Alta softball looked tough to beat heading into the postseason
May 25, 2017 04:36PM
By Billy Swartzfager
Alta softball did extremely well in 2016 when they racked up a lot of runs.
By Billy Swartzfager | [email protected]
Alta softball hasn’t experienced the same success in 2017 as the team did in 2016, but the Hawks held on and played great softball to finish out the regular season. Alta finished last season handedly on top of their region, going undefeated in Region 7, earning a top seed in the state tournament. The Hawks lost in the second round to Maple Mountain, a lower seed, who ended up taking second in the state. Their great season came to an end when Murray sent them packing from the elimination bracket.
2017 wasn’t looking any better, and if you were to judge the final outcome of the year based on what we saw early from Alta softball, the assumption would have been that Alta was finished. The Hawks didn’t win a single game through the month of March. There were a couple of close games, but Alta was thoroughly handled in most outings. They lost to Taylorsville to begin the year on March 7, 18-7 and followed up that loss with another at Sky View on March 14, 12-1. The Hawks started to spark after a couple of weeks of rainy, cold weather when they faced Orem on March 23. The Hawks lost in extra innings, 14-13, but that game seemed to wake their bats up. Prior to the Orem game, Alta had scored only 10 runs collectively. Alta averaged 13 runs per game in losses to round out the first month of the season. It was a trend that continued and resulted in some much-needed wins.
With all the rain this year, there was a long break between games from March to April. The first game in April was on the 11th, when Alta got their first win at Provo, 15-4. The following two games were also victories of the high-scoring variety, against Mountain View on April 13, 12-6, and Timpanogos on April 18, 15-4. Alta couldn’t stay that hot forever, though. The Hawks only scored 10 runs over their following three games, two of which were losses. They scored only two runs in each loss, one at Corner Canyon on April 20, 12-2. The second loss was in the opening round of the Swing for Life Tournament, which is an annual event aimed at spreading awareness and to raise funds for breast cancer research. Alta went 1-1 in the tournament, losing to Bingham 6-2, and beating Murray 6-4.
Alta started May with a bang. The team won its first three games of the month averaging 16 runs. Alta beat Timpview on May 2, 13-3, Provo on May 4, 18-5 and went down to Mountain View for a win on May 9, 17-5.
This year’s squad was led by a few upperclassmen. Alexa Deaval, a senior, led the team with over a dozen stolen bases. Hailey Visser, also a senior, led the group from the rubber with the most wins as a pitcher. She also led the team in fielding percentage. Senior Lexington Walbeck was the leader from the plate in most categories, including batting average, RBI and home runs. Junior Brook Ericson also had a phenomenal season at the plate, finishing just behind Walbeck in every major category.