All four local softball teams will participate in this weekend’s Dorado Softball Classic at Sportspark. 

The host Dorados will open play Friday night against Basha and Mesa Mountain View.

The Dorados won over 30 games last season but came up short of their ultimate goal of a state championship. CDO lost eight seniors, but Kelly Fowler and the Dorados rarely rebuild, they reload. Four of their top five hitters return, but only one of the four played in all 34 games. 

More importantly, Randi Longville returns. The pitcher was 17-4 last season with a 1.44 ERA. 

Ironwood Ridge was a 24-win team a year ago and only graduated four players off the squad. Annika Baez hit .515 a year ago, driving in 39 runs. Three other hitters, Loriann Olson, MacKenzie Judge and Kelsey Buechler, all hit over .400 last season. 

All four pitchers return, including 12-game winner Kelly Decker and Alexis Ranieri, who was second on the squad in wins. 

Marana returns the bulk of the team that went 17-12-2 last season, including top hitters Natalie Santos and Katie Falk, who both hit better than .400 and combined for 49 RBI. 

They lose ace pitcher Jordan Wengert, but Lilie Medina was 4-1 with a 1.91 ERA last season.  

Mountain View was 14-15-1 last year under first-year coach Ashley Monceaux, and has to replace seven seniors, but still has a lot of talent in place. They return both starting pitchers, Alyssa Lovato and Alex Vanderwerf, from last year as well as three hitters who batted .298 or better.

The Mountain View and Ironwood Ridge baseball teams will begin their season this week at the Cowboy Up Baseball Tournament at the Kino Sports Complex. 

Although the tournament begins Wednesday.

The Nighthawks are coming off a 21-9 season where they advanced to the second round of the state tournament before they fell to eventual state champion CDO. 

They lost seven seniors off of last year’s team but return five batters who hit .329 or better, including the team’s home run leader, Nick Estrella, and RBI leader, Jake Engel. 

Estrella will also anchor the pitching staff. He went 7-3 with a 2.82 ERA last season. 

He is joined by five-game winner Josh Darang.

Mountain View will try to rebound from a 10-18 season, their first under Head Coach Steve Elmore.

Eight seniors graduated but the Mountain Lions bring back juniors Stan Berryhill and Gabe Gordon, who hit .390 and .429 last season. Five underclassmen pitchers return, and although they combined for just five wins a year ago, those were half the team’s victories. 

Marana will not take the field until March 1 but will play in both the Lancer Baseball Classic and the Chris Moon Memorial Tournament in March. 

The Tigers are coming off one of their best seasons in over a decade, but will have to replace a number of key seniors including four senior pitchers who combined for 16 of the team’s 20 wins and their three best hitters. 

Nick Tinsley returns. He hit .369 last season and was second on the team with 19 RBI. Pitcher Kaileb Robinson was 3-0 with a 2.92 ERA last season.  

Like Marana, the defending state champion Canyon Del Oro will not play in a preseason tournament, but will begin their season on March 1 against Rincon. The Dorados lost nine seniors off last year’s team but still boast a senior laden team led by Kansas State commit Tristan Peterson.

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