Cottonwood softball aims to return to state for first time in two years
Apr 11, 2018 11:59AM
● By Brian Shaw
In what seems to be a recurring theme among Cottonwood athletic programs—with the notable exceptions of baseball and swimming—the Colts softball program will look to improve upon an average season by their standards and return to the place to which they're accustomed, the state tournament.
Two years removed from the last Colts team that made it to state—and got bounced in the first round—Cottonwood took its lumps in a new region last season. But, down the stretch the Colts won two of their last four games, including an impressive win over Jordan in which Cottonwood scored 20 runs.
The Colts will return all but four players for 2018, including junior pitcher Carlie Roberts, who has spent two full years playing a pivotal role for Cottonwood. She's the ace on the mound for the Colts, and much is expected of her.
Junior Kaysie Polad also returns for Cottonwood and she's the Colts top hitter, having hit a towering home run last year in this season's only game thus far, a 12-7 loss to West Jordan on March 13.
Cottonwood led the preseason game behind Roberts' arm through four innings of shutout pitching before West Jordan stormed back with seven runs of its own to lead 7-6 after five. The Colts would give up five more runs in the sixth to move to 0-1 on the season.
Juniors Marielis Alvarez and Savanna Hoffman also doubled for the Colts, who again welcome new teams into their region due to reclassification for the second year running.
To get ready for the new region, the Colts will have to shore up quickly. They open region play against Jordan on March 20 and play Alta, Brighton and Timpview the following week to close out the month.
For a Cottonwood team that plays just three seniors—including Matea Manulelelua who had a double in loss to West Jordan—and a bevy of freshmen and sophomores, jumping right into region play may not be the tonic the doctor ordered.
But, after a fairly impressive season-opener in which Roberts pitched shutout ball for three innings before her arm got tired, and one in which Colts hitters sprayed shots all over the ballpark before their luck and bats ran out, you would have to think Cottonwood has a chance to improve on its record.