• COACH: Steve Belden (eighth season).
• LAST YEAR’S RECORD: 21-6.
• RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Hannah Morton, Jr., P; McKenzie Gill, Jr., P/OF; Brook McCoy, Jr., 1B; Kennedy Wynn, So., 2B; Hannah Veit, Jr., SS; Whitney Atkins, So., 3B; Danielle Williamson, Jr., C; Jenna Fath, So., OF.
• KEY NEWCOMERS: Marissa Jones, Fr., util.
• OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs lost only one senior from last year’s team in Brittany Jones. Therefore, they are expected to build off of last year’s 21-6 mark. Belden says the HHC and Class 4A sectional will be challenging with Jennings County, Floyd Central and Jeff in the title mix.
• BELDEN SAYS: “Our goal is to improve our efficiency in all areas of the game in making us the most well-rounded team as possible for the HHC and state tournament. Playing in the HHC — which most of the coaches will agree is one of the toughest, if not the toughest, conference in the state — is a real challenge. But it is one we hope to be ready for.”
• COACH: Tim Sexton (fourth season).
• LAST YEAR’S RECORD: 14-9.
• RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Kaitlyn Schindler, Sr., SS/LF; Courtney Roberts, Sr., 2B; Brooke Shaw, Jr., P; Gracie Speigelhalder, Jr., C; Yo Diaz, Jr., OF; Karen Profitt, So., 3B; Bailey Crace, So., SS/OF; Jodi Davidson, So., OF.
• KEY NEWCOMERS: none.
• OUTLOOK: Sexton has a young roster that will be facing a difficult schedule. The Mustangs will play in the Bedford Tournament this weekend that includes Floyd Central, followed by games against Silver Creek, Henryville and Jeffersonville in the next two weeks. Sexton says Lanesville is the favorite to win the SAC and the Class A sectional.
• SEXTON SAYS: “I’ll be happy with a .500 record. We probably have the toughest schedule in Class A right off the bat.”
• COACH: Sean Payne (eighth season).
• LAST YEAR’S RECORD: 22-9.
• RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Sierra Collett, Sr., P; Jordyn Stengel, Sr., C; Charly Wolford, Sr., RF; Melinda Cochran, Sr., 2B; Jessica Payne, Sr., LF; Lillian Hughes, Jr., 3B; Karly Baumann, Jr., 1B; Jacquie Hornung, So., SS; Marlee Karem, So., CF.
• KEY NEWCOMERS: Rebecca Hellinger, Jr., 2B; Jaclyn Endris, Jr., OF; Riley Lovan, So., P; Sydney Milliner, Fr., util.; Mia Fougerousse, Fr., OF; Taylor Raymond, Fr., util.
• OUTLOOK: Expectations are high at Providence after the Pioneers reached the Class 2A Forest Park Semistate. Providence welcomes back seven full-time starters. Coach Payne thinks the Pioneers’ challenging regular-season slate will prepare them for the postseason.
• COACH PAYNE SAYS: “With us returning seven full-time starters from our regional championship team, we expect to compete for the sectional and regional title once again assuming we can stay healthy in some key positions. We play a brutally tough schedule and it begins from Game 1. Playing other great teams exposes your weak areas, which allows for more improvement throughout the season.”