Los Angeles Times

Prep Softball Previews

The 2014 prep softball season gets underway Saturday and next week, for several local teams.

Edison and Huntington Beach both make their season debuts Saturday. Marina and Ocean View launch their respective seasons next week.

Below is a capsule look at the local teams.


League: Sunset

Head Coach: Kim Ensey (second year)

Coaching staff: Deepak Naik; Tony Qualin.

2013 overall record: 21-11

2013 league record: 8-2 (second)

2013 CIF-SS playoffs: Reached second round, Division 1.

Returning varsity players: Lizabelle Talataina (3B, Sr.); Reis Birkett (C, Jr.); Ali Wester (SS/UTL, Jr.); Courtney Leyba (OF, Jr.); Kiana Pancino (RHP, Soph.); Allie Greenburg (1B, Soph.); Emma Silvestri (OF, Sr.); .

Players returning with honors: Liizabelle Talataina (first-team all-league); Reis Birkett (first-team all-league); Ali Wester (second-team all-league).

Varsity newcomers: Mckenna Doose (2B, Jr.); Hailey Desroisers (MIF, Jr.); Kayla Neff (C/3B, Soph.): Riley Wester (OF, Fr.); Danielle Votendahl (RHP/OF, Fr.); Amanda Caswell (RHP/1B, Sr.); Laura Carl (OF, Sr.).

Coach's outlook: The Chargers welcome back three all-league players from a 2013 team that won the consolation title of the TNT tournament, finished runner-up to the Woodbridge Tournament title, and led the Sunset League in team stolen bases.

"We're young but we're strong," Ensey said. "The girls have set high goals for themselves and I intend on pushing them until they get there."

Season opener: Saturday, 10 a.m. doubleheader at Torrance (Wilson Park).

Huntington Beach

League: Sunset

Head Coach: Jeff Forsberg (ninth year)

Coaching staff: Johnny Martinez; Tony Rico; Nikole Afusia.

2013 overall record: 16-14

2013 league record: 5-5 (tied third)

2013 CIF-SS playoffs: Wild-card game, Division 1.

Returning varsity players: Sammie Vandiver (OF, Sr.); Miceala Vierra (P, Sr.); Jacqui Pascual (1B, Sr.); Jazarine Alvarez (C, Sr.); Maria Steadmon (OF, Jr.); Sabrina Willaims (UTL, Jr.); Callie Saccacio (C, Soph.); Kristina Inouye (SS, Soph.); Anna Kufta (3B/1B, Soph.); Alyssa Horeczko (P/OF, Soph.).

Players returning with honors: Sammie Vandiver (first-team all-league); Miceala Vierra (first-team all-league); Maria Steadmon (second-team all-league); Kristina Inouye (2013 league rookie of year); Anna Kufta (second-team all-league).

Varsity newcomers: Ivy Davis (2B/SS, Fr.); Chance Burden (OF, Fr.); Jasmine Melgoza (UTL, Soph.); Taylor Livingston (OF, Fr.).

Coach's outlook: "We have high expectations for 2014," Forsberg said. "In the past, we had decent teams with a goal to make the playoffs. This year's team is by far the most talented group of players that we have had in years with a possible starting lineup of nine Division 1 softball athletes. So, our goal is not to just make the playoffs, but to go deep in them. Add in the fact that our team chemistry is awesome, (we have) a very strong JV team and for the first time in school history, a frosh-soph team, we should see some existing results for the program in 2014. Huntington Beach High softball has turned the corner."

The schedule: Saturday, vs. Paramount at Cypress Tournament.


League: Sunset

Head Coach: Shelly Luth (30th year)

Coaching staff: Michelle Spencer; Jeff Blanco.

2013 overall record: 25-4

2013 league record: 9-1 (champion)

2013 CIF-SS playoffs: Reached Division 1 quarterfinals

Returning varsity players: Kaitlynn Thomson (3B, Sr.); Keala Cordeiro (RF, Sr.); Tera Blanco (P, Sr.); Desiree Hagberg (CF, Sr.); Alyssa Sojka (2B, Jr.); Kristina Jones (UTL, Soph.); Sydney McCollum (SS, Jr.); Emili Olague (1B, Jr.); Emma Walker (OF, Jr.); Kaitlin Barry (C, Soph.).

Players returning with honors: Tera Blanco (2013 league MVP, league pitcher of the year); Sydney McCollum (first-team all-league); Emili Olague (first-team all-league); Desiree Hagberg (second-team all-league).

Varsity newcomers: Jennifer Herron (UTL, Soph.); Amber Baldwin (P, Fr.); Ryan King (C/UTL, Fr.); Ashley Myers (UTL, Fr.).

Coach's outlook: The Vikings have several key ingredients back from a 2013 team that won the Foothill Tournament and later, the Sunset League championship. Among the returnees is Blanco who was named all-tournament in every tourney Marina entered last year, and the pitcher of the year in the Sunset League.

The Vikings go into their new campaign ranked 10th in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 preseason poll.

"We have a very dynamic group with amazing players," said Luth who is in her 30th year as leader of the Vikings' program.

Season opener: March 6, 3:15 p.m. at Kennedy

Ocean View

League: Golden West

Head Coach: Mike McLaughlan (fourth year)

Coaching staff: Dennis Lupton

2013 overall record: 21-6

2013 league record: 7-3 (third)

2013 CIF-SS playoffs: Reached quarterfinals, Division 4.

Returning varsity players: Tobi Salzman (3B, Sr.); Emily Long (OF/2B, Sr.); Madison Garcia (C, OF, Sr.); Olivia Russ (SS, Jr.); Anika Ortiz (1B, P, Jr.); Jade Bustamonte (C, Jr.); Billie Derleth (P/OF, Jr.); Alyssa Slater (P/OF, Soph.).

Returning with honors: Tobi Salzman (first-team all-league); Olivia Russ (first-team all-league); Jade Bustamonte (second-team all-league); Billie Derleth (second-team all-league).

Varsity newcomers: Kari Lane (OF, Fr.); Lacy Combs (2B, Soph.); Kylie McElligott (OF, Fr.); Grace Mosher (OF, Fr.).

Coach's outlook: The Seahawks had a terrific 2013 season which included winning the Costa Mesa Tournament, finishing runner-up at the Northwood Tournament, and reaching the third-round of the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs. Several members from that team return but one missing piece is 2013 Golden West League MVP and All-CIF Division 4 player, pitcher Brittany Hitchcock who is now at the University of Hawaii.

"I fully believe that trio of pitchers Billie Derleth, Alyssa Slater and Anika Ortiz, along with the leadership of Tobi Salzman, Emily Long and Olivia Russ, and our newcomers, will lead us to an outstanding season," McLaughlan said.

Season opener: Tuesday, 3:15 p.m., home vs. Costa Mesa.

CIF Preseason Rankings

Division 1: Marina, No. 10.

Editor's note: Fountain Valley did not submit a season preview.

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