Senior Jessica Sipe and five classmates lead a somewhat-seasoned Mountain View softball team into the 2010 season.
Playing third base, last year's team MVP returns to captain a solid squad. Sipe batted over .400 last season, and already has a scholarship in tow to Pima Community College.
Frank Drake is in his 12th year as the softball coach for the Lady Lions, and hopes to end the team's three-year run of consecutive losing seasons.
"A lot of senior leadership," Drake said. "The younger players look up to them."
Senior leadership will also be provided by the Ortiz twins, Jordyn and Alexis. Breann Stevens plays right field and second base. Speedster Kelsey Terrell is the centerfielder.
"Terrell has the potential to play on (a higher level)," Drake said. "They all play ASA ball."
"Our pitching is key in softball," Drake said. "If our pitchers are on, we do well."
Mariah Rodriguez, A.J. Deveny, and Sarah Gaalswijk are the Mountain Lions' three pitchers. Rodriguez and Deveny have two wins already. In a recent start, Deveny hurled four scoreless innings against a strong Marana team, before tiring in the fifth in a loss to the Tigers.
There are three freshmen bursting onto the scene. Kayla Ugaitafa is the starting shortstop, while Kelsea McKemy-Scott and Ashley Rivera are utility players.
"I think we can make the state playoffs," Drake said. "They (the players) expect to have a winning season."
Drake feels strongly about the team chemistry among his 5-3 Lady Lions.
"The girls play very well together. They get along very well."