PRIVATE SCHOOL BASEBALL
PASADENA FIRST BAPTIST WARRIORS
The Warriors return six starters from a club that went 26-7 and won the Division 4 TAPPS state title last season. Senior P/SS Jake Sweeney, senior OF Bailey Baird, junior P Josh Towe, senior C Jesse Perry, senior P/C Steve Shaqlovitz and sophomore 1B Brayden Evans will attempt to lead First Baptist to a repeat championship. David Turner enters his 41st season as a head coach with 815 career wins.
FORT BEND CHRISTIAN EAGLES
Fort Bend Christian returns seven starters from a 22-6 TAPPS Division II regional finalist last season. Paving the way this season will be senior OF Brooks Kelley (.383 average), sophomore C Kaden Kram (.245), senior IF Jacob Aguilar (.218), senior OF J.B. Youngblood (.158), senior P James Taylor (.300, 9-2, 2.14 ERA, 67 Ks-25 BBs), senior P/3B Tomas Romo (.242, 3-0, 3.50 ERA) and junior OF Richard Hoke (.217).
SECOND BAPTIST EAGLES
Coach Lance Berkman’s team returns four starters from a 22-16 TAPPS Division II regional finalist last season. Senior 3B Michael Fordham (honorable mention all-state), senior SS Anthony MacKenzie, senior 2B Reid Stiefel and junior OF/P Dylan Kim will pace the Eagles. Berkman, the former Astros great, has three years as a head coach with 83 career wins.
PRIVATE SCHOOL SOFTBALL
SECOND BAPTIST EAGLES
The Eagles return eight starters from a 16-13 club that made it to regionals in TAPPS Division 2 last season. Second Baptist returns second-team, all-state Rachel Riley, first-team, all-district selections Victoria Ryan and Katie Dillon and second-team, all-district selections Eliza Dixon and Leyla Ertan. Riley, Dillon and Dixon are the Eagles’ leaders. Keys for Second Baptist, coach Brandy Mardis said, will be confidence of the younger players and aggressiveness at the plate throughout the lineup.
LUTHERAN SOUTH PIONEERS
Five starters return for the Pioneers from a 2018 club that finished 21-5-1 and reached the second round of the playoffs in TAPPS Division II. Igniting this year’s team will be senior Shelby Smith (16-1, 192 strikeouts, .593 average), senior Anna Jones (.623), junior Jackie Lachney (.323), junior Lauren Whitney (.271) and sophomore Ashley Foret (.314). Smith is the team’s anchor and a Seton Hall-commit. Jones is a LSU-commit, and Whitney is a Sam Houston State-commit. “With these ladies being returners, we can only continue to learn and grow as a team,” coach Nicole Andrade said.
CYPRESS CHRISTIAN WARRIORS
Cypress Christian has a nice mix of experience and inexperience this season, boasting a roster of four seniors, four juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen. The seniors are Ashley Deskin, Sam Grabowski, Molly Mitton and Lauren Muehlenbrock. Cypress Christian finished third in its district last season in making another run to the playoffs.