Springville senior Linsey Robinson already graduated, and in a normal year she would likely be done with all high school activities.
But not this year – and she said Tuesday that she is savoring every moment that she has with the Red Devils softball team.
“I love it,” Robinson said. “This is my senior year, so I want to extend it as long as possible. This is my chance as a senior and I’m excited for all of the rest of the games.”
Robinson and the rest of the Springville squad kept their season alive for another day as the Red Devils defeated Skyridge, 9-3, in their 5A elimination contest at the Spanish Fork Softball Complex.
“I love this team,” Red Devil head coach Jill Thackeray said. “They played well and did what we had to do to get the win.”
Robinson said one of the biggest factors for Springville since its opening-round loss to East has been the way the players believe in themselves.
“From where we started to where we are now, we have all the confidence in the world,” she said. “We used to be iffy when we took the field, questioning whether we could win, but that’s all changed. Now we trust our teammates and know that we can do it.”
That faith certainly showed during the all-Region 8 contest between the Red Devils and the Falcons as Springville surged in front and took advantage of its chances.
The Red Devils got on the board in the bottom of the second inning after senior Brinlee Paystrup hit a lead-off double and then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt.
When Skyridge tried to catch Paystrup napping and pick her off, the ball got away and Paystrup came home.
Springville then increased the lead when sophomore pitcher Mckenna Thomas got all of the ball with two runners on base, blasting a three-run home run.
The Falcons got their runs when senior shortstop Marisa Bowman hit a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning and a two-run bomb in the top of the sixth inning.
“She is one of the best young hitters I have seen,” Skyridge head coach Riley White said. “She’s been a game-changer for us all year. She has carried us so well. It’s going to be tough to have her go. That role is going to be so tough to fill.”
The Red Devils, however, always had an answer.
Springville responded to the first Falcon run with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, then tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the sixth to put the game away.
“We always talk about getting base runners, moving base runners and scoring base runners,” Thackeray said. “We were always able to get runs back.”
White said it was little things that resulted in Skyridge seeing another solid season come to a close. He’s hoping that his younger players will take those lessons to heart.
“There were some small things today that you work on from the beginning of the year but you don’t see the impact until a big game like this,” White said. “We want to build on today and have them remember what happened, that they’ve been there and done that. In the big scheme of things with where we are at, it will help us in the long run.”
Springville advances to the next 5A elimination round where the Red Devils will face the team that loses the championship bracket game between Farmington and Bountiful.
“They will have played a game while we will be fresh and looking to jump on them,” Robinson said. “We’re not scared of anyone. We’ll just go out and play loose.”
That game is scheduled to be played at Valley Softball Complex in Taylorsville Wednesday at 1:15 p.m.
Go to UHSAA.org for complete details as well as weather updates, if necessary.
Murray 6, Maple Mountain 5
The Golden Eagles had numerous chances to pull in front of the Spartans in their 5A elimination game at the Spanish Fork Softball Complex on Tuesday but Murray came up with the plays it had to have to get the win.
Maple Mountain fell behind 3-0 and 5-2 but tied the game with a gorgeous three-run home run over the left field fence by freshman left fielder Aaliyah Peterson in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Spartans had a runner thrown out at home but with two outs got a key single by senior second baseman Anne Christensen to plate the go-ahead run.
The Golden Eagles got a pair of two-out singles and a wild pitch to put the tying run on third and the game-winning run at second in the final frame, but Murray caught a flyout to end the game.
“The great thing about these girls all year long was that they always fought back,” Maple Mountain head coach Jackie Carnesecca said. “We’ve averaged scoring 8, 10, 12 runs so they’ve known they can come back. All you can ask as a coach is that they keep fighting.”
She said the when playing an elimination game the teams have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
“It’s hard to see the seniors,” Carnesecca said. “It breaks your heart but they worked really hard. This year was a huge learning opportunity for us. Last year we swept through region and this year we were fourth. It means we have to push harder and we did a lot of growing. I’m really proud of these girls.”