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Pioneer softball makes deep playoff run



The Lehi softball team wrapped up an impressive first season in Class 6A with a strong showing in the state tournament, where they were eliminated just shy of the bracket finals.

Seeded No. 6 in the year-end RPI standings, the Pioneers first took on No. 11 Copper Hills in the Super Regional round, advancing after winning two of three games in the series. They subsequently lost to No. 3 Bingham and then No. 2 Herriman in bracket play to end their spring campaign at 22-9-1.

May 16Lehi 7Copper Hills 1

The Pioneers jumped out early in this first contest of the round, getting one run in the first inning and four in the second to move ahead for good. The Grizzlies got their lone run in the top of the seventh.

Senior pitcher Emerson Fuller collected the win with eight strikeouts, two walks and no runs in six innings. Maughan threw in relief.

Senior center fielder Madison Salisbury had a triple, three RBI and scored twice. Junior outfielder Lizzie Hatch posted a double and two RBI. Sophomore left fielder Brynlee Cook had two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Freshman catcher Piper Emery drove in the other run.

May 17Copper Hills 4, Lehi 0


Fuller pitched well enough to win this complete game, with 10 strikeouts, no walks and just two earned runs. However, untimely errors in the field hurt and so did stranding 14 baserunners as Lehi’s usually productive offense came up empty.

Salisbury had three hits, senior outfielder Madison Stradling added two and sophomore first baseman Mya Maughan had one.

May 17Lehi 3, Copper Hills 2

The Grizzlies got the initial advantage in this tiebreaker game with a single run in the top of the second. The Pioneers responded with three runs in the bottom of the third. Copper Hills added one more score in the top of the fourth but both teams were held off the plate the rest of the way.

Fuller threw a five-hitter with six strikeouts and three walks in a complete-game effort. Salisbury singled and doubled for an RBI and one run scored. Junior shortstop Sophie Bliss also had a run and an RBI and Maughan crossed the plate for the other tally.

May 21Bingham 8, Lehi 4

Fuller fanned nine and only four of the runs against her were earned in this loss for the first round of bracket play.

She also drove in two runs to help lift her team and Bliss added two more RBI plus scored once herself, but it wasn’t enough on this day. Cook and freshman infielder Camry Wassmer made the other runs.


May 21Herriman 9, Lehi 5

The Mustangs plated six runs in the bottom of the second inning and added three more in the fourth. The Pioneers clawed back by scoring in each of the final three innings but couldn’t get enough to overcome the early deficit. Fuller struck out six with no walks in her final appearance for the Pioneers.

Salisbury had two hits with an RBI. Stradling had a double and scored once. Bliss and Emery registered the other RBI. Sophomore third baseman Libby Baxter, Wassmer and Maughan each came across to add the rest of the runs.

“I think we were all looking forward to moving to 6A this season,” said Lehi Coach Tim Kennedy. “We had always played 6A teams on our non-region schedule, so we were ready for it.

“The past few seasons in 5A, including our second-place championship run in 2022, we were a No. 7 seed. This season in 6A, we ended up the No. 6 seed in the tournament,” he continued. “Although we took second place in Region 3 to Pleasant Grove, we had a fantastic season.

“We had some big wins and valuable losses too,” Kennedy said. “One loss came to a 30-win Spanish Springs team in Nevada which took second in the Nevada state championship.

“We also had a one-run loss to Riverton, which was the Utah 6A state champion; a win against Bingham, which took second place in the 6A state race; a loss to Spanish Fork, which was the 5A state champion; and a nice win against Grantsville, the 3A state champion,” he said. 

“We were led by our three seniors,” Kennedy went on.“Emerson Fuller had the second-lowest ERA in 6A at 2.62. Madison “Goose” Salisbury led our team in batting average, runs and triples. And, Madison Stradling had her best season for the Pioneers this year.


“My two Madisons also earned Academic All-State recognition. Lehi was one of just two schools with two representatives on the state list,” he said. There were only seven honorees total for 6A this year.

“Other notable offensive contributors came from Sophie Bliss, Brynlee Cook and a freshman, Piper Emery,” he said. Those players all return next year.

Kennedy reflected that the season’s successes went way beyond wins and losses. “We always have a team motto for the year. This season it was Outer Scoreboard versus Inner Scoreboard.

“Outer Scoreboard is focused on titles and accolades,” he explained. “The inner Scoreboard is based on values, principlesand commitment. That’s what Pioneer Softball is founded upon.

“We had great team chemistry and had so much fun together,” Kennedy said. “I’m so proud of these girls for the people that they are and their accomplishments this year. This one will always be remembered as one of my favorite seasons ever.”

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