Video: Mission Viejo (CA) - Kyra Snyder
See the Misssion Viejo player in action last season.
MaxPreps begins its preseason softball rankings countdown with previews
of our top 10 teams before announcing our Top 100 to start the 2016
season. Check out the essential information on all 10 of those squads.
California Southern Section Division 2Coaches:
Troy Ybarra and Toni MascarenasEnrollment:
2,708Players to WatchCamryn Ybarra
, junior IF. Hits for average (led team with 41 hits) and power (nine homers in 2015). Committed to Oregon State. Terra McGowan
, sophomore C. Defensive standout with a 1.64 pop-to-pop time (home to second). Hits with power (eight homers in 2015). Committed to Arizona State.Allison Harvey
, senior SS. A rare four-year starter for the Diablos, Harvey is slick fielder and cleanup hitter who signed with Princeton.Kyra Snyder
, junior P. Always a clutch hitter, the standout pitcher gets her turn in the circle with Taylor McQuillin graduated. She has committed to Illinois.Hanna Nilsen
, senior P. Another standout pitcher who will get her chance with McQuillin graduated. She has signed with Illinois.Diablos story lines
Despite graduating four seniors from its 2015 team, including arguably two of the best softball players California has produced in Alyssa Palomino and Taylor McQuillin, Mission Viejo again begins the season ranked No. 1 as part of the MaxPreps Softball Early Contenders.
After finishing the 2014 season at 26-1, Mission Viejo opened the 2015 season ranked No. 1 and remained there until a season-ending 1-0 loss (to Yucaipa) in the California Southern Section D-2 title game capped a 30-1 season.
The Diablos will put a team on the field this season that would scare most college coaches. It's a roster full of future college players.
In understatement fashion, coach Troy Ybarra said, "we're going to be OK."
It's hard for Ybarra to hide his enthusiasm when he talks about potential starting lineups. Leading off will be second baseman Camryn Ybarra. She could be followed by McGowan and hitting in the third spot could be junior Snyder . In the cleanup spot will be four-year starter Harvey.
With 14 future college softball players, Ybarra's options are many. Others who figure to be penciled in often by Ybarra are pitcher Nilsen (Illinois), Bella Loya
(Illinois), Allison Rawls
(William Jewell), senior Devon Beach
and recently uncommitted Samantha Dees
You get the picture. Yet there is more with versatile juniors Olivia Visiano
and Ashley Bullock
and sophomores Alyssa Haynes
and Peyton Cody
and freshman Taylor Beeden
expecting to get a lot of playing time as well.
All of the Diablos have extensive summer and fall ball experience with some of the nation's best travel clubs. But to reach their postseason goal they will run into some very stiff competitors, namely: South Hills (featuring Florida commit Natalie Lugo) and Fullerton's Sunny Hills (featuring eight returnees). And let us not forget Yucaipa (31-3), the lone team to defeat the Diablos last season.Ybarra quote:
"The team's work ethic is outstanding. They have a goal to get to the title game and win it. All aspects are there - pitching, speed, hitting, defense and commitment."Key dates
March 10-12: Dave Kops Tournament of Champions (Bullhead City, Ariz.)
March 17: Los Alamitos (Calif.)
April 6-9: Michelle Carew Classi
May 11: Pacifica (Garden Grove, Calif.)2015 record:
CIF Southern Section Division 3Head coach:
2,200Players to watchMelanie Olmos
, senior P. The Sunkist League MVP Pitcher and an all-CIF pick with 188 strikeouts in 143 innings, 1.46 ERA and 23-4 record. Signed with Oklahoma.Eliyah Flores
, junior 3B. The Sunkist League MVP with 13 homers and .495 batting average. Committed to Oklahoma.Alyssa Martinez
, junior SS. Committed to Ole Miss with a .400 batting average and 19 extra base hits as a sophomore. Fielded .941 with only three errors.Morgan Parsons
, junior IF. Batted .398 with 40 RBIs and nine homers. Committed to Hawaii.Titans story lines
The Titans lost one starter from last year's squad that hit .432 with 142 extra base hits (44 homers). And the roster is loaded with 11 future college players. Olmos batted .429 with 25 runs scored, 28 RBIs and three home runs. She teams with Flores, Parsons and Martinez to give the Titans an offense that is almost scary.
Also back are Danielle Rico
(Eastern Michigan, .500), Marissa Jauregui
(UC Davis, .435), Alyssa Graham
(San Jose State, .400) and Jocelyn Betancourt
(Cal State Bakersfield, .423).
That's a lot of returning talent for opponents to deal with. Add freshman Alycia Flores
(Oklahoma commit) and transfers Yesenia Morrison
(Grand Canyon University) and catcher Lilly Bishop
(North Carolina State) and the Mission Viejo Diablos could very well be looking over their shoulders.
To reach their goals, the Titans are likely to run into Gahr (Cerritos), a team led by Malia Quarles (UCLA commit), Alyssa Kumiyama (South Carolina commit), Madison Huskey (Washington commit) and Alyssa Cuffia. Gahr was 24-8 in 2015.Flores quote:
"I think we are pretty strong in all areas. We have good pitching, have good hitting and have good defense. It's just a matter of getting the job done. ‘On paper' never means anything to me." Key dates
Feb. 27: Corona Tournament
April 8: Santiago Spring Fling Tournament2015 record:
Ashley BoydState classification:
3,101Players to watchShelby McGlaun
, senior P. She pitches (16-3, 142 strikeouts in 114 IP) and hits (.481, 6 HRs). Signed with Baylor.Kaitlyn Washington
, senior OF. Washington had a .404 average and 35 RBIs. Signed with Texas.Eagles story lines
McGlaun will highlight pitching and offense, but she has plenty of help in Washington, Jamaiya Miller
(McNeese State, .393), Kandace Johnson
(Texas A&M Corpus Christi, .277), Sarah Herrera
(East Texas Baptist), Alyssa Contreras
(Texas A&M International, .294), Sarah Cedillo
(.402) and Madison Emswiler
(.427). Helping McGlaun with pitching will be junior Tierrah Williams
(Houston commit, 5-2, 1.50 ERA, 87 strikeouts in 60 IP).
Coach Boyd expects freshman catcher London Marder
to be an impact newcomer.
Texas 6A is loaded with teams that feel they can hang with the Eagles: returning state champion Katy (36-6 and scored 10 runs or more 20 times) returns a half-dozen players who were all-district or all-conference. Others expected to challenge are No. 7 ranked Pearland, Lewisville (led by LSU signee and all-state pitcher Maribeth Gorsuch) and pitching strong Deer Park (Peyton McBride and Erin Edmoundsen are the best one-two pitching combo in Texas).Boyd quote:
"Our team strength will be our overall mix of power and speed in the lineup coupled with three strong pitchers. There is a ton of leadership and drive for these girls to reach their goals of the state tournament."Key dates
Feb. 16: Klein Oak (Spring, Texas)
March 1 and April 5: The Woodlands (Texas)
March 24: Deer Park (Texas)
37-2 (won Division I state title)Coach:
Jon WunderState classification:
NIAA Division IEnrollment:
2,430Players to watchJulia Jensen
, junior P. The Gatorade State Player of the Year was 34-2 (0.80 ERA, 346 strikeouts in 211 innings) and batted .447 with 43 RBIs. Jensen was The Las Vegas Review-Journal Player of the Year. Committed to Nevada.Jessica Sellers
, junior UTIL. Power hitter batted .504 with 21 extra base hits and scored 53 runs. Committed to Nevada.Alysha Imperato
, senior. She has power to spare – .422, 10 HR, 41 RBIs. Signed with Southwest Oregon. Kenzi Goins
, senior UTIL. Batted .403 with 36 RBIs and 53 runs. Signed with Nevada.Raiders story lines
The Raiders lost one senior starter and have lots of power returning. They likely will be improved in all areas. And are more experienced too.
Other key returnees are Alexis Gonzales
(Coppin State, 24 RBIs, .323), Rheanna Smith
(UTEP, .416, 36 RBIs) and Aliya Lange
(3-0, 42 strikeouts in 25 IP, 2.80 ERA.).
While Reed enters 2016 as the heavy favorite to repeat as a state titlist, don't count out Palo Verde, Rancho or Foothill.Key dates
March 10: Sacramento (Calif.) Victory Tournament.
March 17 and April 14: Bishop Manogue (Reno)2015 record:
30-1 (5A state champion)Head coach:
Nicole Rollins (first year)State classification:
1,550Players to watchBradie Fillmore
, senior P/SS. MaxPreps National Junior of the Year in 2015 when she had 13 homers, 68 RBIs, hit .598 and was 15-1 (0.43 ERA, 179 strikeouts in 98 IP). Signed with California.Autum Moffat
, junior P. Posted 14-0 record, 0.68 ERA, 87 strikeouts in 72 IP. Committed to BYU.Martha Tooley
, senior 3B. Hit 10 homers and batted .528. Signed with College of Idaho.Eagle story lines
Eagle lost only one senior starter from a team that batted .465, scored 401 runs (159 extra base hits, including 65 homers) in 2015. Look for more this year from a team led by Fillmore and Moffat. The team ERA was 0.52 with 272 strikeouts and just 21 walks, 102 hits and 45 runs given up.
Other key returnees are Hailey Fisher
(Weber State commit, .454), Kelly Kukla
(.453), Madison Strickler
(Northwest Nazarene signee, .442), Ashley French
(.370) and Rachel Menlove
The team that could derail Eagle's dream season is Coeur d'Alene, featuring Kyle Smith and Breanna Burke.Rollins quote:
"Overall, we look to be more talented with the depth of our roster this year and strengths in our hitting and pitching. As a team, we scored 416 runs with 65 home runs last year. We had 112 base on balls to 80 strikeouts and eight of our 11 players hit at least five home runs each ... so, honestly, every returner in the lineup is a threat."Key dates
March 18: Mountain View (Meridian)
April 4 and April 7: Rocky Mountain (Meridian)2015 record:
Tony HaydenState classification:
1,900Players to watchAudrey Dodd
, senior P. Posted a 17-1 record, 0.97 ERA and 171 strikeouts in 102 innings in 2015. First team all-state. Signed with Georgetown.Jenny Chapman
, senior P. Recorded three perfect games last season and finished with a 1.94 ERA. Signed with Louisiana Tech.Hannah Ridolfi
, senior P/DP. Possibly the team's best hitter (.407, 74 RBIs over two seasons, 23-1, 2.43 ERA). Signed with Union.Mustangs story lines
McCracken County won its final 29 games and the state title. Though it graduated three seniors, the team returns future college pitchers Dodd, Chapman and Ridolfi. The trio combined to record 15 shutouts last season and could improve upon that number this season.
In addition to the pitchers, Kalli Harris
, Tori Humphrey
, Bailey Vick
, Kaylyn Telfair
, Keely Barnes
and Madeline Wooten
will provide the offense.
Newcomers expected to help right away are junior Karlie Hatton
and Hannah Jones
and sophomores Lindsey Carroll
, Laken Largent
, Elizabeth Lindsey
and Abby Shoulders
State runner-up Male (Louisville) isn't going to stand by and watch the pitching-strong Mustangs walk to the title. Male returns junior pitcher Olivia Suski (19-6, 10 homers) and five starters who batted over .300 during last season's 38-9 campaign.Hayden quote:
"Our strengths will be pitching, senior class and freshmen and sophomores pushing the older girls."Key dates
April 4: Niceville (Fla.)
April 5: West Florida (Pensacola, Fla.)
April 8: Fairhope (Ala.)
May 7: Madison Central (Richmond, Ken.)2015 record:
Laneigh ClarkState classification:
2,935Players to watchAlyssa Denham
, senior P. Posted 21-2 record, 181 strikeouts in 132 IP in 2015. District 22-6A MVP. Signed with Louisiana Lafayette.Lindsey Stewart
, senior OF. Batted .439. Signed with UT-San Antonio.Sydney Gutierrez
, senior 1B. Batted .441 with seven homers and 30 RBIs.Ashlyn Walls
, junior IF. Batted .433. Committed to Texas Tech.Oilers story lines
Here's the ultimate understatement of the year: The Oilers' strength will be experience. They have 14 seniors who have signed to play college softball. That is not a misprint. It is 14, as in FOURTEEN.
They include: Sydney Gutierrez (Georgia), Mariah Gaitan
(Blinn), Madison Clements
(Stephen F. Austin), Alexa Montemayor
(St. John Fisher), Megan Hiers
(Houston Baptist), Aileen Garcia
(Texas), Stewart (UT-San Antonio), Natalie Romeo
(UT-Tyler), Denham (Louisiana Lafayette), Makalah Norman
(Blinn), Shelby Barrick
(LeTourneau), Brittany Sockwell
(Canisius), Rebecca Mainard
(Danville) and Victoria Stoddard
Add to that, three returning junior starters who have committed to colleges – Walls (UT-San Antonio), catcher Kaylee Hoppens
(Houston Corpus Christi) and outfielder Kaylee Buck
Add them all up and that's 17 future collegiate softball players.
Leading the returnees are Denham, who has posted 37 victories and 321 strikeouts the past two seasons. And look for freshman pitcher Alyssa Fort to help right away.
Texas 6A is loaded with teams that feel they can hang with the Eagles: returning state champion Katy (36-6 and scored 10 runs or more 20 times) returns a half-dozen players who were all-district or all-conference. Others expected to challenge are No. 3 ranked Atascocita, Lewisville (led by LSU signee and all-state pitcher Maribeth Gorsuch) and pitching strong Deer Park (Peyton McBride and Erin Edmoundsen are the best one-two pitching combo in Texas).Clark quote:
"Our outfield is very strong, pitching is deep and offense we can play the short game or hit for power."Key dates
Feb. 16-10: Bryant Tournament
Melissa HobsonState classification:
4,125Players to watchEmma Vesely
, junior P. Went 10-1 with a 1.96 ERA in 2015. Committed to UNLVHayley Busby
, junior IF. Drove in 44 runs, scored 40 and batted .470. Committed to Virginia.Grace Lyons
, sophomore SS. Made a big impact as a freshman, hitting .419 with 41 RBIs. Committed to Oklahoma.Eagles story lines
The Eagles finished 2015 by winning five straight in the postseason to win the program's first state title, and they return a lot with plans of making a similar run in 2016.
Leading the way are juniors Vesely and Busby and sophomore Lyons. But this team returns 14 players from the title-winning 2015 team.
Also back are Madison Westmoreland
(Indiana, .400, 28 RBIs), Savanna Avilla
(Virginia .371), Gavyn Gerardin
(.361, 27 RBIs, 7 HR), Stevie McLemore
(7 HR, .370, 38 RBIs, 6-1, 1.98 ERA) and Brooke Brown
(Carroll College, 8-1, 1.89, 78 strikeouts in 74 IP).
Challengers are expected from the Phoenix-area teams like Pinnacle and Desert Vista, Hamilton (Chandler) and Red Mountain (Mesa). Key dates
March 3: Red Mountain (Mesa, Ariz.)
April 4: Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.)
April 19: Mountain Ridge (Glendale, Ariz.)
April 20: Basha (Chandler, Ariz.)2015 record:
Rob WeilState classification:
CIF Southern Section Division 1Enrollment:
3,150Players to watchJenna Holcomb
, junior OF. Sunset League co-MVP after batting .500 and stealing 30 bases en route to a league title. Committed to Tennessee.Alexa Schultz
, junior OF. Second-team all-league. Committed to Oklahoma.Mary Iakopo
, junior SS. Committed to Oregon.Ryan Denhart
, junior P. Ready to take the pitching lead now that Katya Duvall has moved on to college. Committed to Maryland. All-league and all-CIF as a freshman.Griffins story lines
With 13 D-1 signees or commits, including two pitchers, the Griffins will compete every day. The future collegians offer speed, power, pitching, defense and a surplus of experience and versatility. And they are still young – their best season could a year away.
The Griffins won 13 of their final 14 in 2015 and are eager to show off their talent.
College signees or commits include Ariana Belarde
(Illinois), Holcomb (Tennessee), Allson Young
(Fort Lewis), Paige Austin
(Biola), Denhart (Maryland), Andrea Gonzalez
(Iowa State), Iakopo (Oregon), Jenna Kean
(Arizona), Caitlin Ladd
(Michigan State), Schultz (Oklahoma), Amanda Nishihira
(Columbia), Cami Sellers
(Boston College) and Jade Loe
(CSU Dominguez Hills).Key dates
March 5: Best of the West Tournament (location to be announced)
March 10: Dave Kops TOC (Bullhead City, Ariz.)
March 17: Mission Viejo (Calif.)
March 22: Gahr (Cerritos, Calif.)
April 21 and May 10: Huntington Beach (Calif.)2015 record:
Beth ZacharyState classification:
3,400Players to watchDanielle Watson
, junior P. Went 24-2 with a 1.59 ERA and 278 strikeouts in 158 innings, plus a .392 average and 36 RBIs.Katie Quinlan
, junior OF. Batted .541 with 44 runs last season. Michigan State commit.Addison Pixley
, senior OF. Batted ,427 with 31 RBIs. Valparaiso University commit.Kingsmen story lines
Penn, which will feature 10 players who have signed or committed to play in college, went 1-2 against 4A state champion Lake Central in 2015 and had a 2-0 win over pitching-strong Crown Point.
All systems are impressive, as the Kingsmen hit .389 last season and outscored their opponents 252-74. All but two starters return. They committed just 20 errors and fielded .967 a year ago.
Led by Watson, Quinlan and Pixley, the Kingsmen will be a challenge for all foes. But there's a lot more on the lineup card with Boston College signee Halle Hixenbaugh
, Olivia Magaldi
(Wisconsin at Green Bay, .363, 28 RBIs), and Madelynn Newman
(Louisville, .366), the Kingsmen are loaded.
Add returnees Alyssa Griman
(Illinois-Chicago signee, .407), Halle Hixenbaugh (Boston College, .427), Emma Ledbetter
, Maddy Newman (.366) and Lillie Ledbetter
and Penn has a target on its back.
The route to the state 4A title will likely run through Crown Point, which features two of the best prep pitchers in state history – Oregon signee Miranda Elish and Notre Dame commit junior Alexis Halloway. However, in Penn's 2-0 win over Crown Point last season, it was Watson pitching a two-hitter and striking out eight for the win. Magaldi hit a two-run homer with two out in the bottom of the seventh.Key dates
March 31: Lake Central (St. John, Ind.)
May 5: Crown Point (Ind.)