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The City Journals

Cottonwood softball advances to state quarterfinals

Jun 05, 2019 03:30PM ● By Brian Shaw

Under a new coach, the team landed the third seed from its region.

By Brian Shaw | [email protected]

Last year, the Cottonwood Colts softball team saw their season end after suffering two second-round losses following a first-round victory at the 5A state tournament. 

This year, however, under new head coach Jen Riches—who replaced Alyssa Smith, who along with her husband headed back East so that he could attend medical school—the Colts have flipped the script. 

Instead of winning its first-round state tournament game, this year Cottonwood lost 6-1 to Roy on May 14. 

But, then the Colts turned around and knocked off Olympus on May 16 in the one-loss bracket in an 8-7 barnburner that saw them post six runs in the first inning before hanging on for the win. 

Under the new coach Riches then, it's more of the same—though athletic director Greg Southwick said he was sad to see Smith go. 

"She's doing a great job with these kids," added Southwick who was also in the stands at the Colts' second-round victory. "She coached under the last coach and her dad was a former coach too, so it's in the blood, I guess." 

In the big win over Olympus, pitcher Carlie Roberts went the distance for Cottonwood, scattering 15 hits. 

The Colts (12-10) were buoyed by senior Bailey Mitchell, who in that huge first inning slammed a home run. They also got five doubles from other Colts. 

Cottonwood, which finished third in Region 7 at 6-4 overall, will now face off against East on May 24 in the one-loss bracket. 

For the Colts, one more loss means they'll go home for the summer. But for now, Cottonwood—who plays East after press time—is still alive and hitting.