Twelve players and eight starters return for the Pahranagat Valley girls softball team for the 2017 season. The four-time defending state champions under coach Mike Sparrow will be looking to capture another title. Right now they are tied with Yerington (1986-89), Wooster (2000-2003) and Needles (2007-2010) for the most consecutive state titles, four each.

Top returning players from the team that finished last season 27-8, (10-0 First in Division IV Southern) include 3B Madison Harris (Sr.), SS/2B Kyla Shumway (Sr.), C Madalyn Taylor (Jr.), P/2B Ashlyn Wadsworth (Jr.), SS/2B Morgan Harris (So.), and 1B/P Kaitlyn Davis (Jr.).

Madison Harris (.447, 4 home runs, 40 RBIs), Taylor (.398, 34 RBIs), Davis (.390, 4 homers, 37 RBIs) and Wadsworth (14-5, 3.00 ERA) have played big roles on some of the title squads in their careers. Morgan Harris (.375, 23 RBIs) also contributed last year for the Panthers, who picked up Shumway, a transfer from Moapa Valley.

“Our current seniors and juniors have been a major part of our success as underclassmen the last two or three years,” said Sparrow, who is in his 16th season with the Lady Panthers. “We do expect to contend in the postseason again this year.”

Pahranagat Valley began the season last night with a game again Virgin Valley in the Cactus Classic preseason tourney in Mesquite. Action continues through Saturday involving such teams as Valley High of Las Vegas, Lincoln County, Aquinas (Calif,), Moapa Valley and Spring Creek.

The girls will  play the same schools as the boys the next weekend, March 17-18, Beaver Dam, Eureka and Tonopah as they host their own tournament to open the home season.