Coach: Dan DeForest (31st season)

Last year: 3-13

The team: Burr and Burton has their main core returning this year after graduating just two players - center fielder Emily Keyes and right fielder Shelby Pistocco.

"We're really excited about this because a nucleus of these girls have been playing for three or four years in the varsity so we expect some big things," said DeForest.

DeForest believes the team will be more competitive this year as far as a win loss record as they were competitive in a number of games last season, but were unable to come away with the win.

Junior Caitlyn Arellano returns as the team's ace. Sophomore Kristi Lewicki will will serve as the team's backup pitcher and also play some first base for the Bulldogs.

Senior Libby Merrill - one of the team's best hitters - will see time at the short stop and catcher positions.

Taylor Smith - a senior who DeForest said is a versatile player - will play first and third base as well as spend some time in the outfield this season.

Senior Rachel Peloquin - who will see some time at short stop and third base - also figures to play an important role this season. In addition to being a solid hitter, DeForest said Peloquin is also a "key defensive player and good baserunner."

Meghan Cardas, who DeForest said is a solid second baseman and "key hitter" is expected to serve as the team's leadoff hitter as she has in previous years.

Carolyn Bruno - who played left field last season - will anchor the outfield this year. However, DeForest said he is unsure whether or not she will play left or center field.

Seniors Morgan Hart, Rachel Yrsha and Ali Duke - who have been in and out of the program, DeForest said - are on this year's squad and juniors Catelyn Reilly, Kyle Gatewood, and Hannah Hart have all moved up from junior varsity.

Katherine Walla - who made varsity last year as a freshman - returns in the outfield this season.

With several students vying for playing time, DeForest said the needs of the team and who is producing offensively will determine who gets the nod. In order for the team to be successful this season though, DeForest said there are a couple of things that will play a role.

"Pitching is always a key in girls softball. We need to make our opponents earn their runs," he said. "We need to have our defense play sharp. We need to put the ball in play and let the defense do their job."

Opener: Tuesday, April 23, at Fair Haven beginning at 4:30 p.m.

- Brandon Canevari

Follow on Twitter @BrandonCanevari