each other’s confidence at the plate, stringing together hits as they build a lead. An error and a sacrifice fly gave the Lancers two more runs. Granger held a three-run lead entering the bottom of the seventh inning.
“We went down to Saint George and had a heck of a tournament, and we’ve had a few games slump here, but we’ve got bats on this team — and when these girls get going, they get going. That’s huge, that’s going to help us out throughout the season,” Vidal said.
The Lancers got on the scoreboard in top of the fourth inning on a two-run home run over the fence in left-centerfield by Gates Leatherwood.
“Not only big for us as a team to put us in the lead, but really big for her (Leatherwood). She’s been in a slump and just kind of battling, she’s been striking out and just to pull out of that and get that, especially going oppo (opposite field), that was awesome,” Vidal said.
Taylorsville nearly pulled off the comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring on an Alanna Neilsen RBI single and a Brooklynn Poole RBI double to bring the Warriors within one run with two outs in the bottom of the frame, but Taylorsville couldn’t get across the final run needed to send the game into extra innings.
The win was Granger’s lowest-scoring output in a win so far in the 2018 season, but the Lancers will take a win any way they can get it.
So far in the young season, Vidal has learned about his team’s resiliency and his players’ eagerness to respond to adversity.
“I’ve just learned that they’re going to respond to those challenges and they want it, they want to fight. We’re trying to change the culture at our school, we want to win, that’s what we expect and we’re going to go out and battle. These girls are doing awesome,” Vidal said.
Next up, Granger will host Skyline on Friday at 3:30 p.m., while Taylorsville travels to play at Herriman on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
Correction: Caitlyn Olsen, not Shaolin Tabile, hit the RBI double in the seventh inning.