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2018 Sierra Vista Softball Capsule

SIERRA VISTA

Head coach: Raul Almaguer, second season

2017 record: 26-7 (17-1 Southwest/first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Thirteen (eight)

Top players: UTL Hola Rose Nakayama (So.), 3B Ryan Watkins (So.), P/2B Jessica Schneider (So.), Taylore Edwards (So.), Daelynn Hilton (Jr.), Mia Buranamontri (Jr.)

Outlook: The Mountain Lions bring back eight starters from a team that advanced to the Sunset Region championship game, but must replace Southwest League MVP and first-team all-state honoree Kalei Watkins, who graduated after hitting .605 with 17 home runs and 65 RBIs and going 18-3 with a 1.42 ERA.

Ryan Watkins (.357, 4 HR) was a first-team All-Southwest pick, and Nakayama (5-1 record) and Edwards were second-team all-league honorees.

Almaguer said he expects junior Sarena Lopez to see time in the circle.

“We hope to continue to compete with the best in the Southwest League,” Almaguer said.

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