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Small school softball teams ready to play
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Hilmar, Turlock Christian, and Denair High’s girls are back on the softball field. Last season each team had varying degrees of success but they all have one thing in common this season, a desire to improve and win a league title.

The Yellowjackets finished last season 7-5 in the Trans Valley League, finishing in third place. The seven win season was a step back for a Hilmar team that had three straight 12-win seasons prior to last year. After losing five players from last season’s team the ‘Jackets have welcomed back seven returning seniors including Samantha White and Kasidi Barcelos. Hilmar must improve its offensive game this season if it intends on breaking thorough the TVL standings to earn a league championship.

TC finished fourth in the Southern Athletic League last season after taking the No. 2 spot in 2010. The Eagles ended their season with a league record of 8-6 and plans on besting that record this year. With seven players gone from last year’s team the Eagles will rely on a young cast of girls to carry them through the season. Luckily for TC, senior Tara Lafollette has returned at the mound to help its defense stand up to the likes of Mariposa County and Le Grand High.

Last season marked the third straight year that Denair finished at the bottom of the TVL. The Coyotes were winless in the SAL last season and have only won two league games since 2009. Four players from last year’s team are gone and Denair has a young, yet experienced team to work with in 2012. Denair must execute on both the offensive and defensive side this season in order to avoid another last place finish.