I just knew everyone would come out and do what they needed to do, and they did that. And a lot of girls showed up and did things they don’t always do, which was really good for us. —Carbon senior second baseman Kelsey Sorenson
SPANISH FORK — Brooke Moosman may have been uncertain about her ability to shut down the prolific North Sanpete offense, but her teammates had no such doubts.
With a historic win on the line, the Dinos clung to a one-run lead, when the freshman pitcher, who was replaced at the top of the sixth inning, returned to the circle after the Hawks batted through their line-up in an impressive comeback effort.
With the tying run on third base and the go-ahead run on second base, Moosman admitted she felt an even heavier burden than the usual save situation.
“I was kind of nervous, but I knew I had a good defense behind me,” Moosman said after fifth-ranked Carbon upset the second-ranked Hawks 15-14 in the second round of the 3A state softball tournament.
And while she had faith in her defense, her defense has come to rely on the freshman, who led Carbon to its first second-round win in the championship bracket in school history, according to head coach Wade Williams.
“Brooke has been really good for us,” said senior second baseman Kelsey Sorenson. “And it shows a lot. She’s a freshman, but she comes in and does really good for us. She’s a leader, and she shows a lot of girls how you should act.”
Moosman got the out, fielding a ground ball and throwing the runner out at first base. And then her team scored two more runs in the seventh to give them a 15-12 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
“I was kind of nervous,” Sorenson admitted of the Hawks’ final at-bat. “It’s a little scary to be guest (visiting team) and be up against North Sanpete. But she found comfort in the work she and her teammates put in preparing for the higher ranked team with a much more storied softball history than Carbon.
“I just knew that our team was going to come out and work hard because we’ve been working hard this whole week getting ready for this game,” Sorenson said. “I just knew everyone would come out and do what they needed to do, and they did that. And a lot of girls showed up and did things they don’t always do, which was really good for us.”
The game was all of the cliches possible: roller coaster, thrill-ride, slugfest, and barn burner. North Sanpete jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but Carbon battled back with nine runs in the third inning. The Dinos capitalized on four errors in taking a 9-5 lead. North Sanpete would score in every inning remaining in the game, but it wouldn’t be enough to overtake the Dinos.
“We match up well,” said Carbon head coach Wade Williams. “We’re almost identical teams - hit the crap out of the ball, good pitching and good defense. I think we hit a little better today, so that was huge.” Kelby Henry and Lexi Olson hit home runs for North Sanpete, while Clarissa Noyes and Kennedy Nelson hit home runs for Carbon. Olson also had a double, while Addy Brotherson hit two doubles. Carbon third baseman Cali Fossat went four-of-five with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Williams said when North Sanpete made its runs, his players didn’t panic because they’ve learned from past experiences. “That’s just our M.O.,” he said. “We knew they were going to hit. We knew it was going to be a battle to be in, and we just had to keep bringing it.”
Sorenson, who is an all-state basketball player, said the team’s success flows from better chemistry, as well as an influx of young talent.
“I just think our team has been a lot closer,” Sorenson said. “I think we’re tired of not being known as a softball powerhouse. All these girls (including Moosman) have been playing ever since they were young, and they’re tired of not showing that. I think that’s one of the reasons we’re coming out and winning these important games.”
The Dinos will take on Union, which beat South Summit 12-1, at 2 p.m. Friday. In other championship bracket games, Grantsville beat South Sevier 13-3, while Manti defeated Grand 11-1. Manti and Grantsville will also play at 2 p.m.
Both winners and losers play again in the double elimination tournament at 6 p.m. for a shot at the championship game on Saturday at noon.