|A Canyon View runner successfully steals third on Carbon despite Rachelle Gunderson's best efforts to stop her. With the strong play of the Lady Dinos, though, Canyon View's action on the bases was limited.|
After taking last place in the region in 2003, Carbon softball had no where to go but up.
However, it seems nobody remembered to tell the Lady Dinos when to stop, so Carbon continued its improvement right into the state tournament.
Carbon ran into the best in the state in Tooele High for their opening site game of the state tournament on May 8.
Tooele responded with an 8-0 shutout over the Lady Dinos.
Rather than trickle out of the tournament, though, Carbon rallied to defeat Wasatch 9-7 and advance to the second half of the state tournament, a first for most players on the team.
The 5-6 Dinos gave their fans another thrill at the opening game in Spanish Fork against 9-4 Canyon View.
Canyon View, which had just come off a loss against Bear River, was visably shaken as they began the elimination game against the Dinos.
The Lady Dinos took advantage of Canyon View's inconsistant play, gathering 18 hits and making several phenominal plays to keep the momentum going in their favor.
All three players in the Dino outfield made catches worthy of standing ovations to stop Canyon View from making a charge.
Whitney Montoya got her uniform the dirtiest, however, with a diving catch to stop two runs and end the inning.
Carbon defeated the Falcons 9-4.
The Lady Dinos' run was ended the next day by the Grantsville Cowgirls.
Carbon couldn't lay off the high ones and Grantsville cruised to a 6-1 victory.
Carbon coach Tony Pinedo said the team would begin to threaten Grantsville when they were patient at the plate, but in the end the girls were not disciplined enough.
"You can't hit the high ones, I don't care how good of a hitter you are," Pinedo stated.
However, the seventh place finish was an exciting close to the season for the girls who had made it a goal at the beginning of the year to reach the state tournament.
Pinedo said now the team needs to take their state tournament experience and work toward the next step.
However, in his second year with the program, Pinedo realizes success often takes time.
"You're never going to get up to the next level quickly," Pinedo pointed out. "It takes work."
Five seniors will be leaving the team, leaving several holes to fill on the field.
Luckily, both Lady Dino pitchers, Lacey Timothy and Morgan Warburton, will be returning next season.
For now, Carbon has the memories of its state tournament run to keep them excited for 2005.
"There's no better teacher than being there and we hope we can use that experience to build on and do some good stuff next year," Pinedo concluded.