This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Go back to the most recent turn of the century, and one softball pitcher was assaulting the Utah high school record book, setting marks in several categories.
Makala and Brandon Hazel in Spanish Fork were bringing twin babies into the world right around the same time.
The Hazels decided to go with more traditional spellings starting with a C in each case for their twin babies, Cambrie and Colby. The K's would come later.
And the W's. And the state championships.
Cambrie Hazel completed one of the most dominant stretches for any state prep softball pitcher when she pitched Spanish Fork to the Class 4A title in May and earned the honor as The Tribune Most Valuable Player. That was actually the third straight crown for the Dons, and Hazel was the pitcher of record for all three.
Hazel recorded 671 career strikeouts and supplanted Alta standout Nikki Anderson (1998 to 2001) as the all-time state leader in wins (74) and shutouts (38).
"That's pretty cool, but it hasn't really hit me yet," Hazel said upon finding out after the state tourney. Spanish Fork coach Don Andrews "told me I was close right before state, but he never really told me I had it."
"My teammates helped me win those 74 games. It wasn't all me. It was all of us."
Spanish Fork had the ability to make good pitchers look average as the Dons scored at least 10 runs in 24 games. And that was plenty for Hazel.
Hazel posted a 1.25 ERA while fanning 221 batters and compiling a 24-0 record.
And shutouts? Part of the new Utah record-holder's résumé for 2017 was a dozen scoreless outings.
"From the midseason on, she was untouchable for us," Andrews said.
And Hazel's farewell senior season also included a very productive campaign with the bat.
She primarily was confined to the pitching circle in past seasons. But Hazel responded with a .438 average and six home runs when given the opportunity to get into the batter's box.
In fact, the only blemish of the year ironically was on championship day. Although Hazel didn't take the loss, Uintah chased the Spanish Fork ace from the circle as the Utes walloped five homers to force a second game in the 4A double-elimination state tournament. In that second contest, Spanish Fork with Hazel pitching again closed out Uintah with a 17-5 victory.
"It was a hard game. They just came to play," said Hazel, understated as always.
Philosophical is the way the Spanish Fork coach characterized Hazel's demeanor during the rare outing when she struggled.
"She said to me, 'They're hitting everything I throw; you better take me out,' " said Andrews, who actually blamed himself for continually calling for Hazel to throw curves, which were ineffective on that day. It happens about once a year with her curve. After I quit calling it, she settled down."
Hazel proved her athleticism on the basketball court as well for the Dons.
She led Spanish Fork with 12.5 points per game, but the 6-footer wasn't necessarily doing all of it in the paint. Hazel was a shooting guard on the hardwood.
For college, though, it'll all be about softball for the new prep record holder. Hazel will be going to Dixie State to continue on the diamond.
"Just to go school and play," said Hazel about what her future holds, although it may include Spanish Fork, where her parents and grandparents are from.
"I like the small-town feel. Everybody knows everybody, you run into people you know all the time," Hazel said. "At stores, gas stations."
Past Tribune softball MVPs
2017 • Cambrie Hazel, Spanish Fork
2016 • Taylei Williams, Juab
2015 • Sydney White, Lehi
2014 • Kirtlyn Bohling, Salem Hills