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CLASS 4A SOFTBALL CAPSULES

CLASS 4A SOFTBALL CAPSULES

SUNRISE REGION

SOUTHEAST DIVISION

BASIC

Coach: Melanie Ust

2007 record: 17-11

Returning starters: Seven

Top players: 3B Stephanie Cinkovich, Sr.; SS Cortney Breeden, Sr.; P/OF Megan Feher, Jr.; P/C Lacey Romo, Jr.

Outlook: The Wolves have some talent, but they lost standout pitcher Aaren Fisher to graduation last the spring. Ust’s squad should again be competitive but could struggle to keep up with the top teams in a tough division.

CORONADO

Coach: Shari Zeidler

2007 record: 25-7

Returning starters: Three

Top players: SS Sarah Detwiler, Sr.; 2B Kelsi Fahr, Sr.; 1B Bianca Query, Sr.

Outlook: On the downside, Zeidler lost standout pitcher Tristina Shibata and some other top players to graduation last season. But the good news is that she still returns several solid players. Detwiler, who batted .484 last year, will lead an explosive squad that will need to score a lot of runs to compensate for the absence of an experienced pitcher. Though the Cougars may not be as strong as they traditionally have been, they’ll still be capable of competing with anyone in the Sunrise.

DEL SOL

Coach: Erin Howard

2007 record: 4-14

Returning starters: Not available

Top players: Not available

Outlook: Howard takes over a team that won just three league games last year. Her players will need time to adjust to a new system and probably will not be ready to compete at the highest level.

FOOTHILL

Coach: Tom Mayes

2007 record: 22-18

Returning starters: Four

Top players: P/3B Shelbie Medrano, Jr.; C/3B Amber Stater, Sr.; CF Brandi Yamka, Sr.; LF Rosie Ritchie, Jr.

Outlook: The Falcons stunned the competition by coming on strong late in the season last year to grab a spot in the state tourney. Though Mayes lost seven seniors to graduation last the spring, he still has a squad capable of competing against good teams. Foothill might not match last year’s success but could again use the element of surprise to win key games down the stretch.

GREEN VALLEY

Coach: Lauren Taylor

2007 record: 14-15

Returning starters: Nine

Top players: Not available

Outlook: Second-year coach Taylor would like to see her team improve on last year’s fourth-place Southeast finish. She lost standout catcher Lindsey Headley to graduation but returns the nucleus of a squad that appears capable of competing in the Sunrise.

LIBERTY

Coach: Kris Jensen

2007 record: 15-14

Returning starters: Seven

Top players: P/RF Robin Lowery, Jr.; P Breanna English, So.; Kristina Foti, Sr.; Danielle Brock, So.

Outlook: The Patriots showed significant improvement last year despite finishing near the bottom of the division. First-year coach Jensen inherits several talented players, led by English, who went 10-5 with a 1.13 ERA while batting .426 with four home runs and 25 RBIs. Liberty could sneak into the playoffs.

SILVERADO

Coach: Victor Pierro

2007 record: 21-14

Returning starters: Six

Top players: C Mikayla Thielges, Jr.; P Katie Devlin, Jr.; 1B Hazel Lowrey, So.; 3B Amanda Buchholz, Sr.

Outlook: The Skyhawks were disappointed with their second-place Southeast finish last year, and they’ll be looking to redeem themselves this season. Pierro’s lineup will feature the pitching, hitting and baserunning he thinks could take the team a long way. Silverado appears to be the early favorite in the Sunrise.

TECH

Coach: Shannon Romero

2007 record: 0-12

Returning starters: Six

Top players: P Reyna Villanueva, Jr.; 2B Marci Valle, Jr.; 3B Heaven Wright, Fr.; SS Lacey Gibson, Sr.

Outlook: This will be the second year at the Class 4A level for the Roadrunners. Though the program has made progress over the past few years, it still does not look ready to compete with the Southeast’s traditional powers. Romero could be in for a long season in her first year as head coach.

NORTHEAST DIVISION

CANYON SPRINGS

Coach: Gina Stephens

2007 record: 11-9

Returning starters: Not available

Top players: Not available

Outlook: The Pioneers will try to build on last year’s respectable showing in the Northeast. Even so, they would be fortunate to sneak into the playoffs in a very unpredictable division.

CHAPARRAL

Coach: Maria Yoder

2007 record: 1-17

Returning starters: Seven

Top players: SS Roxanne Pipitone, Jr.; P/SS Katrina Bilynsky, Sr.; 2B/OF Christy Fleming, Sr.; 2B/3B Melissa Romero, So.

Outlook: The Cowboys have better pitching depth this season, and first-year coach Yoder thinks they have a shot at making the playoffs. Chaparral went winless in divisional play last year, however, and the team remains quite young. A .500 season would be considered a success.

DESERT PINES

Coach: Rachel Townsend

2007 record: 4-11

Returning starters: Six

Top player: Top players: P/SS Megan Robbins, So.; C Nicole LaGesse, Jr.; 1B Mariah Berrelleza, Sr.

Outlook: The Jaguars lost top players Isis Roberts and Yesenia Leyva-Lopez to graduation last season, but first-year coach Townsend still has some quality returners on her roster. If Robbins can keep scores low, Desert Pines could sneak into the playoffs. If not, the Jaguars could be in for a long season.

ELDORADO

Coach: Harold Hamilton

2007 record: 10-11

Returning starters: Three

Top players: P/OF Jasmine Pickett, Sr.; 3B Gaby Trillo, So.; 2B Denise Ortega, Jr.

Outlook: Pickett will be the centerpiece of a team that lost nine players to graduation last the spring. Though Hamilton’s squad is young, several strong players have moved up from junior varsity, giving the Sundevils a chance to be competitive in league play. Call it a rebuilding year, but don’t count Eldorado out of the playoffs.

LAS VEGAS

Coach: Tresa Schilder

2007 record: 23-8

Returning starters: Four

Top players: SS Tiffiny Lucero, Sr.; P Jennifer Gliddon, Sr.; 2B Brianna Guzman, Jr.; C Chelsea Lewis, So.

Outlook: Schilder lost several key players to graduation after leading her team to the state championship game last season, but the Wildcats are still among the best in the Sunrise. Though Rancho will try to stand in the way of Las Vegas’ quest for another Northeast crown, Schilder’s roster is loaded with the pitching, hitting and speed that could result in another successful postseason run.

RANCHO

Coach: Elizabeth Thatcher

2007 record: 13-12

Returning starters: Nine

Top players: P/1B/3B Amerissa Villamar, Sr.; SS Katelyn Bley, Sr.; P/OF Jesslyn Bley, Sr.; P/OF Amber Marlett, Fr.

Outlook: The Rams have fielded several strong teams over the past few years and this one could be the best in a while. With nine experienced seniors on her roster, Thatcher thinks this squad has the potential to go deep into the playoffs. Though the state tourney might be beyond reach, the Rams should see postseason play that could go past the first round of regionals.

VALLEY

Coach: Leslie Samson

2007 record: 11-11

Returning starters: Nine

Top players: 1B Vanessa Corona, Jr.; P/1B Lorena Villamar, Jr.; C Cristina Medina, So.

Outlook: The Vikings showed signs of improvement last season and will attempt to move their play to the next level. Corona, who hit .464, will need another big season to give Valley any shot at a playoff appearance.

SUNSET REGION

SOUTHWEST DIVISION

BISHOP GORMAN

Coach: Kevin Smith

2006 record: 3-22

Returning starters: Five

Top players: P Hayley Atiyeh, Sr.; 3B Christina Thompson, Sr.; CF Claudia Franco, Jr.; 2B Aaryn Ellenberg, So.

Outlook: The Gaels have struggled in recent years, a trend that probably will not change dramatically this season. Though pitching should not be a problem, Smith could have his hands full with a roster that will rely heavily on freshmen. The team has made improvements, but could struggle against its tougher Sunrise opponents.

BONANZA

Coach: Dusti Winward

2007 record: 18-11-1

Returning starters: Five

Top players: P Sam Snyder, Jr.; C Brittany Spencer, Jr.; 3B Cheyenne Wells, So.; SS Alex Teed, So.

Outlook: The Bengals, under first-year coach Winward, will put a respectable battery on the field, so they’ll try to keep scores low in order to win. Though there are several promising players on the roster, Bonanza’s young lineup could struggle against top competition.

CLARK

Coach: Andrea Leavitt

2007 record: 14-16

Returning starters: Four

Top players: P Jordyn McDonald, Sr.

Outlook: Leavitt has several promising players on her roster, but they’re young and possibly not ready to compete against the league’s top teams. McDonald will return as one of the top pitchers in the Southwest, but she’ll need to turn her game up a notch in order to give Clark any chance of a winning season.

DURANGO

Coach: Toni Del Toro

2007 record: 20-10

Returning starters: Eight

Top players: C Melissa Bako, Sr.; CF Danielle Richardson, Jr.

Outlook: Former Trailblazers standout Del Toro takes over a program that could be the most improved in town. Bako and Richardson are coming off second-team all-conference seasons, and they’ll be joined by a solid supporting cast to lead Durango to a possible postseason berth.

SIERRA VISTA

Coach: Jerome Streets

2007 record: 29-10

Returning starters: Four

Top players: P/OF Amelia McIntosh, Sr.; 1B Brittany Cram, Sr.; OF Brittany Reynolds, Sr.; 2B/SS Ashley Krumme, Jr.

Outlook: Streets is calling it a rebuilding year, but that doesn’t mean much to the rest of the league. Though several key players were lost to graduation, the Lions are a perennial power and will find a way to get back into postseason play. There are definitely some question marks, but opposing coaches already are referring to Sierra Vista as one of the top teams in the Sunset.

SPRING VALLEY

Coach: Marcus Teal

2007 record: 10-11

Returning starters: Seven

Top players: P/OF Taylor Gilliland, Sr.; 1B/OF Jasmine Wilson, Jr.; C/3B Megan Otruba, Sr.

Outlook: Teal returns several of last year’s top players to a lineup that features solid pitching and explosive offense. The Grizzlies might have trouble with some of the division’s top teams, but they appear capable of battling for a playoff spot.

WESTERN

Coach: Tom Battista

2007 record: 1-15

Returning starters: Not available

Top players: Not available

Outlook: Battista will start his first season at Western with the cards stacked against his team. Not only did he take over the program late, but the Warriors have just a single win in their past two seasons. Western is in for another rebuilding year, so a handful of wins would be considered a step in the right direction.

NORTHWEST DIVISION

ARBOR VIEW

Coach: Sam Toomer

2007 record: 8-14

Returning starters: Six

Top players: C Chelsea Venable, Jr.; SS Savannah Webster, So.; 3B Kayla Griffith, So.; P Amanda Jones, So.; OF Nicole Diaz, Fr.

Outlook: The Aggies have the potential to surprise some teams in the Sunset. Toomer has no seniors in his lineup but he does have a number of experienced players returning. Venable, who hit .457 last year, will lead a team that could be headed for a breakthrough season.

CENTENNIAL

Coach: Mike Livreri

2007 record: 30-7

Returning starters: Eight

Top players: P Lauren Lynds, Sr.; C Jenna Van Eykeren, Sr.; P Jennifer Watkins, Jr.; SS Johnna Brown, Jr.; OF Katie Lee, Jr.

Outlook: The Bulldogs are definitely among the top teams to watch in the Sunset. Though he lost a couple of key players to graduation in the spring, Livreri returns enough talent and depth to compete with any team in town. Lynds (11-3, 1.51 ERA) and Watkins (9-3, 2.17) should keep opponents’ scores down, while Brown (.485, 6 HRs, 62 RBIs) and Lee (.463, 37 RBIs) will give Centennial plenty of offensive firepower.

CHEYENNE

Coach: Teri Hernandez

2007 record: 3-15

Returning starters: Six

Top players: C/IF Stephanie Vacca, Sr.; P Alexis Galindo, Jr.; C/IF Jasmine Fukuda, Fr.; IF Melanie Manley, Fr.

Outlook: The Desert Shields have just three league wins over the past two seasons, so new coach Hernandez will have to keep their goals realistic. Though the roster looks somewhat more experienced this season, Cheyenne probably will struggle against the better teams in the Northwest.

CIMARRON-MEMORIAL

Coach: Steve Gorden

2007 record: 23-9

Returning starters: Two

Top players: 1B/CF Chelsea Williams, Sr.; SS Felicia Valdez, Sr.; P/3B Paige Savage, Jr.; IF Vanessa Gonzalez, Jr.

Outlook: The Spartans long have been a power in the Northwest, but they could be in trouble this year. Several key players graduated after last season, leaving significant pressure on second-team, all-state player Williams to perform this year. Cimarron will win some low-scoring games but could struggle against the teams with big bats.

LEGACY

Coach: Dan Casel

2007 record: 9-17

Returning starters: Eight

Top players: IF/OF Cristina Ortiz, Sr.; P/IF Darcey Cochran, So.; OF Kirsten Pico, Jr.; C Briana Zamorano, Sr.; IF Lorena Rios, Jr.

Outlook: The Longhorns won an impressive five league games in their inaugural season last year and they hope to battle for a playoff spot this season. Rios, who is coming off an All-Northwest season, will be asked to lead a team that appears to have a promising future.

MOJAVE

Coach: Don Nichols

2007 record: 2-16

Returning starters: Four

Top players: 3B Whitney Blake, Sr.; P/2B Elvia Barraza, So.; C/3B Tiffany Davis, Jr.; 2B Mellissa Schueler, Sr.

Outlook: The Rattlers won just one league game last season, and things don’t look much better this year. Nichols has a young and inexperienced team that could be headed for a long season.

PALO VERDE

Coach: Kelly Glass

2007 record: 10-22

Returning starters: Six

Top players: SS Lauryn Stover, So.; C Amanda Montalto, Sr.; C Alisha Perry, Sr.; P/OF Taylor Lampe, Sr.

Outlook: The Panthers had a rare off-year last season, but they appear back to full strength and ready to compete with the league’s best teams. With plenty of pitching depth and leadership from second-team all-league player Montalto, Palo Verde should have a good look at a postseason spot.

SHADOW RIDGE

Coach: Cynthia Winter

2007 record: 28-7

Returning starters: Six

Top players: P Mandy Harmon, Jr.; C/3B Rayna Bradshaw, Sr.

Outlook: The Mustangs had spent the past couple of seasons climbing to the top of the Sunrise, and last year they reached that pinnacle. Harmon (12-3, 0.63, 135 strikeouts) will keep scores low this season, and a strong platoon of experienced talent will provide the offense necessary for the Mustangs to make another run at an appearance in the state tournament.

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