Antioch, Deer Valley High girls’ softball season preview

By Jesus Cano

Antioch High

In the past couple of years, the Panthers have struggled to perform well when it comes to league play.

Last year, they made it into the division II playoffs, and knocked off Windsor, one of the top seeded team. Head coach Nick Wisely says his team is coming in strong and hoping to create some noise in league play.

“The goal is to get into the playoffs and at least win two games in there.” Wisely said.

Ayanna Sanchez was only a freshman when she made headlines by tossing a perfect game. Fast forward to her senior year, she has developed even more as pitcher and team leader according to Wisely. She is also committed to Chapman University.

The pitching depth continues for Antioch, as sophomore Bailee Reed has had to make appearances on the circle with the absence of Sanchez early in the season. In the teams 14-0 pre-league victory over Las Lomas, she threw a no hitter, recording 15 strikeouts. Reed is also is the team’s second baseman, where she batted a team high .381 batting average.

Freshman Haley Painter is a key batter for the Panthers according to Wisely. She leads the team in RBIs with eight and has a batting average of .375.

One obstacle Wisely notes, is that the BVAL is a tough competition with top teams like Heritage and Freedom always going back and forth for the league title. He says his team is up for the task.

Jazmine Alanís,Priscilla Self and Alissa West.

Deer Valley High

The Wolverines are coming off a tough season where they finished league play with a 3-7 record, and now face the challenge of having to play shorthanded.

“We’re adjusting to having players play positions they are not used to playing due to the fact we had players not return from last season that we were counting on returning.” said head coach Amy Tillson.

Even with the unexpected lack of returning players, Tillson says he team demonstrates a “Never Quit” mentality.

Junior Jaleah Hardy has had to showcase her versatility this year, stepping into pitch, the position for the Wolverines squad that faces the most adversity. Hardy has pitched in every single game this season, tallying up a ERA of 2.97.

Hardy’s primary position is first base, but with her having to pitch, freshman Leila Engelhard has had to step up to the plate, and takeover first base. She is batting an average of .429, the most on the team.

One of the returning players of the team is senior Desttany Parker, who is described by Tillson to be a huge leadership presence. She is also a leader on the statistics sheet, as she has the team high slugging percentage (.533).

Other notable players include Sarah Figueroa and Haley McKenna.

Both Antioch schools will clash for bragging rights to open up the BVAL season on Tuesday, April 17 at Antioch High School.

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