As a freshman, Manti's Kali Thomson was a virtual unknown. She played a few innings in varsity games, but she spent most of her time on the junior varsity team.
What a difference a year makes.
"For the first time, I focused completely on softball in the offseason," Thomson said. "I knew that if we won or lost, it would probably be because of me."
This season as a sophomore, Thomson was given the task of replacing the Templars' best player from last year, Tauni McFarlane. Thomson did not disappoint. She peaked at just the right time, late in the state tournament. In the state championship game, Thomson belted a three-run homer in the sixth inning that would prove to be the game-winner. She also earned the win in the pitcher's circle.
"She had some really big shoes to fill," Manti coach Susan Hatch said. "She took advice from the coaches and the seniors, and she had a great willingness to learn. Kali got better with every single game."
Class 2A still has to deal with Thomson for two more years, and she is only going to get better.
"With the way things went this season, it motivates me even more," Thomson said. "I think this season was the real start to my softball career."