After winning a share of the Central Valley Conference softball title and reaching the second round of the Northern California Reedley Regionals last year, Reedley College head coach Kathy Kuball has high hopes in 2019.
The new season begins on Saturday in Reedley as the Lady Tigers host Hartnell in a 12-noon doubleheader.
"We return a solid core of sophomores that will make key contributions in our quest for another CVC championship and run for a state tournament berth," said the coach.
Topping the list of returnees is pitcher Emily Grimbleby, who finished fourth in the state last season with 230 strikeouts. The sophomore from Sierra High was the winning pitcher in 21 of Reedley's 29 wins last season. She finished with a 21-10 record and a 2.36 earned run average for a squad that went 29-12-1 overall.
Top incoming freshmen include catcher Sam Lizaola, outfielder Bobbie Falcon and utility player Brianna Stephens.
"The team is working really hard to prepare for what lies ahead and are excited to get started."
After facing Hartnell, Reedley is scheduled to travel to Gilroy on Thursday, Jan. 31 to face Gavilan in a 2 p.m. doubleheader. CVC action begins on March 5 with a 1 p.m. home twin bill with West Hills Coalinga.
By Will Goldbeck