Douglas High softball

Douglas softball opens 2024 season as defending state champs

Talia Tretton, the returning Class 5A North Player of the Year, hurls a pitch last season in the state tournament. Tretton, an Iowa signee, will be the main pitcher in the circle for the Tigers this season.

Talia Tretton, the returning Class 5A North Player of the Year, hurls a pitch last season in the state tournament. Tretton, an Iowa signee, will be the main pitcher in the circle for the Tigers this season.
Photo by Ron Harpin.

Douglas High School softball will have a target on its back this season.

The Tigers are the defending Class 5A state champs and have finished the last two seasons in the state title game.

Douglas will open its regular season in Arizona this week against some of the toughest competition in the Western U.S.

It’ll be a litmus test for the Tigers, who are certainly hoping to be playing in the last game of the season and their third straight state title game.

“We just want to get better every day,” Douglas High head coach John Glover said. “Those big goals are out there … but that’s so distant; not until May … we don’t even worry about it.”


It’s no secret who will be hurling most of the innings for Douglas this spring.

Talia Tretton, who signed with Iowa in the fall, returns for her senior campaign after being named the 5A North Player of the Year last season.

Tretton’s 1.70 earned run average and 193 strikeouts in 119.2 innings of work highlighted exactly how valuable she is to the orange and black.

On top of that, the senior hit .500 at the plate last season with 14 homers, 14 doubles and a team-high 47 RBIs.

Last season, Tretton had a co-ace along side her in Mackenzie Willis, who was named the 5A Pitcher of the Year and is now playing at Cal State Monterey Bay.

This season, Douglas could have a few names help eat innings when Tretton isn’t pitching.

Annie Hill, Mercedes Covey and Zora Simpson are three players that could see some work in the circle.

“They’re willing and able. We are certainly going to miss Mackenzie, but those will be the fill-in girls to chew up some of those innings,” said Glover.

Glover said he expects Tretton to throw more than the 120 innings she tossed last season.

Receiving those pitches will be sophomores Peyton Simpson and Marissa McLelland.

Simpson was able to break into the starting ranks last year, where she hit for a .231 average. It’ll be McLelland’s first season on the Tigers’ varsity squad, but she will bring a new element to the team as a slap hitter.

“She’s really been impressive to this point,” Glover said of McLelland. “Runs well, can play multiple positions and I don’t know if we’ve had a true slapper in a long time.”

Junior Cam McLelland, who was one of the Tigers’ mainstays at catcher last season, won’t play at the start of the season due to injury.  


Returning at shortstop will be Haley Wilkinson, who was a first team all-region selection last season.

Wilkinson, who signed to continue playing at Grand Canyon next season, will be a staple at short this spring.

“If she started every single game, it wouldn’t surprise me,” said Glover. “She’s one of the best players in the state.”

The senior can use the stick, too, hitting .513 with a team-high 15 home runs and driving in 41 runs last season.

Douglas will be trying to replace the production from two other all-region players at the corner infield spots.

First baseman Bre Williams (first-team selection) and third baseman Dakota Till (second team) have both graduated and Glover expects those spots to be taken over by returning veterans.

Senior Lilyann Lee will take over at first base for the Tigers while fellow senior Zora Simpson will be making the transition from second base to the hot corner at third.

Simpson was a first team all-region choice last year, hitting .442 with 16 doubles and nine homers, while Lee earned a spot on the honorable mention all-region squad.

Glover said he expects newcomer Shasta Lumsden to see some time at third base, as well.

Taking over at second base for Zora Simpson will be a combination of senior Mercedes Covey and Marissa McLelland.

In 24 at-bats in 2023, Covey hit for a .292 average.

“We will have some competitive spots where girls are trying to win jobs,” said Glover.

First team all-region centerfield Maddie Gooch will be back roaming the middle of the outfield.

In the corners, Glover expects Ava Delaney and Annie Hill to mix-and-match in left and right field, respectively.

Lexi Hyde, who appeared in 13 games last year, and newcomer Mya Roberts will also get some looks in the corner outfield spots as needed.

“Our corner outfield is really as deep as it’s ever been,” said Glover. “Mya and Shasta, … both are hitters and have done a great job. They work their butts off and are team-oriented.”


The teams most likely to push the Tigers this spring are Spanish Springs and Reed.

However, Glover noted that Bishop Manogue, McQueen and Damonte Ranch shouldn’t be counted out in the North this season.


Marissa McLelland, So.; Annie Hill, Jr.; Ava Delaney, Sr.; Lexi Hyde, Sr.; Haley Wilkinson, Sr.; Cam McLelland, Jr.; Zora Simpson, Sr.; Maddie Gooch, Jr.; Peyton Simpson, So.; Talia Tretton, Sr.; Mya Roberts, Sr.; Mercedes Covey, Sr.; Shasta Lumsden, Sr.; Lilyann Lee, Sr.

(Douglas High senior Haley Wilkinson loads up to make a throw from her shortstop position last year in the state tournament. Wilkinson, who has signed to played at Grand Canyon, will be a staple at shortstop this season for the Tigers. / Ron Harpin)


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