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West Jordan Journal

Grizzlies softball face top competition in Region 3

May 21, 2018 10:23AM ● By Greg James

Copper Hills softball team has a new coach and new direction but are finding the same successful results. (Copper Hills softball)

By Greg James |  gregj@mycityjournals.com       

In pregame warmups at Copper Hills High School softball games, you might notice that some of the players look surprisingly similar. The Grizzlies have three sets of twins on their roster.

The roster includes seniors Jessica and Jaden Mecham, Gaby and Hailee Lamoreaux, and Kaylee and Kylee Ortega, but the Grizzlies have become accustomed to the similarities.

“We have certainly had to learn to distinguish one from another, but we have figured it out,” head coach John Flores said. “It makes our team unique and obviously different. We just hope this season finishes well.” 

Those familial bonds helped the Grizzlies as they faced stiff competition in Region 3 this season. The top four teams finished the regular season within one game of each other in the standings. The Grizzlies only lost three regular season games, including two to Taylorsville and one to Herriman. 

Flores felt the season had gone well through region play.

“We have been tied for first in our region, and the girls are fighting hard and playing their best,” she said. “We have a lot of athletes that are fighting hard to make sure the great history at Copper Hills continues on." 

Flores took over for former Grizzlies head coach Jentry Johnson before the season began. He has high school and competitive summer ball experience on his resume. 

“I came to Copper Hills after being an assistant at Bingham, so I am used to the winning culture,” Flores said. “I want us to keep up the deep history that Copper Hills has had. We certainly want to be competitive into the future as well and keep going what Copper Hills has done in the past.” 

Senior Jessica Mecham has pitched in 13 games at press time. She and Kaylee Ortega have anchored the Grizzlies pitching staff.

“Pitching is a huge part of what we do,” Flores said. “We have made a few mistakes this season, but overall our strong pitching has kept us in games.”

Offensively, freshman Alyxx Estrada and Makaiya Gomez (MK) have belted seven home runs, respectively. Gomez has 21 runs batted in.

“Both of them (Estrada and Gomez) bring a calm spark to our lineup,” Flores said. “Our offense has been very good. We have six players hitting over .500. MK and Alyxx are definitely important to our team offensively.” 

They average over eight runs per game and stepped that up to 12.5 per game in region.

“The competition is tough top to bottom in our region,” Flores said. “We have teams that hit the ball and play great defense. It is good for us to keep us game ready and prepared for the playoffs. I love playing in a tough region.”

Jaden and Jessica Mecham were named to the Utah High School Activities Association Academic All-State team. The UHSAA has honored students who have excelled in the classroom and athletic competition for over 25 years. 

The Grizzlies have qualified for the state softball tournament. It began May 15, with the Grizzlies losing to Kearns 10-5 before defeating Westlake 12-1 in the losers bracket. and the finals were held May 24 at the Valley Softball Complex in Taylorsville (after press deadline.)