High school softball: 2023 Region 1 preview

High school softball: 2023 Region 1 preview

by James Tate

Fremont Silverwolves (21-5)

The Silverwolves finished with an 11-1 region record in the 2022 season and are the defending region champions. Fremont made the final four of the tournament last season but eventually lost to the 6A champions, Riverton Silverwolves.

First-year head coach Ryley Buttars will lead the Silverwolves after spending the past two seasons as an assistant coach. Buttars will be taking on the challenge of the Silverwolves being the big game for most teams they face. “Stay close and always support each other,” said Buttars in her message to the team. “Teams that bond is teams that get through adversity and come out on top.”

The Silverwolves return great talent throughout their team, including sensational sophomore outfielder/catcher Savannah Palmatier. Palmatier, a 2022 Standard-Examiner All-Area first-team selection, belted 47 base hits and scored 30 runs for the Silverwolves last season.

Other returning Silverwolves looking to have a great season are seniors Reata O’Neal and Keysha McKean. O’Neal and McKean have varsity playing experience and will lead this year’s team. McKean was a Standard-Examiner All-Area second-team player in 2022.

Playing as a team, playing hard, and winning is what Buttars expects from this team. Defending the region title and finishing better than last season is one goal of Buttars for the Silverwolves. “We took third last year, and my goal is to finish in that spot or higher as a first-year head coach,” said Buttars. “I have a phenomenal coaching staff and very talented young women to help us achieve that goal.”

Syracuse Titans (5-20)

The Titans look to this year as a turnaround season after finishing 1-11 in region action last season. The Titans return most of their starters and consider the experience they gained a significant advantage. “Experience should be one of our biggest strengths this year,” head coach Kelly Anderson said.  “We only lost one starter from last year’s team, so we should be ahead of most teams at the start and hope to gain confidence before starting a tough region schedule.” 

Players to watch this season for the Titans are senior infielder/pitcher Kenlie Cowdin, senior catcher/first baseman Brielle Milius, sophomore infielder Olivia Harker, sophomore catcher/utility Jaidyn Franco, and senior outfielder, Erin Anderson. Milius was the team’s leader in hits last season with 22, according to MaxPreps. The Titans welcome sophomore Jazmine Prathan after a stellar freshman season when she scored 26 runs and had three triples for the Lancers.

Anderson has this team bought in and ready for regional success and to make a run in the state playoffs. “Trust the process that we have and work hard to get better each and every day,” said Anderson.  “The journey will be hard and difficult, but how we handle adversity and learn from these challenges will make us a better team at the end.”

Clearfield Falcons (5-15)

The Falcons finished sixth in region 1 last season with a 2-10 region record. Team unity will be a central point for the Falcons this season, according to first-year head coach Kamie Hoggan. “If we stay unified as a team on and off the field, be excellent teammates to one another,” said Hoggan. “Do what’s best for the team with a smile on our face even when it’s hard and encourage one another to stay positive; then we will succeed.”

Exciting and young talented players will see the field this season, including senior Sofie Francis and sophomore Jenna Lloyd. Junior Eli Salazar returns after hitting two home runs last season for the Falcons.

This exciting Falcons team will be ready to compete in every game and bring energy to the field. “I feel our strength will be grit, plain and simple,” said Hoggan. “These girls will respond with perseverance and persistence with whatever comes their way this season. I do not doubt that.”

Weber Warriors (17-12)

The Warriors finished second with an 11-3 region record in 2022. The Warriors made it into the state bracket tournament last season. With several top returning players, the Warriors are looking for a deeper run into the playoffs and a region title.

The Warriors return Standard-Examiner All-Area 2nd team pitcher Kendall Strasburg to a talented group. Strasburg had 141 strikeouts on the mound and hit two home runs and ten doubles. Also returning for the Warriors is catcher Ellie Nielsen, a Standard-Examiner All-Area third-team selection.

Farmington Phoenix (15-9)

The Phoenixes finished third in the region with a 10-4 record. The 2022 season was a success for the Phoenixes as they made it into the super-regional round of the tournament before falling to the Weber Warriors.

Returning for the Phoenixes is Standard-Examiner All-Area 2nd team senior Courtney Christiansen. Lexi Crowley made Standard-Examiner All-Area 3rd team as a sophomore last season after

Layton Lancers (10-15)

The Lancers finished the 2022 season with an even 6-6 region record, good for fifth place in region 1.  In 2019 the Lancers were region 1 champions and made it into the state championship game but lost to the Herriman Mustangs.

The Lancers return Standard-Examiner All-Area 3rd team infielder/catcher senior Brenley Boydston.  Boydston led the Lancers last season with 37 hits and eight doubles

Davis Darts (9-15)

The Darts ended the 2022 season with a 3-9 region record.  Senior Abby Olsen returns after leading the team with 30 hits last season.  The Darts also will welcome back seniors Laney Tuft and Nina Attanasio.  Tuft belted four home runs to lead the Darts last year.

The Darts will look to make a run at the region title and a deep playoff run after losing in the opening round to the Lone Peak Knights last season.

photo courtesy of Chad Sims, Davis High School, Davis – Team Home Davis Darts Sports (godartsgo.com)

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