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YUHSD 2020 softball preview

GRHS softball player in batter's box GILA RIDGE HAWKS

Coach: Courtney Reed
Second Season
2019 Record: 17-7 (Lost in play-in round prior to 4A State Playoffs)
First Home Game: Mar. 3 vs. San Luis

Top Returners

Sherlyn Molina, P, had a strong season last year with a 2.92 ERA with 1 win in 3 appearances. In 12 innings pitched, she managed to strikeout 10 batters. She also helped out with the bat as she batted .444 with 28 hits and 17 RBI’s, and an impressive 1.038 OPS.

Hailey Matthews, UTL, batted .383 on the season and had 23 hits with 11 RBI’s. She also had a perfect fielding percentage to show off her great defense.

“We have two returning seniors... Backed by six returning juniors, and two sophomores ready to take on this 2020 season,” Reed mentioned.

Incoming Players

“We have added three freshman to the squad this year, Kenzi Nakasawa, Jazzy Polk, and Peyton McLeod. They will add more fire to a group hungry for a strong postseason run,” Reed said.

Strengths

“Our squad has power at the plate and poise on the field. Put together for a great competitive team ready to take every competitor head on,” Reed said. “We look forward to taking on the season and running as far into the playoffs as possible. Look out... here we come!”

YUMA CRIMINALS

Coach: Jessica Gastelum
Second Season
2019 Record: 0-17
First Home Game: Feb. 27 vs. Central

Top Returners

Brianna Delgado, 1B, has played one season on varsity as a junior, and helped contribute to the team with an OBP of .429 in 16 games played. She also had a respectable .887 fielding percentage.

Sophia Gann, P and INF, had a high school career high of 45.2 innings pitched and 24 strikeouts. She contributed with her bat, as she batted .257 with 9 hits and 8 RBI’s.

Gabriella Duran, SS and P, made her mark on varsity her sophomore year with a batting average of .250 and added 8 walks on the season to bring her OBP to .464.

Incoming Players

Laisa Carrasco

Stephanie Campos

Star Marquez is a sophomore who made a brief appearance on the varsity squad last year, but is hoping to be a huge factor in the team this year to give a boost to the offense.

Strengths

“I feel that coming into this season we are looking to build skills in order to become more competitive with each upcoming year,” Gastelum added. “We have a few returning players that all make an impact in their own special way and are working hard to build up not only themselves but their teammates as well. We have many underclassmen that are looking to add to the program this year in a positive way.” 

Cibola softball player at the plate CIBOLA RAIDERS

Coach: Michele Baumann
31st Season
2019 Record: 22-7 (Lost in Round 1 of the 6A AIA State Playoffs)
First Home Game: Mar. 13 vs. Basha

Top Returners

Kelly Katalbas, P and INF, had a total of 23 appearances as a pitcher and won 19 of those matchups. She held batters to a .216 batting average and went on to throw 168 K’s and finish the season with a 1.32 ERA. She also batted .431 with 22 hits and 14 RBI’s.

Madison Mathews, INF, OF, and C, is going into her junior year and is trying to recreate her last season as she finished with a batting average of .385 with 35 hits and 23 RBI’s. 

Christina Robles, OF, had an amazing season last year as she batted .433 with 39 hits and 15 RBI’s. She was able to have an OPS of 1.067 and a perfect fielding percentage of 1.000.

Angela Oros, INF, has a high school career batting average just below .500 and last year finished with a .455 and had 40 hits and 29 RBI’s. She had an incredible slugging of .715 to help her OPS reach 1.221.

Incoming Players

Mischa Mathews and Maleia Padilla are both two incoming freshmen that Baumann knows will be a big threat to the team this year. “We have a great freshman class at all levels of our program but Mischa Mathews will be an impact player at the plate and Maleia Padilla will be our future on the mound,” Baumann said.

Strengths

“Our strengths will be our returning players,” Baumann said. “We only lost two players from last year and mentally this will help our team. Going deep into the 6A state tournament last year we now know what the competition brings and physically we need to be ready… Repetition and playing tough teams throughout the season will be key.”

More from Baumann

“Our team is working hard on the field. We are excited to play in two tough tournaments; Red Mountain tournament where we will face the 2019 6A state champions Sandra Day O'Connor and third place team Red Mountain. Second tournament will be in Mohave at the Tournament of Champions that features Arizona, California, Utah and Nevada teams.  The best of the best play in this tournament. We are excited to see what 2020 brings to Cibola Softball. We must bring our motto on the field every game; Head, Heart, Gut.”

KOFA KINGS

Coach: Tammy Pixley
Third Season
2019 Record: 7-14-1
First Home Game: Mar. 3 vs. Perry

Top Returners

Kayla Porchas, CF, played her first full varsity season as a sophomore last year and helped the team with a .281 batting average with 16 hits and 6 RBI’s. She also did really well defensively with a fielding percentage of .906.

Vivian Guevara, C, had an amazing varsity season last year with a batting average of .400 with 22 hits and 11 RBI’s. She also had a total OPS of 1.013 which is a great number to put up, especially with a slugging of .581.

Ahjaida Soloman, P and 1B, had 13 appearances last season and had a 4.47 ERA. She also pitched 51.2 innings and had 21 strikeouts on the season.

Incoming Players

Stephany Montoya

Cassandra Castillo

Strengths

“I feel like we have an awesome group of experienced players that have high expectations for themselves,” Pixley mentioned. “Each one of the girls has set personal goals for the season and are hard at work to better themselves. Seven of our starters are returning which gives us a great core of players.”

More from Pixley

“Last season was about getting to know the players. Seeing them come together as a team to help each other on and off the field is rewarding. We expect to improve our record with the team we have this year.”

SLHS softball players in bleachers SAN LUIS SIDEWINDERS

Coach: Ailyn Gutierrez
Second Season
2019 Record: 5-13
First Home Game: Feb. 26 vs. Cibola

Top Returners

Annette Juarez, P, had 16 appearances last year with a 5.74 ERA and 61 strikeouts. Her coach knows she has the fire to help the team become stronger because of Juarez’s drive to win.

Xochitl Tapia, 3B, is coming in as a junior who batte .300 last season with 18 hits and an OPS of .767. She also contributed 2 stolen bases to help out her team.

Michelle Monjardin, 2B, batted .140 last year as a freshman and provided 6 hits with 6 RBI’s. She has a fielding percentage right around the .900 mark with a .897.

Strengths

“I am very excited for this year's season. We have a lot of returning players that have been working year long to this time of the year. I can say that this year our biggest strengths will be our defense. Returning players are mainly sophomores and already know what is expected,” Gutierez said.

More from Gutierrez

“This is just my second year coaching at a high school level and there were so many things for me to learn about this past season. I can say that I feel a little more confident in my girls that they already know what the expectations and goals are for this year.  I can't find any better word to explain how excited I am to see these young group of girls to get their pants dirty.”

Daniel Ochoa, CHS