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High school softball: Duchesne beats Enterprise for 2A state title – Deseret News


Duchesne’s Hallie Nielsen got to live the scenario that every high school athlete dreams of — state championship game, bottom of the seventh, tie game, two out, runner in scoring position and you’re stepping to the plate.

Nielsen delivered like no other player in school history, ripping a line drive into the gap in left center, driving home teammate Kelsey Grant as Duchesne rallied with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to beat Enterprise 5-4 in the 2A state championship.

It was the first girls state title in any sport in school history.

“It’s impossible to describe. It feels amazing,” said Nielsen, who finished the game going 2 for 4 with three RBIs.

Nielsen wasn’t the only hero of the seventh inning. With Enterprise just three outs away from a third straight championship heading into the bottom of the seventh up 4-3, Duchesne sophomore Jaelee Farnsworth led off the inning with a game-tying home run to left field.

Two batters later Grant doubled, and two batters after that she crossed home plate on Nielsen’s heroics.

“These girls are just resilient. They battled and battled. That last play, the whole last game, there were ups and downs, and that’s the game of softball,” said Duchesne coach Kyle Grant.

The win was the second of the day for Duchesne over Enterprise, which capped a marathon final day of the 2A state tourney at Spanish Fork Sports Complex.

The day started with a 5-0 elimination-game victory over Millard to set up a rematch with Enterprise.

The day before, Enterprise beat Duchesne 5-2 in the final winner’s bracket game of the tournament, but Farnsworth said even though her team lost, players left the ballpark excited for a rematch.

“After the game yesterday we were all like, ‘K, now we know what we’re facing against,’” said Farnsworth.

In the first game with Enterprise, Grant pitched an absolute gem, striking out five and only allowing one run on five hits as the Eagles won 2-1.

Lexie Morlan and Nielsen provided all the offense in the fourth-inning RBIs.

Farnsworth sensed a different energy level throughout the game.

“I feel like our energy was up the whole time. We’ve had a lot of slumps where energy goes up, then down, then up, but I felt that game, the whole time it was up,” she said.

Duchesne carried that momentum into the “if necessary” championship game, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first for the early 3-1 lead.

Nielsen provided the big hit driving in two runs.

Enterprise cut the lead to 3-2 in the third inning on a passed ball and continued to play catch up until the top of the sixth when it went ahead 4-3 on back-to-back RBI singles from Treshor Phelps and Rylee Reber.

Duchesne put two runners on in the bottom of the sixth, but Enterprise pitcher Blakelee Christiansen forced an inning-ending pop out.

Grant kept the deficit at 4-3 in the top of the seventh with a strikeout to end the inning, her sixth of the game.

She finished the day throwing 286 total pitches.

Grant was due up third heading into the bottom of the seventh and had full confidence her at-bat would be meaningful.

“We were coming up in the top of our lineup and I’ve trust in our hitters all year,” said Chelsey Grant.

Farnsworth helped ease the tension for all the hitters behind her with one swing of the bat, smashing her seventh home run of the season to tie the score 4-4.

“She’s had that kind of power on and off this year. She’s a competitive little girl for just a sophomore,” said coach Kyle Grant.

Farnsworth said her mentality was just to get on base, but she did a lot better than that with a blast on a jubilant home-run trot.

Grant reached second on a stand-up double with one out, and with two out advanced to third base on a wild pitch early in Nielsen’s at-bat.

Nielsen said that while she was playing left field on Saturday, she had visualized a scenario in which Duchesne celebrated a state title.

She made the vision a reality with her walk-off RBI single, and as she celebrated with teammates after, said the whole scenario seemed “surreal.”

Coach Grant said everything was possible on Saturday because the players arrived at the ballpark at 8:30 a.m. with only one goal in mind — beating Millard.

“We were ready to kick Millard’s butt because we knew we needed to get that done first,” said Nielsen.

Nine hours after arriving at the park, when the team finally got on the bus and headed home, it had not only beat Millard, but mighty Enterprise twice as well to claim a rare piece of hardware for the Duchesne High School trophy case.





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