SOFTBALL PREVIEW - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

SOFTBALL PREVIEW

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Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2011 1:03 pm | Updated: 4:02 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

The softball regular season began last week. Glendale-Peoria Today asked local coaches questions about their 2011 teams. Here are their answers:

CACTUS COBRAS

COACH: Bill Sorensen (4th year as head coach).

DIVISION/REGION: 4A-II Black Canyon.

2010 RECORD: 17-13-1, 6-4 region. (Lost in 2nd round of 4A-II state tournament)

1. How many years have you coached softball? Eight total years. This is my fourth year as CHS head coach.

2. What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? High character kids who love playing the game. They care more about the team than they do about themselves. As a coach, the girls make my life very easy and extremely enjoyable.

3. What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We just need to get as much game experience as possible. We have a lot of youth on our team.

4. Who are your team leaders? Captains — Morgan Deane (senior), Ana Romero (junior), Kali Renyer (sophomore).

5. Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? Morgan Renyer (freshman).

6. What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season? Execute the short game at a high percentage and play excellent defense.

CENTENNIAL COYOTES

COACH: Mike Repak (1st year as head coach).

DIVISION/REGION: 5A-II Desert West.

2010 RECORD: 32-5-0, 13-0 region (5A-II state champions).

1 How many years have you coached softball? This is my first varsity season. I have coached junior varisty and freshman softball for 10 years.

2. What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? My team has a solid defense with lots of senior leadership.

3. What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We will need to have consistent pitching and take advantage of scoring opportunities.

4. Who are your team leaders? Taylor Underwood (senior), Abby Beasley (junior), Krystal Garcia (senior).

5. Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? Paige Mills (freshman) and Katie Benford (senior).

6. What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season? Our team has a good group of seasoned players and a strong mix of newcomers. We need to have consistent pitching, solid defense and score runs. The team is coming together nicely and they are aiming to repeat as champs.

DEER VALLEY SKYHAWKS

COACH: Carl Bakemeier

DIVISION/REGION: 5A-II Nortwest.

2010 RECORD: 30-6-0, 12-2 region (lost in 5A-II quarterfinals).

IRONWOOD EAGLES

COACH: Tim Langan (2nd year as head coach)

DIVISION/REGION: 5A-II Desert West

2010 RECORD: 19-8-1, 10-2 region (lost in 5A-II semifinals).

1. How many years have you coached softball? I have been around coaching softball for about eight years and baseball for around 20.

2. What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We are young and enthusiastic with a lot of spots to fill from last years semifinal team.

3. What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We need to improve every day, every game, every week. Our goal is to get better each game.

4. Who are your team leaders? Alexis Geiser, Tori Gutierrez,  Alissa Greene, Amanda Ramirez, Morgan Custis and Tori Pogue.

5. Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? Britaney Delaney is a freshman pitcher shortstop that will be a great player before she leaves Ironwood. She will pitch most of our games and has a lot of promise.

6. What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season? We are young and not very experienced.  We need to play solid defense and be able to move runners and hit the ball. If we can do those things I think we will get enough points to possibly make the tournament. We have three freshman, three sophmores and five juniors on our roster we are pretty young.

LIBERTY LIONS

COACH: Kortny Hall (4th year as head coach).

DIVISION/REGION: 4A-II Skyline

2010 RECORD: 13-9-0, 7-1 (Lost in 4A-II first round).

1. How many years have you coached softball? This is my fourth year coaching at the high school.

2. What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We are a good hitting team.

3. What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We are going to have to tighten up our defense. We are moving some players around to see where they best benefit the team. When are defense is solid, we win games.

4. Who are your team leaders? Jaclyn Jayo (Junior) leads our team not only hitting, but also on the field as she is a huge asset behind the plate.

5. Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? Anderson Phillips (freshman) is the only freshman on varsity this year. She has earned a spot at third base and is making an impact defensively for our team.

6. What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season? We are a young team, so we lack communication with each other. We need some players to step up and lead the team, not only vocally, but by example. When this happens, our team will be tough.

MOUNTAIN RIDGE MOUNTAIN LIONS

COACH: Michelle Markham (2nd year as head coach)

DIVISION/REGION: 5A-I/II Northwest Region

2010 RECORD: 27-8-0, 10-4 (Lost in 5A-I semifinals).

1. How many years have you coached softball? I have coached softball and given lessons for more than 10 years. This is my second year coaching at Ridge.

2. What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our best attributes this season are our team chemistry, our expectations, and our work ethic. The girls are extremely driven after our success last year.

3. What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We need to become more consistent with our play. Every pitch, every out, every inning matters.

4. Who are your team leaders? We have many different leaders this year. Sydney Gaffin, Brandi Gaffin and Megan Werbach have started off their senior year working hard and leading by example.

5. Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? We have seen a lot of exciting things from Corrin Green, a freshman, who will play third and adding some power to our line-up. We also expect great things from our middle infielders, Ashley Soos and Danielle Reynolds, who have moved in from the outfield. They are providing us with a lot of speed and good hands in the infield.

6. What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season? To be successful this year, we need to continue playing our game. Being aggressive on the bases and playing every out like it could be our last. If we stay healthy and consistent we will have a great season.

PEORIA PANTHERS

COACH: Jim Sweet (6th year as head coach)

DIVISION/REGION: 4A-I West Valley

2010 RECORD: 21-4-1, 8-2 (Lost in 4A-I first round).

1. How many years have you coached softball? I will be entering my sixth year of coaching at the varsity level at Peoria.

2. What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? I would say speed and hitting.

3. What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We need to focus on team chemistry especially communtication while playing defense.  We need to get runners on base with less than two outs and move them around.

4. Who are your team leaders? Rachel Thompson and Andrea Demondo.

5. Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? I have several freshman who are filling or taking over key roles, they will be the difference makers in the way the season will go.

6. What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season? In order for us to reach state we need to come together as a group and understand what each person’s role on the team will be going into conference play. We need to start scoring early in games and finish the job. Lastly, our pitching will be the key to how successful our season will be along with getting into the state tournament. We are very young and need to develop confidence and mental toughness in our players.

SUNRISE MOUNTAIN MUSTANGS

COACH: Nick Rizer (5th year as head coach).

DIVISION/REGION: 4A-I West Valley

2010 RECORD: 27-4, 12-0 (Lost in the 4A-I finals).

1. How many years have you coached softball? This season is my fifth season as the head coach, I was the varsity assistant for three years prior.

2. What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We have strong senior leadership with an emphasis on fundamentals.

3. What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We need to make sure we improve each and every day to be successful.

4. Who are your team leaders? Pitcher Dani Bonnet; catcher Mickaya Heller; third basemen Karissa Haleman; first baseman Melissa Sechrest.

5. Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? Sophomores Morgan Leonard and Taylor Nowlin.

6. What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season? If we continue to emphasize hard work and fundamentals we will hopefully be strong enough to reach the state tournament.

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