5A softball: Spanish Fork rallies to win 2 from rival Springville for 4th straight title

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PROVO — In a lot of ways, Spanish Fork had to lose in the 5A state championship series.

Just not when it mattered the most.

Lucy Evans scattered four hits with four scoreless innings and three strikeouts, and Spanish Fork pounded out 13 hits en route to a 9-1 win over rival Springville in Game 3 of the 5A state championship series Friday at BYU's Gail Miller Field that clinched the Dons' fourth consecutive title.

Before the final inning, Spanish Fork coach Natalie Jarvis pulled Evans aside after a marathon season finale, and asked, "How are you feeling?"

"I've got this, Nat," she replied.

Nothing was going to keep Evans from leading the Dons (30-3) to a state title from the circle after winning last year's from the bench.

"Those girls (last year) are champions," Evans said. "But losing makes people become what they can be, and I think that loss really gave us the awakening that we need to have to come out and put our best foot forward, and leave it all up to the field."

Little has come easy for a Spanish Fork squad that lost an immense senior class, including star pitcher Avery Sapp to be replaced by a first-time varsity starter in Evans. But by the end of Saturday, the result was the same: another championship, and chants of "four-peat" from the Dons' circle.

Spanish Fork just "had to lose" one time, their head coach admitted.

"We hadn't lost to Springville since 2015; that's a long time. Nine years is a long time," Jarvis said. "I knew we had to lose. I knew it was coming; it was in the cards. So we lost yesterday, and came back with a clean sweep today."

One day after Springville handed the Dons their first loss in the rivalry series in 16 games, Spanish Fork gave Evans all the run support she would need early.

"We had to lose," said Jarvis after improving to 119-10 in five seasons as head coach. "We knew we had to lose sometime, and we wanted to win that game. But we had to lose that game so that we could come back today and double dip. I'm so proud of this team."

The Dons scored five runs on eight hits in the first three innings, including an RBI double by Tatum Hall in the bottom of the second before the Red Devils retired senior pitcher Ryann Haveron in the third.

But Spanish Fork kept coming.

After loading the bases from the start of the fourth, Alyce Archuleta had an RBI single and Olivia Carroll and Emrie Pintar each added a sacrifice fly for another before Springville relief pitcher Allie Fowler induced a strikeout to end the inning.

Allyx Haveron pulled one back, scoring Brooklyn Richardson with a base hit in the top of the fifth to prevent the shutout for Springville (27-6). But the Red Devils could get no closer.

Spanish Fork also had a secret weapon in Evans, who wouldn't let her first season as a starter end any way differently than the previous three.

"I am so proud of her, so impressed," Hall said of Evans. "I knew she was going to do it, but she exceeded my expectations. Sheh was amazing; I love her so much."

After losing Thursday, the Dons knew they could respond. Did they respond accordingly?

"I would think so," Evans said with a smile. "I would say so."

Spanish Fork first baseman Alyce Archuleta (25) catches the ball taking out Springville's Allie Fowler (22) during the 5A softball state championship at the Miller Park Complex in Provo, on Friday, May 24, 2024.
Spanish Fork first baseman Alyce Archuleta (25) catches the ball taking out Springville's Allie Fowler (22) during the 5A softball state championship at the Miller Park Complex in Provo, on Friday, May 24, 2024. (Photo: Marielle Scott, Deseret News)

Game 2: Freshman Carter helps Dons hold off Springville to force Game 3

Freshman Jayeda Carter drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the sixth inning, and Lucy Evans struck out three to lift Spanish Fork to a 6-5 win Thursday morning in Game 2 of the 5A championship series.

After taking a 3-2 lead on Allie Fowler's three-run triple in the third, Springville intentionally walked Alyce Archuleta to load the bases in the bottom of the fifth. That set up Spanish Fork's Olivia Carroll to drive in Tatum Hall from 60 feet away with the game-tying run.

In the next frame, Springville again added an intentional walk, loading the bases through Hall and Carter drove in two with a base hit that pushed Spanish Fork back in front, 5-3.

The Dons scored another on a wild pitch to complete the three-run sixth.

Springville plated two on a pair of wild pitches in the seventh, but Evans finished the side to help Spanish Fork force a winner-take-all third game.


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