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Valley Journals

There is no ‘I’ in team at Taylorsville

May 18, 2017 02:47PM ● By Greg James

The Taylorsville girls softball team finished third in last season state playoffs, a younger, less experienced team hopes to make a return. (Greg James/City Journals)

By Greg James |  gregj@mycityjournals.com

The Taylorsville softball team is coming off a successful run in the 2016 state tournament. A repeat appearance would be another successful season.

“Our season started off kind of slow,” sophomore Maddie Ford said. “We lost a few close games, but as the season goes on, we are progressing. We are gaining confidence and trusting each other.”

The Warriors finished 2016 in third place. They lost in the state tournament twice to West High School; both were close games losing by four runs. They held an 8-2 lead headed into the bottom of the fourth of the third-place game, but West scored nine unanswered runs to defeat the Warriors.

There are several new players on the roster this season. First team All-Staters Jazmyn Rollin, Asenaca Lesuma and Tashia Francom all graduated last spring. Filling those holes will affect how well they do this year.

“We are a team; not one player is better or more important than any other,” Ford said. “We cannot win with only one player; it takes a team.”

The lack of experience in key positions leaves the team learning on the job. The toughest week of the season to date included games against Copper Hills and Bingham, back to back.

Against Copper Hills, Mackenzy Richins belted a grand slam, but it was not enough to stop the Grizzlies. They lost 19-16 in eight innings. Bingham held the Warriors in check and defeated them 5-2.

The Warriors are 2-2 in Region 3 this season. They are in third place behind Copper Hills and Bingham.

The pipeline of girls coming through the recreation and accelerated programs to the high school helps head coach Rich Kaelin find the talent he needs to keep the Warriors relevant.

The Taylorsville Recreation league boasts 20 teams this season. Their goal is teach softball skills while having fun. They offer an 18-and-under division for the older girls down to the 8-and-under division for younger girls.

“I started playing when I was 4 years old,” Ford said. “My mom played high school and college, and so I was always at the field throwing the ball around.”

Ford is a key addition to the team. She has one home run, two doubles and one triple. She has been splitting time between third base and shortstop.

“I love softball,” Ford said. “It is fun to get out and meet new people and make new friends. We play against great teams, and I love having teammates that are my best friends. I would like to continue playing ball after high school like my mom did, but it also helps me in my personal life and in school. I am not sure where my grades would be if not for softball.”

The 5A state tournament is scheduled to begin May 16 at selected home sites before shifting to the Valley Complex May 23–25.