SPANISH FORK — Janessa Bassett pressed the frigid bottle of water against her face.
“I don’t condition,” said the senior center fielder after her defense helped Stansbury to a 7-4 victory over top-ranked Uintah in the 3A softball tournament Friday at the Spanish Fork Softball Complex. “I have no endurance. My head hurts so bad; I felt like I was dying.”
Bassett didn’t look tired as she made three of the last six outs. The senior, who also went 3 for 4 at the plate, was flawless against an offensive powerhouse.
Based on her efforts to find ibuprofen after her team’s second game Friday, Bassett may want to reconsider her ritual in center field.
“I want the ball,” she said smiling. “When I’m out there, I say, ‘Come on. Hit it to me!’”
While she’d love it if every hit came her way, she said she’s confident no matter where it goes.
“I know my teammates are there to back me up too,” she said.
The Stallions started Friday’s tournament play with a 5-2 win over a region rival they hadn’t beaten this season — Grantsville. Trailing 2-1, the defending state champions produced a huge seventh-inning effort — five hits for four runs — to come from behind.
“We played them twice, two close games, and couldn’t win,” Stansbury coach Bridget Clinton said of beating Grantsville in the 11 a.m. game. “Today, we’re down by one run and the bottom-half of the lineup stepped up. That was huge, and it carried over here.”
Kimbri Herring pitched both games, giving up one hit against Grantsville and eight hits against Uintah. Summer Stensgard, who had a home run for the Utes, earned Uintah’s extra-inning win over Juab in the 11 a.m. game, and she threw until midway through the fourth of the Stansbury game. Then Lauren Smuin took over and gave up just a single run the rest of the game.
Clinton said she was proud of all of her outfielders.
“They played hard,” she said.
The Stallions were aggressive in their at-bats and in running the bases, especially in the earlier innings.
“We try to be (aggressive at the beginning of the game),” Clinton said. “That’s usually when you tend to see the best pitches.”
And as for the close calls and tight games, she smiled.
“We always try to make it exciting,” she said.
Canyon View defeated Juab in the final one-loss game of the tournament’s penultimate day. That means the second-ranked Falcons will face top-ranked Uintah, the team that sent them into the one-loss bracket Thursday, for a berth into the 3A state championship game at 12:15 p.m. Saturday.
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