By DAVE BELCHER
Moapa Valley Progress
The Moapa Valley High School Softball team advanced all the way to the regional playoffs last year where they were beaten by Sierra Vista 2-0 in the first round. The team then beat SECTA 14-4 in the second round before being eliminated by state runner-up Boulder City 8-1.
Lost from last year’s team is Karson Cardinal, Tapanga Durham, Mercedes Gale and Jordan Morwood who all contributed last year.
The Pirates finished with a 17-12 overall record and an 11-3 league record last year, finishing as the second seed from the Sunrise.
“We will be solid on defense this year,” said Head Coach Matt Messer. “We will be fast on the base paths and hope to make the state tournament this year.”
The Pirates return Kessa Evans this season, who batted .420 and knocked in 26 RBI’s.
Daesha Stastny, a three year starting pitcher, also continues with the team. She has lots of experience, including some play in club softball, that could make her a leader on the mound. Stastny was 10-9 last year with a 3.22 ERA and 78 strikeouts.
Aria Messer returns with her .352 batting average, 16 RBI’s and 26 stolen bases.
Lanie Cornwall also returns with her .346 batting average and 17 steals.
The team also returns four others from last year’s team, two of them starters. These include Rylee Widdison, Jalea Blasingame, Maddie Curtis and Halle Bennet.
The last time the Pirates advanced to the state tournament was in 2001. They have made the regional playoffs in 17 of the last 19 years including an eight-year run.
The Pirates season starts this Thursday in the Virgin Valley Cactus Classic. They will host Mojave of the Sunset region on Mar. 16. They will start league play against Chaparral at home on March 31. Go Pirates!