5A softball: Clayson carries Copper Hills past Lehi

Senior catcher helps account for all three of Copper Hills' runs.
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West Jordan • Copper Hills senior catcher Ashley Clayson had a prime vantage point as teammate Payten Davies pitched the Grizzlies to a 3-0 victory in the opening round of the Class 5A state softball playoffs.

Oh, she had more than a little to do with all three runs as well.

All in all, it was a good day for Clayson and Copper Hills on Tuesday as the Grizzlies held back Lehi to advance in the winners bracket.

"It feels good," Clayson said. "We came out swinging the bats the way we were supposed to do. Our pitcher came out with her 'A' game, going one pitch at a time."

Copper Hills (20-8) plated a run in the bottom of the second when Clayson began the rally with a single to left. A Lehi (17-9) throwing error allowed Clayson to reach third, and she scored on a groundout by Riley Cleverly.

Grizzlies leadoff hitter Dani Hamilton doubled to right-center field in the next inning. She headed to third on a sacrifice by Skylar Cook, and Clayson knocked her in with a solid single to center for a 2-0 lead.

An insurance run came in the fifth when Paige Watts and Hamilton singled. Clayson's sacrifice fly to center scored Watts.

"I was just thinking in my head to swing hard and hopefully something good will happen," Clayson said.

The one jam that Davies, a sophomore, got into was in the top of the fourth while holding a two-run lead. Singles by Taylor Tahbo and Terra Tahbo to start the inning led to runners on second and third with one out.

But Davies fanned the next two batters to blank the Pioneers.

"Her riseball was really on, and her curveball was doing great," Clayson said. "It was keeping them off-balance and getting easy outs for us," Clayson said.

Lehi will host Kearns at 4 p.m. Thursday.

"They had great pitching, and we'll give credit to them," Lehi coach Whitney Thomas said. "But we've got to put the ball in play and score runners when they're on." —

Tournament schedule

O Thursday

All games at 4 p.m.

Winners bracket

• Copper Hills at Davis

• Syracuse at Riverton

• Fremont at Bingham

• Weber at Alta

Losers bracker

• Kearns at Lehi

• Brighton at Viewmont

• West Jordan at Taylorsville

• Lone Peak at Hunter