Head coach: James Portese, seventh season
2016 record: 22-10 (15-5 Division I Sunrise, fourth)
Returning letter winners (starters): Twelve (10)
Top players: P/3B Breanna Alvarez (Sr.), OF Ashleigh Rodriguez (Sr.), OF/C/1B Marisa Olmos (Sr.), C McKenna Hefley (Sr.), 2B Kylie Hefley (Sr.), SS Cali Christopher (Jr.), P Soraya Seumalo (Jr.), 3B Morgan LaNeve (Jr.)
Outlook: If any team could be in midseason form on opening day, it’s Liberty, which brings back its starting lineup from last year.
Alvarez (.561, 44 RBIs; 2.27 ERA), Olmos (.473, 32 RBIs) and Rodriguez (.393) might be the most well-known commodities, but they have plenty of help with McKenna Hefley (.384), Kylie Hefley (.300), Christopher (.337) and LaNeve (.356, 26 RBIs) on offense. Seumalo (3.41 ERA) split time with Alvarez in the circle.
“This year’s team has worked very hard during intramurals and is ready to leave their efforts all on the field,” Portese said. “They are a great group of girls who believe in one another and will hold each other accountable.”