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Spanish Fork • In the semifinals of the Class 2A state softball tournament, San Juan did just about everything right in a 3-1 win, while defending 2A champion Grand failed to complete a comeback.
Pitching ace Shelby Dalton recorded 12 strikeouts for Grand, but she also allowed three runs off three hits. One of those hits was a costly fifth-inning home run by Juanita Royer, which gave San Juan a 3-0 lead.
But with the game still in doubt, it was San Juan's Justin Hutchins who made the defensive play of the game. Grand trailed 3-1 as Mikenzee Nelson opened the bottom of the seventh with what looked to be a certain base hit. Instead, Nelson was thrown out at first base by Hutchins' rifle arm.
"It was pretty big," said Hutchins, who felt she caught Nelson off guard.
Her coach said it was a heads-up play by the freshman.
"We work on the play every day in practice," said San Juan coach Craig Swenson. "It's something that comes natural. Hutchins has a great arm out there in right field."
San Juan will play the winner of the Grand-Enterprise game for the 2A state championship.
The title game is scheduled Saturday at 12:15 p.m.
San Juan 10, Millard 2 • In the early game, San Juan clubbed 16 hits and cruised to victory.
Shortstop Teasha Jacobsen (2-for-4 with 2 RBIs) hit a two-run double in the third inning to give the Broncos a comfortable 5-0 lead. Senior Kelsi Meyer also had a nice game, as she went 3-for-4 from the plate, with three RBIs.
San Juan hadn't allowed a run in the tournament until Millard's Shelby Sheriff connected on an RBI single in the fifth inning.
Grand 10, North Sevier 0 • In the other half of the championship bracket, Grand dominated fifth-seeded North Sevier with a convincing win to advance to the semifinals.
The Red Devils' offense cranked out 13 hits and used a five-run sixth inning to take control of the game.
P San Juan vs. Grand-Enterprise winner
Saturday, 12:15 p.m.