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2019 Softball Capsule Previews

Updated March 4, 2019 - 7:39 pm

(as submitted by coaches)

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Head coach: Lea Ann Jarvis, first season

2018 record: 18-15 (7-10 Northwest/fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Twelve (five)

Top players: C Hannah Hickstein (Sr.), OF/P Roxanne Ines (Sr.), OF/C Caitlin Livreri (Sr.), SS/OF Kaylea Patridge (Sr.)

Outlook: Jarvis takes over a team that brings back five starters.

“The team is starting to come together,” Jarvis said. “We have a nice mixture of freshmen and sophomores to go alone with the upper-class players. Expectations are high.”

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Head coach: Lauren Taylor, fifth season

2018 record: 26-13 (17-3 4A Sunrise/second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (seven)

Top players: UTL Miki Berg (Sr.), UTL Sanoe Helenihi (Sr.), C/3B Angie Santillanes (Sr.), P Shelby Basso (Jr.)

Outlook: Coming off their first region championship in school history, the Wolves return seven starters.

“We’re looking to keep moving forward with a great crew of returners that will help the younger athletes grow into a great team,” Taylor said.

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Head coach: Kevin Smith, 14th season

2018 record: 14-22 (9-9 Southwest/fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (five)

Top players: C Hayley Coreas (Sr.), CF Mia Weckel (Sr.), 3B Katelyn Hunter (So.), LF Nycole Cootes (So.), P Sarah Aguilar (So.)

Outlook: The Gaels bring back five starters from a team that finished fourth in the Southwest League last year.

“We are a young team with very few upperclassmen, so we are counting on the younger ones to step up and start taking leadership roles,” Smith said.

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Head coach: Angelica Moorhead, sixth season

2018 record: 25-11 (8-2 3A Sunrise/second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: C Marleena Mills (Sr.), 2B/OF Ryann Reese (Sr.), P/1B Abby Giunta (Sr.), OF Ellie Ramsey (Jr.)

Outlook: The defending Class 3A Southern Region champions bring back only three starters.

Mills (.363 average, 29 RBIs), Reese (.484, 13 RBIs), Ramsey (.324, 14 RBIs) and Giunta (.275) are expected to be among the leaders on a squad that hopes to again contend for a state tournament berth.

“We’re looking forward to an exciting year,” Moorhead said.

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Head coach: Mike Livreri, 16th season

2018 record: 23-16 (11-7 Northwest/third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eleven (seven)

Top players: P Amanda Sink (Sr.), P Deanna Barrera (Sr.), P/OF Abby Hanley (Sr.), SS Samantha Lawrence (Jr.), 2B Natasha Lawrence (Jr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs bring back 11 letter winners, including some key seniors who hope to help the team be even better this season.

“With a strong group of returners and pitching depth, we hope to compete for the division and region titles,” Livreri said.

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Head coach: A.J. Coleman, eighth season

2018 record: 14-8 (5-5 3A Sunrise/fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (five)

Top players: 2B/SS Bri Mora Herrera (So.), P/SS Losa Laolagi (So.), 1B Fernanda Rivas (Sr.), CF Savanna Harper (Sr.)

Outlook: Laolagi (.448 average), Mora Herrera (.329) and Rivas (.312) are among just six returnees for the Cowboys.

“This season is going to present some unanticipated challenges for us,” Coleman said. “Due to some unexpected and untimely departures, we will have a number of returners playing out of position and in unfamiliar roles.

“Ultimately our success this season is going to come down to how quickly we can adjust to our new responsibilities and how focused we can remain on the task at improving daily, both individually and as a group.”

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Head coach: Darrien Tennant, third season

2018 record: 0-16 (0-10 3A Sunset/sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (six)

Top players: P/1B Madelynn Kennedy (Sr.), C/SS Giovanna Bojorquez (Jr.), SS/C Myon Broadnax (So.), 2B/OF Iraliya Ferreira (So.), OF Maria Borrero (Sr.)

Outlook: The Desert Shields make the move back to Class 4A with six returning starters.

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Head coach: George Morales, first season

2018 record: 10-15 (3-14 Northwest/sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (seven)

Top players: IF Mya’Liah Bethea (Jr.), OF Tiarra Del Rosario (Sr.), OF Angie Chin (Jr.), P Nikki LaBounty (Sr.)

Outlook: Bethea (.571 average, 4 home runs), Del Rosario (.544), Chin (.412) and LaBounty (.412) lead a group of eight returning letter winners for the Spartans.

“We have several experienced returners this season,” Morales said. “We are looking to build upon what they have done in the past.

“We are going to put in some hard work, and we believe we will be able to compete with the great programs we face every year.”

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Head coach: Matt Malcolm, fourth season

2018 record: 0-22 (0-18 Southwest/seventh)

Returning starters: Six

Top players: Alyssa Clara (Sr.), Sofia Argumaniz (Jr.), Lizzy Heiler (Sr.), Kayla Luna (So.), Noemi Barriga (Jr.)

Outlook: Recent history hasn’t been kind to the Chargers.

They’re hoping to turn that around this season.

“Clark is looking to rebound from a losing season with a roster of dedicated girls hungry for their first win in a long time,” Malcolm said. “The core of returning varsity starters, coupled with a talented group of promoted players should lead to Clark being more competitive than ever before.

“The Lady Chargers are looking to exploit their aggressiveness and tenacity and unleash it on an unsuspecting crowd to emerge as contenders in the Desert League.”

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Head coach: Missy Krueger, ninth season

2018 record: 26-10 (18-2 4A Sunrise/first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (five)

Top players: P/1B Ashley Ward (Sr.), OF Madison Stephens (Sr.), 2B Aleah Baldonado (Sr.), SS Paige Sinicki (So.)

Outlook: The Cougars have some lineup holes to fill as only five starters return from a team that finished first in the Sunrise League.

Ward (.644 average, 52 RBIs), Stephens (.363, 24 RBIs) and Baldonado (.395, 21 RBIs) all return and are expected to be among the leaders on offense.

“We hope to have fun, play hard and hopefully win some games,” Krueger said.

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Head coach: Jordan Connell, third season

2018 record: 24-10 (14-4 Southwest/third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (eight)

Top players: 1B Meaghan McInerney (Sr.), P/SS/OF Paisley Garcia (Sr.), P/3B Holly Severance (Sr.), SS Makayla Rickard (Sr.), OF/2B/C Jada Moreno (Sr.), C/3B Jaid Raval (Sr.), 2B/OF Ruby Martinez (Sr.)

Outlook: The Diamonbacks have won 21 or more games each of the last three years and return nine letter winners from last year’s squad.

“The Diamondbacks return the majority of their team from last year and are eager to make a deep run in the playoffs this year,” Connell said. “With nine seniors, Desert Oasis will be looking to its veteran leadership to make this the best year in school history and a possible run for the state championship.”

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Head coach: Lauren Lesniak, first season

2018 record: 9-13 (4-6 3A Sunset/fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (five)

Top players: OF/SS Cristina Montiel (Jr.), C Jocelyn Bailon (Sr.), OF Skye Solano (Jr.)

Outlook: Montiel (.571 average), Bailon (.533) and Solano (.333) helped turn around a team that had won a combined three games in its previous seven seasons.

Lesniak, a former standout at Chaparral, takes over the team and hopes to continue the upward trend.

“An expectation that I have for this season is to compete to our fullest potential,” Lesniak said. “While we do have seven returners, we will have some newcomers moving up from the JV level.

“I am excited to see how the team meshes together to participate to our best ability.”

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Head coach: Joe Lee, first season

2018 record: 23-12-1 (14-4 Southwest/second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (four)

Top players: OF Kaitlin Fazendin (Sr.), SS Destiny Cisneros (Jr.), 3B Juliana Kaupoe (Fr.), P Jaylah Gamboa (Fr.)

Outlook: Lee takes over a team that won 23 games each of the last two seasons, but returns only four starters.

“It’s a rebuilding year,” Lee said. “Multiple freshmen are expected to be in the lineup.”

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Head coach: Steven McMechan, third season

2018 record: 12-20 (6-14 4A Sunrise/eighth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (five)

Top players: P/3B Adriana Romero (Jr.), C/CF Roshanda Stevens (Jr.)

Outlook: Romero (.424 average) and Stevens (.494) are among seven returnees for the Sundevils.

“Losing three four-year starters will hurt, but gaining three Freshmen with fivereturning starters, we hope to build a strong team,” McMechan said.

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Head coach: John Chilman, eighth season

2018 record: 16-15 (9-9 Northwest/fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (five)

Top players: C/OF/1B Ellie Fried (Sr.), CF Clara Heislen (Sr.), OF Grace Hornsby (Sr.), SS Maggie Whipple (Jr.), 3B Kelsey Howryla (So.)

Outlook: Chilman, who guided the Crusaders to a 132-113 record from 2009-16, returns after a two-year hiatus.

He takes over a team that returns six letter winners, including Fried (.396 average), Hornsby (.407, 29 RBIs), Whipple (.425, 4 home runs, 32 RBIs) and Howryla (.429, 4 HR, 20 RBIs).

Heislen, a first-team all-state selection who hit .480 and had five home runs, is out after knee surgery.

“With Clara Heislen recovering from ACL surgery, seniors Ellie Fried, Grace Hornsby and junior Maggie Whipple will be expected to lead by example for a very young squad in 2019,” Chilman said. “Sophomore Kelsey Howryla is also a returning starter from last year’s squad that made it to the region semifinals. This year’s squad expects to play tough defense and should be able to generate some runs.”

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Head coach: Cyndi Castro, sixth season

2018 record: 21-14 (12-8 4A Sunrise/fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (seven)

Top players: SS/C Olivia McClain (Jr.), CF/P Cinthia Garcia (Sr.), LF/P Katrina Ramos (Sr.), P Abigail Cordova (So.)

Outlook: McClain (.444 average), Garcia (.385) and Ramos (.385) are among a group of eight returnees for the Gators.

“We are looking forward to the upcoming season,” Castro said. “The coaching staff is excited to return several experienced players while looking forward to adding some depth to the roster with some incoming freshmen.”

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Head coach: Dan Rhattigan, first season

2018 record: 16-9 (5-3 1A Southern/second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (three)

Top players: CF Aubree Young, SS/1B Faith Prine, C Kaitlyn Farrar

Outlook: Rhattigan takes over a team that is coming off its eighth straight Class 1A state tournament appearance, but has just three returning starters.

“We are new and young with plenty of freshmen who I hope can surprise everyone and make the state tournament,” Rhattigan said.

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Head coach: Cary Baker, third season

2018 record: 11-11 (9-5 2A Southern/third)

Returning starters: Seven

Top players: P Lauryn Freund, SS Rebekah Fuller

Outlook: Seven starters return from a squad that qualified for the Southern League playoffs.

“This team is very young, but should compete for a place in the reagionals with the leadership of our four-year pitcher,” Baker said.

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Head coach: Fernando Carmona, first season

2018 record: 9-23-1 (6-14 4A Sunrise/ninth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (three)

Top players: 1B/3B Kaitlyn Horstdaniel (Sr.), P/SS Angelina Visitacion (Jr.), CF Midajah Chavira (So.)

Outlook: Carmona takes over a team that hasn’t had the recent success to which it had become accustomed, but hopes to change that this year.

Horstdaniel (.389 average) and Visitacion (.356) are among only five returning letter winners.

“The team looks to rebound after a difficult season,” Carmona said. “They have worked really hard in intramurals and look forward to a winning season. Horstdaniel is off to play college ball next season, and along with Angelina Visitacion, will lead the Wildcats.

“We are young and lack experience, but all the girls have bought in.”

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Head coach: Dan Johnson, first season

2018 record: 3-28 (0-18 Northwest/seventh)

Returning letter winners (starters): Four (four)

Top players: SS Kaleah Alapati (So.), C/1B Kiani Tung (Jr.), OF/2B Angel Ortiz (Jr.), 3B/OF Kayla Smith (So.)

Outlook: The Longhorns have fallen on hard times, winning just seven games in the past two seasons.

Johnson hopes to change that.

“With only four varsity returners will be leaning on a young roster to establish a new culture at Legacy,” he said. “After a 3-28 season, my expectation is to create a structured, disciplined, fun environment. I want to attract softball players back to Legacy.

“We expect to take a fair share of lumps, but our success won’t be determined by wins and losses, but by how we play. Our goal is to play hard fundamental softball. If we can do that, it’s a great first step in rebuilding a program. This year’s focus is wanting the ladies to learn a system to help build for the future.”

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Head coach: Jim Portese, eighth season

2018 record: 22-9 (16-4 4A Sunrise/third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (six)

Top players: OF/3B Shelby Carvalho (Jr.), OF Maddison Hamilton (Sr.), C McKenzie Hamilton (Sr.), SS/2B McKenzie LaNeve (Jr.), P/1B Jessica Meza (Sr.), 2B/SS Kiana Young (Sr.)

Outlook: The Patriots lost some key players from a team that finished third in the Sunrise League and was one win away from playing for the region title.

But the return of Carvalho (.560 average, 11 home runs, 53 RBIs), LaNeve (.462, 24 RBIs), McKenzie Hamilton (.400, 19 RBIs), Maddison Hamilton (.360, 10 RBIs), Young (.385) and Meza (.342, 24 RBIs) gives the team a solid nucleus.

“This year’s team will have some experience coming back and will provide leadership for the younger players and new incoming players,” Portese said. “The girls expect to play with dedication and are determined to leave their efforts on the field.

“This year’s team is a great group of girls and will play with Patriot pride.”

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Head coach: Phil Boucher, second season

2018 record: 17-14 (12-2 2A Southern/second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (six)

Top players: SS Kendra Mathews (Sr.), 3B/P Laura Pearson (Sr.), OF/2B Baylee Cameron (Sr.), OF Kylee Cameron (Sr.), P/1B Sadie Soderborg (Jr.), CF Macie Howard (Jr.), C/2B Ava Pearson (Jr.), OF Kayla Rinehart (Jr.), P/1B Alexis Long (So.)

Outlook: The Lynx get a little bit of a late start to the season with some of their team members still playing for the school’s girls basketball team in the state tournament, but it shouldn’t take them long to get up to speed.

“With a strong returning group and a strong group of freshmen and sophomores we should be very competitive in the Southern 2A,” Boucher said. “We also return all of our pitchers from last year.”

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Head coach: Kim Jacobs, fourth season

2018 record: 5-19 (4-10 2A Southern/fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Twelve (nine)

Top players: SS Hallie Monkarsh (Jr.), P Mercedes Moore (Jr.), 3B Sheen Kim (Sr.), 1B/OF Arianna Jones (So.)

Outlook: Monkarsh (.645 average), Kim (.400) and Moore (.351) lead a group of 12 returning letter winners for the Mustangs.

“We are looking forward to an exciting season,” Jacobs said. “We have a few new players and are excited to see them play.”

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Head coach: Matt Messer, seventh season

2018 record: 23-7 (9-1 3A Sunrise/first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (six)

Top players: 3B Lainey Cornwall (Sr.), P Emilie Barraza (Sr.), 2B Sierra Staheli (Sr.), 1B Abbie Evans (Jr.), SS Kaitlyn Anderson (Jr.), CF Sierra Bunker (Jr.)

Outlook: The Pirates bring back six starters from a team that won the Sunrise League last year.

“If we can fill some holes at the corner outfield positions, and at catcher, we should compete for a state tournament berth,” Messer said. “We will be very solid on the mound and return all of our infield starters. We have some very promising young players who should develop quickly alongside our veteran team.”

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Head coach: Kaitlin Glover, third season

2018 record: 5-19 (4-10 2A Southern/fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (six)

Top players: SS Valerie Gonzalez (Sr.), 2B Fernanda Aguilar (Sr.)

Outlook: Aguilar (.389 average) and Gonzalez (.372) are among a group of eight returning letter winners for the Saints.

“We lost our pitcher and catcher,” Glover said. “This year will be a struggle in the battery positions, but hopefully with our returning fielders, we can have some good outcomes this year.”

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Head coaches: Alex Chandler and Abby Chandler, second season

2018 record: 21-9 (14-0 2A Southern/first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: P Paige Murch (Sr.), C Charley Andrews (So.), OF Riley Breaux (Jr.)

Outlook: Murch was a Class 2A all-state honoree, and Andrews joined her on the All-Southern League first team.

“The 2018-2019 season is going to be an exciting one,” Alex Chandler said. “After graduating four starting seniors, our roster is going to be young.

“We are looking forward to seeing what these underclassmen contribute to the experience of the upperclassmen.”

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Head coach: Mike Sparrow, 18th season

2018 record: 22-6 (8-0 1A Southern/first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Ten (five)

Top players: SS Morgan Harris (Sr.), 3B Jessica Brede (Jr.), P Mariah Zander (Jr.), OF Hannah Castleton (Sr.), OF Emily Hansen (Sr.)

Outlook: The Panthers are riding a streak of six consecutive state titles and return five starters from last year.

“After losing five solid starters from last year’s team, we will be looking to rebuild our pitching and catching staff,” Sparrow said. “We return nine players with postseason experience that we will rely on as we look to fill other key positions defensively and in the batting lineup.

“We are excited for the challenge of incorporating eight players new to the program this year. As a program, we expect to be playing in the postseason and contending for another state championship.”

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Head coach: Cassondra Lauver, first season

2018 record: 26-12 (10-0 3A Sunset/first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (five)

Outlook: Lauver takes over a team that has qualified for the Class 3A state tournament each of the last two years and returns five starters.

“Trojan softball has a brand new coaching staff and 17 hard-working varsity players fighting for a starting spot,” Lauver said. “Our talent level is through the roof and we expect to make a deep playoff run.”

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Head coach: Amanda Zunno, seventh season

2018 record: 19-17 (12-8 4A Sunrise/sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (five)

Top players: C/OF Lili Gutierrez (Sr.), IF/OF Lorena DeLaTorre (Sr.), P/1B MacKenzie Perry (Jr.), IF/OF Kaitlyn Suarez (Jr.)

Outlook: Gutierrez (.495 average, 25 RBIs), Perry (.445, 18 RBIs), Suarez (.421, 20 RBIs) and DeLaTorre (.390, 27 RBIs) lead a group of nine returning letter winners for the Rams.

“We are excited about a new year and the opportunity to face some new competition,” Zunno said. “We have a great nucleus from last year’s team returning, including five starters, and four others with varsity experience, which should help us with maturity and leadership. Our talented freshman will add more depth to our defense and offense.

“We have a very good group of players, with a chance to move us farther in the playoffs and make a run for the state tournament.”

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Head coach: Julia Meyn, fifth season

2018 record: 28-12 (14-4 Northwest/second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (five)

Top players: SS Caitlin Covington (Sr.), P/OF Jasmine Martin (Jr.), 1B/P Alyssa Stanley (Sr.), C/OF Shea Clements (Sr.)

Outlook: The Mustangs won their second region title in three years last season and return five starters from that squad.

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Head coach: Raul Almaguer, third season

2018 record: 25-9 (17-1 Southwest/first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Twelve (nine)

Top players: 1B/C Mia Buranamontri (Sr.), SS/OF Taylore Edwards (Jr.), UTL/OF Daelynn Hilton (Sr.), P/2B Tyerra Kaaialii (So.), P/OF Sarena Lopez (Sr.), C/OF Aaliyah Medina (Jr.), UTL/OF Hola Rose Nakayama (Jr.), 3B/OF Ryan Watkins (Jr.)

Outlook: The Mountain Lions second straight strong season in Class 4A ended a little prematurely when the team bowed out in its second playoff game.

Nakayama (.621 average, 9 home runs, 75 RBIs), Buranamontri (.558, 11 HR, 82 RBIs), Kaaialii (.466, 29 RBIs), Edwards (.460, 21 RBIs), Hilton (.321, 6 HR, 28 RBIs), Medina (.427, 6 HR, 33 RBIs), Watkins (.435, 8 HR, 50 RBIs) and Lopez (6-1 record) lead a group of 12 returnees hoping to push the Mountain Lions deeper into the playoffs.

“We’ll continue to strive for that one goal at the end of the season — that Nevada state championship ring,” Almaguer said. “I expect to have a fun, great, successful season again playing against some great softball teams.”

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Head coach: Teresa Ostolaza, third season

2018 record: 12-18 (7-13 4A Sunrise/seventh)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (seven)

Top players: C Megan Johnson (Sr.), C/UT Jessica Boothe (So.), IF Alezandria Guariglia (Jr.)

Outlook: Johnson and Boothe were first-team All-Sunrise League selections last year and lead a group of eight returning letter winners for the Skyhawks.

“As our team has returned most of its starters, we look for more consistency moving into the 2019 season and are eager for the season,” Ostolaza said.

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Head coach: Nolan Kohorst, first season

2018 record: 2-5 (independent)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (five)

Top players: P/IF Taylor Fundaro (So.), C Yasmira Manzo (Fr.), OF Lizette Valenciano (Fr.), IF Breanne Blount (So.)

Outlook: Kohorst takes over a team that is continuing to build.

“We are a young team looking to get better and get more experienced,” Kohorst said.

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Head coach: Scott Pallay, second season

2018 record: 2-23 (2-18 4A Sunrise/10th)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (three)

Top players: CF Heather Robinson (Jr.), C Lily Mader (Fr.)

Outlook: The Vikings move into Class 3A with a lot of new faces on their roster.

Robinson (.295 average) is one of only five returnees.

“We lost six seniors and our best junior from last year’s team, so this will be a retooling year for sure,” Pallay said. “I am very excited with the addition of two Freshmen, Lily Mader and Ariana Simmons, who both have played competitive softball at all levels up to high school.

“The key to our season will be the control displayed by our two pitchers, senior Brandee Whitfield and sophomore Maria Hernandez Avalos. Junior center fielder Heather Robinson and Mader should be strong candidates for the all-conference team.”

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Head coach: Colyn List, third season

2018 record: 10-14 (5-5 3A Sunset/third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (six)

Top players: P Alexis Cho (Sr.), SS Natalie Arredondo (Sr.), C Brenna Rivera (Jr.), CF A.J. Jones (Sr.), 2B Joana Estrada (Jr.)

Outlook: The Warriors bring back six starters from a team that qualified for the Class 3A Southern Region playoffs.

“We are excited to make regional playoffs for the third straight year after not making the postseason for 25 years,” List said. “We look forward to being a top-three seed and hosting a regional playoff game.”

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