The Moab Braves took home the championship at a regional double-elimination softball tournament for fifth- and sixth-grade girls in Blanding on Saturday, June 27. Back row, left to right: Heather Dalton, Katelyn Murphy, Gillian Windsor, Jessica Jones and Ryon Jones. Middle row: Natalie Rutherford, Maggie Rutherford, Madison Alvey, Taylor Denton, Emma Hunsaker and Aliyah Eddy. Front row: Chloe Talbot. [Photo courtesy of Chad Wright]

Three teams from Moab and two from Blanding comprised the field at a regional double-elimination Philly softball tournament for fifth- and sixth-grade girls in Blanding on Saturday, June 27. The Moab Braves went undefeated in the tournament to take home the championship.

Moab Braves coach Heather Dalton said her team got off to a rocky start against the Moab Indians, coached by Michael Geiser. The Braves played their first game at 10:30 a.m., after the other teams in the tournament had already played earlier in the day. The Braves, however, were able to pull out a two-run victory.

“The first game was awful,” she said. “I don’t know if we deserved to win that one.”

After winning their next game against the Moab A’s, coached by Travis Packard, the Braves got a bye into the finals by way of being the only team left without a loss. In the final game, the Braves used the bye to their advantage to defeat a tired Moab Indians team that had played all the way through the tournament, Dalton said.

Dalton said she was relieved that her team didn’t have to face either of the Blanding teams in the tournament.

“Although we beat the Blanding teams during the season, they were very tough games, so I’m glad the other Moab teams beat them out,” she said.

Braves assistant coach Natalie Rutherford said she appreciated the community support each of the Moab teams received.

“A lot of people made the trip,” she said. “Moab has a really strong community support group.”

Dalton said her team had fun at the tournament.

“We enjoyed it; we were fresh,” she said. “We thoroughly enjoyed playing in the tournament.”

Dalton said she was the season overall went smoothly, ending on Tuesday, June 30, with somewhat of an exhibition game among Moab players after two teams from Emery canceled.

“All of the coaches did well,” she said. “I was really impressed with the sportsmanship from both coaches and players.”

Braves take down Indians in finals

“A lot of people made the trip. Moab has a really strong community support group.”