Brianne Vogrinec swings at the ball during a game last week.
With only two preseason games under their belts, the Carbon High Lady Dino softball team headed south for a marathon series of games.
The win loss record on the trip didn't reflect the level of competition the team faced and how close they came to toppling teams from much bigger schools than themselves.
On Thursday they were edged out in a defensive duel with Pineview by the score of 2-1. Then the headed to the Snow Canyon tournament (St. George) on Friday and lost to Syracuse 8-7, beat Pineview 6-3 and dropped one to Timpview 3-1.
Finishing things off on Saturday they lost to South Jordan 3-2 and finally were shutout by Union 4-0.
Coach Tony Pinedo was not disappointed in the 1-5 record, instead he and the team found the tournament to be a great chance to push themselves. All in all he felt like the Carbon girls lived up to the challenge and gained from the experience.
Pineview is a 4A school and the Dinos defense held the opposition to a single score until the seventh inning. Both teams recorded five hits and no errors in the battle.
Carbon then started off the tournament facing 5A Syracuse. They played them tough and if the team could have made a couple of plays at the end of regulation play, the Dinos would have walked away with the win. Instead Syracuse got the walk off homer in the extra frames to take the win 8-7.
The Dinos then were able to avenge their earlier loss to Pineview as they faced them in the tournament. Carbon showed they could learn from their mistakes and this time they laid off the high rising fastball and made the Lady Panthers pitcher throw strikes. It paid off with the 6-3 win.
The third game of the day did not get any easier as the Dinos had to take on another 4A team in Timpview. Carbon took an early lead but couldn't hold on as they dropped the game 3-1. For Pinedo it was the little things here and there that cost the Dinos the game.
Back at it on Saturday the Dinos had to face 5A South Jordan. Again an early lead slipped away. After being ahead 1-0 until the third, Carbon needed to battle back from a 3-1 deficit in the seventh. They scored one and had runners on second and third but could not push the runs across home plate to keep their hopes alive.
Nearing the end of the road trip and running out of steam the Lady Dinos took on the only 3A school they had seen the whole weekend. Carbon's bats were asleep for the first four innings and Union was able to push two runs across in the second and fourth innings.
In the fifth and sixth innings the Dinos managed to get some wood on the ball, but still could not string together the hits to push the runs in. They finished up with a 4-0 loss.
"Comparing this tournament from last season to this one, it was a different tournament," remarked Pinedo as he reflected on the weekend trip. "The teams were much tougher and even though we won more games last year, we got much better experience and we are playing better than at this time last season. We learned a lot about ourselves and I am really proud of the whole team and how they played. We are going to be able to hold our own against region teams like Salem Hills, North Sanpete and Juan Diego that have really good pitching."
Region 8 action starts Thursday with a home game against Salem Hills. The first pitch flies at 3:30 p.m.