Taylorsville • It wasn't necessarily surprising that Copper Hills leadoff hitter Dani Hamilton got her team off to a good start Tuesday.
But it might have been a little shocking how she did it.
Hamilton socked a home run over the left-field fence to give the Grizzlies a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday.
That alone held up for Copper Hills (22-8) because sophomore pitcher Payten Davies allowed only two hits by Riverton (21-6) in a 2-0 victory in the Class 5A state playoffs.
"That was nice," Grizzlies coach Jentry Jo Johnson said about Hamilton's homer. "That was her first home run ever at Copper Hills. She's a big swinger and has a very powerful bat. She just finds the fence a lot. That was a nice opening to give us a little cushion to then focus on our defense and let our pitcher focus."
Davies also gave up a leadoff hit when Riverton's Camree Wartman hit a double to left-center, but Wartman was the only one doing any statistical damage for the Silverwolves. She also got aboard in the third with an infield single, but Davies didn't allow another base runner at any point of the game. She finished with eight strikeouts.
Davies might have seen action at the state tournament last seaosn as a freshman if not for a broken rib injury suffered early in the season.
"It's my first time pitching on this field," she said. "I couldn't play last year. I'm pretty excited to be here."
Copper Hills got an insurance run in the sixth off Riverton's Courtney Platt when Emilee Sweet started the frame with a single. After an infield hit by Riley Cleverly, sophomore Paige Watts sent a grounder to the right of Wartman, Riverton's shortstop, and beat the throw for another infield hit and a 2-0 lead.
"I think we've been in a lot of pressure situations where the younger kids have had to step up," Johnson said. "They have consistently come up and made big plays, like Paige that last inning. She's a sophomore, and this is really her first big state game."
Class 5A state tournament
at Valley Softball Complex
5:15 p.m. • Copper Hills vs. Bingham
3 p.m. • Lehi vs. Riverton
3 p.m. • Davis vs. Weber