Softball: Teams at a glance
Coach — Jeannie Krueger
2012 highlights — 2-12 in Centennial League, 2-17 overall
Top players — Allie Hanson, P, Jr.; Dasia Vavrik, CF, Soph.; Mackenzie Azzam, SS, Soph.; Delany Mullins, 1B, Soph.; Ashlynn Krueger, P/C/3B, Fresh.; Maddie Mitchell, 2B/OF, Fresh.
2013 outlook — Half of the Warriors team is made up of ninth- and 10th-graders so experience is a problem. The players, however, are committed to working hard and have a will to win.
Say what — “I am very happy adding another pitcher to the roster. Last year was quite a challenge because our only pitcher got injured and was out for half the season. I'm expecting a lot more out of our offense,” said Krueger.
Coach — Caley Mitchell
2012 highlights — 7-3 in Continental League, 15-7 overall.
Top players — Savannah Heebner, P/Utl., Jr.; Sara Good, SS, Sr.; Morgan Beveridge, Utl., Sr.; Morgan Duncan, 1B/OF, Sr.; Jillian Beeck, 1B, Sr.; Morgan Trujillo, C, Sr.
2013 outlook — Heebner, an All-Continental League selection, struck out 145 batters in 122 innings pitched last season. She won 13 games, had a 1.49 earned run average and hit .565. The Sabercats have solid senior players returning to surround Heebner and form a very solid team.
Say what — “If we can get all cylinders firing this season, we have the potential to go a long way,” said Mitchell.
Coach — Alan DiGiosio
2012 highlights — 4-6 in Continental League, 8-13 overall. Lost twice in Region 7 tournament.
Top players — Laura Scheffel, CF, Soph.; Emily Moore, SS, Soph.; Bailey Taylor, 3B/P, Jr.; Madolina LaPolla, 2B/C, Jr.; Larissa Fornwalk, P, Sr.
2013 outlook — Titans have only one senior on the team and will need the underclass players to play with composure and leadership. Scheffel and Moore were first team All-Conference selections as freshmen.
Say what — “We're setting our sights on accomplishing at least the playoffs and looking to earn a spot in the state tournament,” said DiGiosio.
Coach — Bill Kramm
2012 highlights — 8-6 in Centennial League, 11-10 overall.
Top players — Katie McMillan, P/2B, Sr.; Sterling Martin, P, Soph.; Lindsey Rindal, SS/OF, Jr.; Taylor Hansel, C/1B. Jr.; Cassidy Blakeley, SS, Soph.; Allie Harrris, C/OF, Soph.; Morgan Hansel, 3B, Jr.; Frankie Warden, OF, Soph.; Abby Goettelman, OF/1B, Soph.; Taylor Gorforth, C/1B, Sr.
2013 outlook — Bruins are young but return 10 letter winners from last season. Rindal hit .543 and Blakeley .525 and the two combined for 48 runs batted in. Kramm will be making his Creek coaching debut after going 51-37 at Grandview.
Say what — “We will have a couple good players that stand out and a good core of role players who are competitors. How well we jell as a team will define our season,” said Kramm.
Coach — Brian Stebbins
2012 highlights — 6-4 in Continental League, 16-6 overall. Huskies won Region 7 championship but lost to Eaglecrest in first round of Class 5A state championship bracket.
Top players — Corell Brenna, P, Sr.; Ashlee Kim, C, Jr.; Anuhea Iida, 3B, Sr.; Jenny Trapp, 2B, Sr.; Clara Larson, SS, Soph.; Sam Hardy, OF, Jr.; Jordyn Acosta, OF, Fresh.
2013 outlook — The Huskies return a leading pitcher in Breanna and have a solid infield with Iida and Tripp, three-year starters, to go along with Larson coming off an All-Conference freshman campaign who hit .486 with three home runs and 27 RBI.
Say what — “We know that we play great competition all season long and hope that prepares us for a run deep into the playoffs and state tournament,” said Stebbins.
Coach — Paul Severtson
2012 highlights — 2-8 in Continental League, 8-11 overall.
Top players — Carly Carlson, P, Sr.; Amanda Stanton, 3B, Jr.; Stephanie Peck, SS, Sr.; Kursten Shaeffer, C, Sr.; Cincy Ballenger, P/IF, Frosh.
2013 outlook — A strong group of underclass players will help the Eagles be competitive.
Say what — “Our league is very tough and there are no days off. We will need to compete every day and every game in order to be successful. This is a team of players from Heritage and Littleton. We have seven girls from Littleton and they will help strengthen our team,” said Severtson.
Coach — Joe Gleason
2012 highlights — 1-9 in Continental League, 3-16 overall
Top players — Taylor Saul, Sr.; Maureen Morgan, Jr.; Taryn Calori, Sr.
2013 outlook — Saul, Morgan and Calori are expected to be back as Gleason takes over as the new Falcons coach.
Coach — Shelly Boyd
2012 highlights — 6-4 in Continental League, 15-7 overall. Lost in first round of the Class 5A state tournament.
Top players — Robyn Leighton, C, Sr,; Steph Cardona, 3B/OF, Sr.; Kaley Garcia, OF/2B, Sr.; Liz Hershey, 1B, Sr.; Brooke Doumer, 2B, Soph.; Janelle Gardner, P, Jr.
2013 outlook — After beating Ponderosa and Chaparral to win the Pride of Parker award and handing Rock Canyon its lone league loss last season, the Titans expect to challenge for the Continental League title. Leighton, who hit .339, and Gardner, a .375 hitter who earned six pitching victories, were first team all-league selections last season.
Say what — “We have a talented group of players and I expect us to be one of the top two teams in the Continental League and our goals are to make state again and get past the first round,” said Boyd.
Coach — Bret Grammerstorf
2012 highlghts — 7-3 in Continental League, 16-7 overall, won Region 2 championship and lost in quarterfinals of state tournament.
Top players — Rachel Johnson, 1B, Sr.; Kara Felske, IF, Sr.; Madi Garduno, CF, Jr.; Maggie Mitchell, OF, Sr.; Shelby Rank, C, Sr,; Kayla Lewis, SS, Soph.; Dani Klatt, P, Jr.; Annie Engler, P; Morgan Reid, P.
2013 outlook — Golden Eagles have qualified for the state tournament the past 10 seasons but it could be harder this season with an inexperienced varsity pitching staff. Johnson was an All-Continental League performer in 2012, hitting .457 with five home runs and a 1.000 fielding percentage.
Say what — “This will be a different team than we have had in the past. We will be athletic and really untested in the circle. We are ready for the challenge,” said Grammerstorf.
Coach — Richard Tabola
2012 highlights — 4-6 in Continental League, 15-9 overall.
Top players — Ally Power, P, Jr.; Erin Fincher, 3B, Sr.; Mackenzie Mattey,1B/ P, Sr.; Shay Olander, OF, Sr.; Katie Kimbrel, OF, Sr.; Mia Martin, OF, Sr.
2013 outlook — Power, an All-Continental League selection, is one of the state's premier pitchers. She struck out 208 batters last season, won 14 games and had a 1.69 earned run average. Fincher hit .410. If the Mustangs can play better defense and hit more consistently, they could be a factor in the Class 4A state tournament.
Say what — “Being a 4A school playing in a tough 5A league will help us with strength of schedule and preparation for the playoffs,” said Tabola.
Coach — Debbie Kortbawi
2012 highlights — 9-1 in Continental League, 19-5 overall, Region 6 champions, lost in Class 5A state championship semifinals.
Top players — Zayne Blumberg, C/OF, Sr.; Brooklyn Travis, 1B/C, Sr.; Lauren Paige, 1B/P, Sr.; Lauren Yanks, 2B, Sr.; Taylor Vagt, 2B, Sr.; Sydney Hairgrove, OF, Jr.; Hannah Clark, SS/OF, Jr.; Shen Lu Swartout, 3B/OF, Sr.; Carrie Corbetta, OF/SS, Sr.; Katie Didonna, P/SS, Soph.; Kayla Wing, 2B/OF, Soph.
2013 outlook — Jaguars return seven seniors who played on Final Four teams the past three seasons. Paige has one of the strongest bats in the state and Swartout has a fast glove at third base. Travis, Yanks and Blumberg have started at first base, second base and catcher the past three years and bring knowledge of the game as well as solid hitting.
Say what — “The team has been conditioning all summer and is ready to take on the challenge of the 2013 season,” said Kortbawi.
Coach — James Dollaghan
2012 highlights — 7-3 in Continental League, 13-9 overall.
Top players — Molly Whitefoot, CF, Sr.; Katie Leiker, 3B, Jr.; Gabby Smith, SS, Jr.; Hannah Hatten, P, Jr. Lauren (Hope) Ballard, OF, Jr.
2013 outlook — Whitefoot is a returning All-Continental League player who hit .466 last season. Leiker was also All-Conference and led the league with 34 RBI. The team has good speed and softball intelligence but the pitching needs to hold up to be a contender. Grizzlies can build off a seven-game winning streak, which pushed them into the 2012 state playoffs.
Say what — “The girls work extremely hard and are excited to get the season going. We look to challenge for a league championship this year,” said Dollaghan.
Coach — Dave Atencio
2012 highlights — Eagles finished the season 9-12.
Top players — Shelby Mann, 2B, Jr.; MaKenna Roth, CF, Jr.; Kendall Ohman, SS, Jr.; Morgan Petrone, 3B, Jr.
2013 outlook — Atencio assumes the coaching duties at Valor after 20 years coaching at Dakota Ridge. After reaching the state Class 5A finals with Dakota Ridge last season, he inherits an Eagle team with no seniors but a group of experienced underclass players.
Say what — “We are going to be vastly improved over last year. We have a very experienced group of kids coming back and will be strongly pushing for a state berth,” said Atencio.