SOFTBALL PREVIEW - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

SOFTBALL PREVIEW

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Posted: Monday, March 8, 2010 10:28 am | Updated: 3:56 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

With high school softball throwing out first pitches last week, the Glendale/Peoria Today sent a list of questions to local coaches. Below are their thoughts on the upcoming season.

Cactus Cobras

Coach: William Sorensen (third year)

Division: 4A-II

Region: Black Canyon

Last season’s record: 18-11, lost in 4A-I state tournament quarterfinals to Canyon del Oro.

1. What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We should be pretty good offensively.

2. What team area needs improvement in order for this year to be a success? We have five freshman on the roster who need experience and learn from our seniors .

3. Who are your top returning players? 2B/1B Hattie Fullmer, 3B/OF Danielle Renyer, and P/SS Vanessa Acevedo.

4. What players who may not have played a major role last season should be regular contributors this season? OF Andee Payan, OF Chelsea Moak and C Morgan Deane.

5. Which teams on this season’s schedule are you most looking forward to and will be the toughest? We are now in the same region as Greenway again . They are going to be tough.

Centennial Coyotes

Coach: Bartt Underwood (19th year)

Division: 5A-II

Region: Desert West

Last season’s record: 22-7, lost in 5A-II semifinals to Deer Valley.

1. What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Strong pitching, team speed and strong defense. We have the ability to be a very good hitting team.

2. What team area needs improvement in order for this year to be a success? Team chemistry with the addition of our new players.

3. Who are your top returning players? Pitcher Mo Montemayor, catcher Paige Tonz, shortstop Krystal Garcia, third baseman Sam Riojas, second baseman Destinee Luna and outfielder Colltey Sheldon.

4. What player(s) who may not have played a major role last season should be regular contributors this season? Left fielder Bry Navarro, first baseman Taylor Underwood, outfielder Sam Munoz and outfielder Abigail Beasley.

5. Which teams on this season’s schedule are you most looking forward to and will be the toughest? Deer Valley, Horizon, Pinnacle, Ironwood and several opponents in the Desret Mountain Tournament, such as St. Mary’s, Corona del Sol, Highland and Mesa.

Deer Valley Skyhawks

Coach: Carl Bakemeier (14th year)

Division: 5A-II

Region: Northwest

Last season’s record: 28-7, lost to Sunrise Mountain in the finals of the 5A-II state tournament.

1. What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We have both our pitchers back from last year, and we return nine players.

2. What team area needs improvement in order for this year to be a success? We have a few key people to replace.

3. Who are your top returning players? Jenny Tyler, Lauren Haeger, Claire Zampini, Genelle Carrizosa, Morgan Desaulnier, Betsy Kelly, Erika Myles, Vanessa Becker and Kristi Johnson.

4. Which teams on this season’s schedule are you most looking forward to and will be the toughest? I think Centennial and Ironwood will be our toughest competition.

Ironwood Eagles

Coach: Tim Langan (first year)

Division: 5A-II

Region: Desert West

Last season’s record: 14-14, lost in “B” bracket quarterfinals of 5A-II state tournament.

Liberty Lions

Coach: Kortny Hall (third year)

Division: 4A-II

Region: Skyline

Last season’s record: 7-17

1. What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? This season our greatest attribute is depth. We are a new program, and this will be the first year in which we have a team full of athletes who can play many different positions.

2. What team area needs improvement in order for this year to be a success? We really need to improve our pitching this year in order to be successful. We have a bigger pitching staff this year that has been working hard to improve.

3. Who are your top returning players? We have eight returning varsity players. All of them have taken on a new role and will be vital to us this season.

4. What player(s) who may not have played a major role last season should be regular contributors this season? Taylor Fitzgerald didn’t get a lot of playing time last year, but this year we moved her to the outfield.  

5. Which teams on this season’s schedule are you most looking forward to and will be the toughest?  We have some big name teams on our schedule like Cactus and Greenway, who always have great softball teams.

Mountain Ridge Mountain Lions

Coach: Michele Markham (first year)

Division: 5A-I

Region: 5A-II Northwest

Last season’s record: 11-7, lost in “B” bracket first round of 5A-I state tournament to Corona del Sol.

1. What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We have a strong team that will be very aggressive this year.

2. What team area needs improvement in order for this year to be a success? We are young and need to work on getting to know each other.

3. Who are your top returning players? Alex Lavine and Breanna Kaye will be our top leaders on and off the field.  We also have starting pitcher, Ashley Palmer, returning to the mound with more experience and strength this year.

4. What player(s) who may not have played a major role last season should be regular contributors this season? We have Sydney Gaffin returning this year after missing last season due to an injury.  She will bring us great things from the mound.

5. Which teams on this season’s schedule are you most looking forward to and will be the toughest? We are looking forward to playing our rival, Deer Valley this year. They have strong pitching, which will bring us a good challenge.

Peoria Panthers

Coach: Jim Sweet (fifth year)

Division: 4A-I

Region: West Valley

Last season’s record: 19-6, lost in first round of 4A-I state tournament.

Sunrise Mountain Mustangs

Coach: Nick Rizer

Division: 4A-I

Region: West Valley

Last season’s record: 24-5-1, won 5A-II state championship.

1. What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? I think we should be a good hitting team with strong pitching.

2. What team area needs improvement in order for this year to be a success?  We are always stressing the importance of fundamental defense.

3. Who are your top returning players? Senior left fielder Destinee DeHerrera, senior second baseman Taylor Rauscher, junior catcher Mickayla Heller, junior pitcher Dani Bonnet, and junior third baseman Karissa Haleman.

4. What player(s) who may not have played a major role last season should be regular contributors this season? Sophomore Courtney Geith and sophomore Melissa Sechrest.

5. Which teams on this season’s schedule are you most looking forward to and will be the toughest? Playing Notre Dame will be a good game, and playing Cienega at home will be a great challenge.

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