High school softball: Riverton’s fierce competitor, Chloe Borges, named Deseret News 2021 Ms. Softball
University of Hawaii signee dominated in the circle and plate in leading Riverton to state title
When Riverton coach Katelyn Elliott heard that Chloe Borges had transferred to Riverton prior to her junior season, the only thing the Riverton coach knew about her was that she was that talented “Kearns pitcher.”
Elliott knew from Borges’ reputation that she was a power pitcher and power hitter, but nothing else.
When she learned Borges was transferring because of some “drama,” Elliott certainly had her reservations about how Borges would fit in with the great culture within Riverton’s dugout. She admits she was worried about Borges arriving with a cocky and arrogant attitude.
Elliott was eating her words pretty quickly.
“I was quickly surprised. She’s exactly what we wanted here,” said Elliott recalling those early practices before COVID-19 shut down the entire season in 2020 after just one week.
Borges came back even hungrier to make a great impression on her team for the 2021 season, and the senior ended up being the driving force during Riverton’s dominant run to the 6A state championship.
She hit for power, and was just as intimidating in the circle with a great combination of pitches — including a fierce riseball — and is this year’s Deseret News Ms. Softball winner as she capped an outstanding high school career with a dream season.
In the circle, Borges was an intimidating presence who posted a 13-0 record with a 2.08 ERA and 108 strikeouts. She pitched 53% of Riverton’s innings as she shared time in the circle with Kaysen Korth, another dominant arm on staff.
Borges said her riseball has been clocked at 64 mph, and was her go-to pitch.
“My riseball is a little different than most people’s riseball, kind of harder to hit if it’s on,” said Borges.
Elliott believes Borges will throw even harder than that when she enrolls this fall at the University of Hawaii. Borges’ dad grew up on Oahu, one of the things that attracted her to the school.
“The girls definitely pushed me to do better, be there for me through it all. I never had to worry if they had my back. Knowing that I have a great team behind me makes me push myself hard on the mound and in the box to do good for them, and not just myself. The bond with the team was extraordinary and definitely wouldn’t trade it for anything.” — Riverton’s Chloe Borges
At the plate this season, Borges led Riverton with a .529 batting average to go along with nine doubles, 13 home runs and 44 RBIs.
“Chloe hits the cover off the ball, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a ground ball or fly ball. She usually hits a line drive, and if it doesn’t go over the fence it dang near goes through the fence. She has power like I’ve never seen in a high school athlete,” said Elliott.
Borges has the obvious physique to be a power hitter, but Elliott said it’s her mindset that sets her apart from most of her peers as she routinely delivers in the clutch.
Even though Borges had a lot of success at Kearns her freshman and sophomore years, which included being voted 6A All-State second team, there was a level of comfort missing.
She credits the environment at Riverton for helping her find that and allowing her to flourish.
“The girls definitely pushed me to do better, be there for me through it all. I never had to worry if they had my back,” said Borges. “Knowing that I have a great team behind me makes me push myself hard on the mound and in the box to do good for them, and not just myself. The bond with the team was extraordinary and definitely wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
One of the biggest things that allowed Borges to flourish was teammate Korth, a dominant pitcher in her own right. Both could’ve easily been Riverton’s ace, and thrown 100-plus innings and close to 200 strikeouts.
Instead, Elliott utilized them both, and the camaraderie between the two was genuine.
“When someone goes in that’s selfish and they want all the glory and all the playing time and all the strikeouts, that’s not what’s best for the team and not what’s best for the program necessarily,” said Elliott.
Past Deseret News Ms. Softball winners
2019 — Huntyr Ava, West
2018 — Kapri Toone, Bear River
2017 — Cambrie Hazel, Spanish Fork
2016 — Breah Ava, West
2015 — Kimbri Herring, Stansbury
2014 — Janessa Bassett, Stansbury
2013 — Tatiana Su’e Su’e, San Juan
2012 — Jordan Theurer, Bear River
2011 — MaCauley Flint, Roy
2010 — Tori Almond, Bingham
2009 — Shelbi Tyteca, Viewmont
2008 — Tori Almond, Bingham
The two didn’t necessarily alternate starts during the regular season as Elliott factored other things into her decisions, but in the playoffs she had the two alternate starts. It certainly made sense on days when Riverton was expecting to play two games a day at the state tournament.
As luck would have it, because Korth came on and relieved Borges during Game 1 of the 6A state championship series against Bingham, Borges wasn’t in the circle for any of Riverton’s final three playoff victories.
Instead, she was playing center field, and did so without any jealousy or animosity. She proved herself to be the ultimate team player from the moment she stepped onto Riverton’s campus.
“Our team really does work well together. It’s healthy competition with one another,” said Elliott.
Even though Korth had the slightly better state tournament success, Borges found a way to make major contributions at the plate. In Riverton’s seven playoff games she went 11 for 17 with five walks, two doubles, one triple, five home runs and 20 RBIs.
Borges’ ability to impact the game in multiple areas, including the occasional stolen base, was versatility that made her the most dangerous and dominant player in the state.