The Dayton High softball team enters the 2014 with ace pitcher Makayla Shadle back and a new head coach.
Gerald Vasquez inherits a team that went 8-16 overall and 2-12 in league play a year ago under the guidance of Daven Passalacqua.
Shadle is the key to any success the Dust Devils might enjoy this year. Unofficially, she struck out 229 hitters and walked just 26 last season, and teams hit just .076 against her. She was a force at the plate, hitting .481 with a homer and 22 RBI.
Other returners are outfielder-shortstop-pitcher Mallory Dickenson (.262, 11 RBI), catcher-first baseman Kalee Alexander (.240, 1 RBI), outfielder-second baseman Hannah Stevenson (.255, 7 RBI), catcher-outfielder Ashley Morrison (.208, 9 RBI), infielder Shalia Powell (.194) and second baseman-outfielder Clarice Cerda (.154, 4 RBI).
Top newcomers are outfielder-second baseman Kyra Mills, outfielder Casey Cathey, infielder Serina Cazel, pitcher-infielder Kacie Touchstone and utility player Nichole Vienneau.
The Dust Devils play at the Yerington Tournament today and Saturday.