2012 fall sports previews: Softball

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By Michael Hicks

Head coach: Robin Ortiz
Classification: 5A Jeffco
2011 record: 10-12
2011 recap: The Rebels finished fifth in the league following a competitive season in which Columbine was “much more competitive than the previous two seasons,” Ortiz said.
Players to watch: Tedi Gomez, Sr., P/OF: Blythe Befus, Sr., 2B; Abby Conrad, Sr., OF; Carly Perry, Soph., SS; Jessica Gilliam, Soph., P/1B; Madison Reuter, Soph., P/1B
Season opener: Aug. 22, vs. Douglas County, 4 p.m.
State championship: Oct. 19-20, Aurora Sports Park, Aurora
Outlook: “We are still fairly young, but have nine returning varsity players. We have good pitching, but we’ll need to be consistent in all phases of the game,” Ortiz said. “I like our chances of returning to the playoffs and improving on last season.”

Head coach: Nicole Janssen
Classification: 5A Jeffco
2011 record: 16-6
2011 recap: The Lady Chargers were the cream of the crop in the 5A Jeffco League in 2011, going 8-1 and winning the conference championship thanks to a 2-1 win over rival Dakota Ridge. Chatfield’s season, however, was cut short at regionals.
Players to watch: Rebecka Mintz, Sr., P; Carlie Sexton, Sr., SS
Season opener: Aug. 21, vs. Chaparral, 4 p.m.
State championship: Oct. 19-20, Aurora Sports Park, Aurora
Outlook: The core of Chatfield’s team returns after last year’s conference championship, led by Mintz and Sexton. It is those two players who will be the catalyst for the Lady Chargers, says Janssen, and the rest of the players will follow their lead. “As long as everybody plays to their potential we won’t have any issues going to league and regionals,” Janssen said. The next step is to get back to state.

Head coach: Dave Atencio
Classification: 5A Jeffco
2011 record: 20-3
2011 recap: Dakota Ridge shared the 5A Jeffco League championship with Chatfield, won a regional title and reached the Elite Eight at the state tournament.
Players to watch: Katie Snead, Sr., P; Rachelle Foos, Jr., P; Brooklynn York, Sr., SS; Kristyn York, Sr., 2B; Morgan Wilhelm, Sr., CF
Season opener: Aug. 24, at ThunderRidge, 3:30 p.m.
State championship: Oct. 19-20, Aurora Sports Park, Aurora
Outlook: Dakota Ridge returns seven starters from last season’s 5A state Elite Eight squad. Led by pitchers Snead and Foos, the Lady Eagles are poised for another run at state. “This is one of the most talented and hard-working group of student-athletes we have had in the history of our program. The coaching staff is excited to work with this group.”

Head coach: Pablo Severtson
Classification: 5A Continental
2011 record: 6-13
2011 recap: Last season was the first for Severtson as head coach for the co-op program alongside Littleton High School. The Eagles improved from a one-win season in 2010, and it would’ve been if not for a handful of narrow 2-1 and 3-2 defeats. But, as Severston said, they were competing.
Players to watch: Carly Carlson, Fr., RF/SS; Gabbie Ligouri, Sr., 2B; Courtney Harriman, Sr., P; Amanda Stanton, Soph., 3B
Season opener: Aug. 23, at Valor Christian, 4 p.m.
State championship: Oct. 19-20, Aurora Sports Park, Aurora
Outlook: “We’re hoping to be at .500 or above .500 and to be able to compete,” Severtson said. “The Continental League is a load. Every game you play there is no day off. You have to be competitive. We ask that of the girls so we can go in there and be well-prepared.”