Prep softball: Box Elder, Murray among many 4A contenders
Some think experience is the most important factor in making a championship run. The Box Elder softball team wouldn't agree.
The team has only one senior, but has nevertheless been the revelation of the season. Behind pitchers Bailey Reeves and Abbey Martin, the Bees took Region 5 by swarm.
Next up? The Class 4A playoffs. Starting on Tuesday, Box Elder is looking to keep its dominant run going against maybe one of the toughest 4A fields in years.
"There's a lot of great teams out there with a lot of great coaches," coach Mandy Hodgson says. "Everyone can hit, everyone's got hitters. I feel better because I have two really great pitchers who can control a game."
Of course, if experience is a factor, then Roy and Murray should be very tough to deal with. The two played for last year's 5A title the Royals prevailed but both moved down this year and have to be considered dangerous.
Murray hits about as well as any squad in the state, but its relatively smooth defense makes it elite. The Spartans allowed only 11 runs during region play. Pitcher Elise Johnson has been a steady hand and a power at the plate as well.
Roy got swept by Box Elder this year, but it doesn't mean it couldn't be back in the title game. Eight Royals have smacked home runs this year, and that kind of hitting can swing any game in their favor.
The wild cards in this mix are Region 8 powers Maple Mountain and Salem Hills, which split a bitter series. Whitney Roberts has helped the Golden Eagles pick up a lot of wins, and Brooke Ford leads the state with 11 homers for the Skyhawks.
The first-round matchup possibly with the most intrigue is Clearfield hosting Provo. The Falcons are celebrating the results of a long rebuilding process, but the Bulldogs could get an upset behind pitcher Taylor Allman.