High School Softball previews

The 2013 softball season opened in the past week with several teams in action. Below is a capsule look at teams from Edison, Huntington Beach, Marina, Ocean View and Brethren Christian.

Edison Chargers

League: Sunset

Head Coach: Kim Ensey (first year)

2012 record: 26-5

League finish: Second place

CIF playoff results: Reached Division 1 semifinals

Returning players: Samantha Cordova, P, Sr.; Karley Wester, OF/UT, Sr.; Carissa Sherman, 2B/OF, Sr.; Chiara Demarco, OF, Sr.; Karly Tahti, C, Sr.; Lizabelle Talataina, 3B/UT, Jr.; Courtney Leyba, OF, Soph.; Ali Wester, SS.UT, Soph.

Returning all-league players: Cordova (All-CIF Southern Section), Karley Wester, Ali Wester.

The schedule: The Chargers start their season this weekend at the Best of the West Tournament hosted by Pacifica and Los Alamitos. The Mariners and Griffins, along with tournament teams Norco and Vista Murrieta, are ranked in the top 10 CIF Southern Section preseason polls. "Couldn't ask for a better way to be thrown into the fire," Ensey said. The Chargers also will compete at the upcoming TNT Faster to First and Woodbridge tournaments.

Team tidbits: Ensey said the Edison coaching staff is "predominantly" made up of Edison alumni: her sister, Elizabeth Ensey, is on the varsity coaching staff and both Jessica Marlow and Jackie Reichtner are assisting with the junior varsity team. Kim Ensey called varsity assistant coach Tony Qualin "instrumental," in keeping the varsity squad "connected and focused," before she was named head coach.

Coach's outlook: Before taking over the Edison head coaching position, Ensey previously served as head coach of Santa Fe Springs Santa Fe and as an assistant coach at both Orange Coast College and Golden West College. She also is the head coach of Team Primus 16U at Primus Sports Performance in Lake Forest.

"Edison has a strong tradition of excellence throughout their athletic department," Ensey said. "We are fortunate to have strong leaders in Sammy Cordova and Carissa Sherman. These girls know what it takes to win ball games. Our preseason has been a roller coaster but through coaching changes they managed to stay on track and prepare when many other teams would have been lost. Being an Edison alum, my heart is fully committed to these girls. It won't be easy but we have high goals for ourselves and we plan to make my first season as a coach at Edison a successful one."

Season opener: Saturday, vs. Great Oak, 11 a.m., at Pacifica High (Best of the West Tournament).


Huntington Beach

League: Sunset

Head Coach: Jeff Forsberg (seventh year)

2012 record: 15-13

League finish: Fourth place

Returning players: Tamra Hartmann, OF, Sr.; Maria Steadman, P/OF, Soph.; Jamie Zschach, OF, Soph.; Sabrina Williams, 3B/OF, Soph.; Justice Walker, OF, Sr.; Raegan Zschach, 2B, Sr.; Jillian Martinez, C, Sr.; Micaela Vierra, P, Jr.; Emily Stoner, 1B, Sr.; Jacqui Pascual, 1B, Jr.; Sammie Vandiver, CF, Jr.

Returning all-league players: Martinez, Vierra.

The schedule: During nonleague play, the Oilers will compete at the Cypress, Northwood and Arroyo Grande tournaments.

Team tidbits: Forsberg said that Tony Rico, who coaches the Junior World USA team and Firecrackers 18U Gold and Softball Connection, has been added to the varsity coaching staff. Nikole Afusia, who prepped at Ocean View and played on two national championship teams at Arizona St, is the junior varsity coach and will work this year with the varsity catchers.

Coach's outlook: "The program is moving forward in all aspects," Forsberg said. "We have player talent at both levels, one of Orange County's best high school softball fields and with experienced coaches at both the varsity and JV levels. Huntington Beach High is a good place to be. The mix of players in the program will serve for the foundation for good things to happen at Huntington Beach."

Season opener: lost, 5-4, to Irvine Saturday at Cypress Tournament.



League: Sunset

Head Coach: Shelly Luth (22nd year)

2012 record: 16-11

League finish: Third

CIF playoff results: Reached first round Division 1 playoffs

Returning starters: Sydnee Cable, 1B/P, Sr.; Samantha Agamaite, 1B, Sr.; Bella Secaira, C, Sr.; Desiree Hagberg, OF, Jr.; Tera Blanco, P, Jr.; Keala Cordeiro, OF, Jr.; Sydney McCollum, SS, Soph.; Alyssa Sojka, 2B, Soph.

Returning all-league players: Blanco, Agamaite, McCollum.

The schedule: The Vikings will play in three upcoming tournaments: Foothill, Laguna Hills, Woodbridge.

Coach's outlook: "This team has amazing talent and more potential than any team I've ever coached," said Luth, the dean of Sunset League coaches.

Season opener: Saturday, 3 p.m., at San Marcos High.


Ocean View

League: Golden West

Head Coach: Mike McLaughlan (third year)

2012 record: 17-10

League finish: 8-2

CIF playoff results: Reached second round Division 4

Returning players: Brittany Hitchcock, P, Sr.; Erika Jason, OF, Sr.; Cassie Baughman, IF, Sr.; Tobi Salzman, IF, Jr.; Emily Long, IF, Jr.; Madison Garcia, C, Jr.; Anika Ortiz, P/IF, Soph.; Olivia Russ, IF, Soph.; Billi Derleth, OF/P, Soph.; Jade Bustamonte, C, Soph..

Returning all-league players: Hitchcock (All-CIF), Jason, Salzman, Ortiz, Russ.

The schedule: The Seahawks play six nonleague games plus compete at both the Costa Mesa and Northwood tournaments in addition to their Golden West League schedule.

Coach's outlook: "I have experienced returning players and two new outstanding players along with Hawaii-bound Brittany Hitchcock in the circle," McLaughlan said. "[It] should make for an interesting season."

Season opener: Thursday, 3:15 p.m., at Costa Mesa.


Brethren Christian

League: Academy

Head Coach: Jennifer Winford (fourth year)

2012 record: 2-15-1

League finish: Fourth place

Returning players: Rachel Swanson, SS/C, Sr.; Stephanie Morgan, 1B, Sr.; Erin Fillmore, P/UT, Soph.

Returning all-league players: Swanson.

Coach's outlook: "We have a hard-working group of girls learning how to improve their game this season," Winford said. "With only three returning players, it will be interesting to see which new girls will emerge as leaders on the field. We are looking to rebuild this season with many new freshmen on the team."

Season opener: Tuesday, 3:15 p.m., vs. Bolsa Grande (at Garden Grove Park).


Twitter: @MikeSciacca

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