Shadow Ridge has been to six state softball tournaments but never had reached the championship game.
Senior Shea Clements changed that with one swing.
The Dixie State-commit blasted a home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning to help Shadow Ridge defeat Coronado 7-6 in Friday’s winners bracket final of the Class 4A state tournament at Bishop Gorman.
Yet despite her heroics, Clements refused to steal the spotlight from her team.
“This is not my moment,” she said. “This is our team’s moment. This is our time to go get our state championship. This is our time to get our rings.”
The victory put Shadow Ridge (30-2) in Saturday’s championship game at 12:30 p.m. at Gorman. Coronado (28-9) and Centennial (34-8) play at 10 a.m., with the winner to meet Shadow Ridge.
“It feels so amazing I get to be a part of this and give it to our seniors because we owe it to them,” said sophomore Kyanna Galvan, whose seventh-inning catch in right field helped preserve the win. “It’s just a group effort, and it’s so fun to be a part of.”
Caitlin Covington’s first-inning two-run homer gave the Mustangs a 3-0 lead, but Coronado rallied.
The Cougars scored two in the third inning to pull within 3-2.
Coronado took a 6-3 lead in the fourth on two-run homers from Kaila Angel and Madi Stephens.
The Mustangs then rallied. Jasmine Martin led off the bottom half of the fifth with a walk, and Alyssa Stanley singled. Then, with two outs, Sydney Morgan crushed a three-run homer to tie the score and set the stage for Clements’ decisive shot.
“We just worked so hard to get where we’re at,” Clements said. “We push past our limits. We go the distance that nobody else would go. This is a work-hard team. We push for what we want. And when somebody takes the power away from us, we just gain that power right back and know that we’re gonna fight for what we want. It’s not just given. Everybody is crucial to this team.”
Clements finished 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBIs, and Covington went 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs.
Angel went 3-for-4 with two runs, three RBIs, a triple and her homer for Coronado, and Ashley Ward was 2-for-3 with two doubles and a run.
— Centennial’s Jillian Bartley doubled to spark a five-run 11th inning that lifted the Bulldogs past Basic 9-4 in the losers bracket semifinal of the Class 4A state tournament at Bishop Gorman.
— Pahrump Valley’s Kareena Nelson was 2-for-3 with two RBIs as the Trojans defeated Fernley 7-3 to advance to the championship game of the Class 3A state tournament in Mesquite.
— Pahranagat Valley’s Kaitlin Higbee was 2-for-3 with a double and five RBIs as the Panthers topped Smith Valley 15-10 to reach the championship game of the Class 1A state tournament in Overton.