Before Mike Sparrow and the Pahranagat Valley Panthers accomplished the feat last year, no school in Nevada history had ever won five girls state softball state championships in a row.
So what to do now? Obviously, go for six.
Winston Churchill once stated, “Give us the tools, and we will finish the job!”
Coach Sparrow believes he has the tools to do just that for number six.
This will be the 17th season for Sparrow at Pahranagat Valley, where he now has seven titles. He also had a 4A state championship at Spring Creek High in 2000 before returning to Alamo, his hometown.
The Lady Panthers were 31-5 last season (10-01 A Southern/first).
Sparrow has a solid crew returning, with twelve letter winners, including six starters.
Top players are expected to be Catcher Madalyn Taylor (Sr.), P/2B Ashlyn Wadsworth (Sr.), P/1B Kaitlyn Davis (Sr.), and SS/C Morgan Harris (Jr.)
“Having Madi (Taylor) return from a knee injury that kept her out all of last season, will be a great help,” he said. Taylor hit .398 as a sophomore.
Harris is expected to move from behind the plate, where she filled in admirably for Taylor as a First Team All-League selection, back to shortstop to anchor the infield. She hit .476 last season.
On the mound will be the dynamic duo of Davis (16-2, 1.48 ERA) and Wadsworth (13-2, 2.76), who “will provide leadership in the circle,” Sparrow said, “along with returning seniors Rachel Bunker, Second Team All-League, and First Team All-League center fielder Karley Whipple.”
He added, “We expect to fill the remaining starting positions with girls in the program. This group should help us contend for another state title this year.”
The girls opened the season this Thursday through Saturday at the Desert Winds tournament in Mesquite.
They host the Pahranagat Valley Invitational in Alamo March 16-17.
The 1A Southern League is only five teams this year, as Round Mountain is not fielding a team.