We finally came through after working our entire lives to do this. It's just an amazing feeling right now. —Gunnison Valley's Emily Brackett
SPANISH FORK — Gunnison Valley's Emily Brackett can't recall ever hitting two home runs in a game, but she did as much Saturday on a stage that couldn't have been bigger or the moment more historic.
The stage was the 2A softball championship game, with the Bulldogs slugging their way past Enterprise to win the school's first girls championship in 39 long years.
"It's the best feeling in the world," Brackett said, in between receiving hugs from what seemed half the residents of the small central Utah community. "We finally came through after working our entire lives to do this. It's just an amazing feeling right now."
Her father, Tyson Brackett, who also happens to be the team's head coach, mentioned his players were remarkably calm and collected during the one and a half hour drive north for the game held at Spanish Fork. The barrage from the plate was anything but calm, however, as the Bulldogs jumped on the Wolves early and often.
Starting things off was Paige King hitting a two-RBI single in the bottom of the first to provide an early lead. After Emily Brackett pitched a scoreless top of the second inning she topped it off by slugging a home run over the left field fence. Her homer followed up one hit by Halle Bjerregaard for an early 4-0 lead after two innings played.
"When they were hitting in the cage, I just had that feeling come that they were ready and that we were going to put up some runs," Tyson Brackett said. "It was a good day."
King helped make Gunnison Valley's day better in the bottom of the third inning, hitting a 2-run homer over the left-centerfield fence, before Emily Brackett really broke things open by slugging her second home run which sent home three more runs for a commanding 9-0 lead.
"I wanted to go out with a bang. I wanted it super bad, and yeah, we did it," Emily Brackett said.
Enterprise responded with a two-run triple off the bat of Averie Staheli to cut the lead to 9-2, but a two-run home run by McKaylyn Edwards and an RBI single from Maddisen Edwards pushed back the margin to 12-2. Emily Brackett then pitched a scoreless top of the fifth inning to end the game and secure the championship.
"It's more than just for the girls. It's for the whole community," Tyson Brackett said. "I've been harping on getting this for the entire community for two years now, and we wanted to do it for the town and for all the girls coming up to see great things can be accomplished here."
It may not take 39 more years until the Bulldogs' next championship, as the team loses just one senior starter in Brackett, although, for Saturday, it was all about this year and what the team was able to accomplish.
"It's a good day for Gunnison. It's a great day, and it's a moment these girls, and a lot of other people won't soon forget," Tyson Brackett said.