Thursday, April 4, 2019 will be fondly recalled as a very special day in the annals of Grand County High softball. The Lady Red Devils defeated the Richfield Wildcats at home in a doubleheader, 14-1 and 11-1 and in the process hit five homers.
The first came in the fourth inning of game one when Paige Shumway belted it out of the park with two runners on. Sister Jaci Shumway homered about five minutes later with a runner on base.
The other three came in the second game, and they again started in the fourth inning when Jaci Shumway hit another two-run shot over the fence, followed by cleanup hitter Corteney Noyes, who knocked a solo shot out of the park. Jessica Jones was next at the plate and her dinger was the inning’s third in a row.
Hannah Tangren got on base in every at bat in the first game. She had two singles, a double and came around to score twice. Tangren’s little contributions added up and were just as critical and significant as the long ball.
Quality vs. quantity was the constant motif in both games. Home runs might come with the glory and the headlines, but collaboration and collective patience were key reasons April 4 was so special.
In both games, the Lady Red Devils turned the two-out rally into a work of art. Grand found a way to keep it going.
The first game featured third and fourth innings that saw 10 batters come to the plate for a total of 12 runs. In the second game, Grand sent seven batters to the plate in the third inning and scored three runs. In the fourth, nine batters took a turn and Grand picked up six runs.
Paige Shumway pitched the first game and she faced an average of four batters per inning. Through five innings, she had seven strikeouts, four walks, and one hit batter.
Jaci Shumway pitched the second game. She had five strikeouts, one walk, one hit player, and in six innings pitched, she had three innings when she faced only three batters.
In the second inning in the first game with runners at first and third with one out, Richfield was poised to score. Catcher Hannah Owen made a movie-scene quality throw to second baseman Hannah Tangren. The Wildcat trying to steal second did not bother to slide. Tangren tagged her shoulder while she was standing up.
“I’m just as proud as can be of these girls,” coach Brook Shumway remarked at the end of the games. “They are the funnest group I’ve ever coached, so we’re just having a fun, good time.”