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Midvale Journal

Husky softball hopes to have home run season with strong senior class

Apr 09, 2024 11:59AM ● By Julie Slama

Hillcrest High pitcher Lilly Hutchings, seen here in 2023, is one of three seniors who have signed to play ball in college. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Batter up. The Huskies are ready.

This year’s Hillcrest High softball lineup includes a strong senior class. Three athletes already have signed letters of intent to play at colleges: catcher Brooklyn Ricci to Utah Valley University; pitcher Lilly Hutchings to Dawson Community College in Montana; and transfer student and pitcher Kyli Carell to College of Southern Idaho. 

With two games—a 16-1 win over Granger High and 5-0 win over Carbon High—to start the season, the Huskies had one more game to play before taking to the road for a tournament in St. George where together the varsity and JV teams were to play nine games in two days. Then, the student-athletes return home to play an away region game, Tooele High, just days later.

“We have a good freshman, Lila Vawdrey, who plays centerfield; she’s starting on varsity. When she was a seventh grader, she came to one of the Hillcrest softball camps and she’s gotten better and better every year,” said head softball coach Anthony Ricci.

He also has two sophomores—Adrianne Sullivan in right field and Avilynn Godrey on second base—on his varsity roster.

While competing in a new region—4A region 10—there are some familiar teams and some ones who haven’t been in the same region with the Huskies. 

“Our competition for region will be Tooele and Murray,” he said saying both high school teams have strong pitchers. “Stansbury, too.”

Even with tough teams, Ricci is optimistic. 

“I think we have a good chance to beat them all. We can do really well in region this year,” he said. “We should go pretty deep in at state.”

Additionally, the Huskies will have some “good battles” against Brighton High on April 8 and Cyprus High on April 10.

“Brighton should be a fun game when we play them for Battle of the Bat. We’ve won the Battle of the Bat the past three years,” he said. “They like that game because a lot of the kids know each other, they’ve gone to school together or live in the same neighborhoods. It’s a friendly rivalry.”

Ricci expects the team will bond during the St. George tournament between cheering each other on, eating together and doing fun activities during the downtime.

Many of them are familiar with each other’s play during previous seasons or on club teams as well as playing in a fall league, where they competed against area high schools. They also held open gyms in the offseason.

The JV team is 1-1, having beaten Granger and losing to Carbon at the start of the season.

“JV plays after varsity, so sometimes they don’t get to play a full seven-inning game because they’re running out of daylight. Most of the time, it’s a game that’s only an hour and a half,” he said, adding that against Carbon, the game consisted of only two innings. “We have some good players coming up and not just our freshmen and sophomores, but we have a lot of really good eighth graders who came to our open gyms and will be freshmen next year. It’s going to be exciting, not just for this year, but multiple years to come.” λ