Art Guerra believes he has had the best of both worlds.
For 12 years, Guerra coached softball at Natomas, six at the varsity level.
Guerra's varsity teams didn't win many games just 14 but he loved working with his girls who had limited resources and little experience, often learning the basics of how to hit, field and throw for the first time from Guerra.
"We'd have 60 or 70 signed up to play and then their first question on the first day of practice would be, 'Hey coach, where are the gloves?' "
That's not an issue at Davis, where Guerra is in his first season and has the No. 16 Blue Devils off to an 11-4 start.
The girls come to practices and games well-equipped with gloves, bats and years of travel-ball experience.
"While I'd never trade those years at Natomas, this is a dream come true," said the 54-year-old Guerra, a grandfather of eight.
At Natomas, Guerra's Nighthawks did not win a game in league play.
At Davis, the Blue Devils hope to challenge No. 11 Elk Grove for the Delta Valley Conference championship after finishing second in 2011 to the Thundering Herd.
The Blue Devils are led by senior first baseman Haley Cameron (.490), senior third baseman Rita Allen-Sutter (.391); returning all-league seniors Melanie Habib (.279), a shortstop, and Megan Winton (.380), a center fielder, and the pitching trio of sophomore Kaitlyn Lagattuta, junior Micke Cox and senior Alexandria Barbaria.
"I've got 15 great kids and six seniors who are hungry to win," Guerra said. "We're having a great time."
Davis athletic director Dennis Foster, a former Natomas AD, coaxed Guerra into applying for the job in Yolo County, even though it extended his commute from Roseville.
"I told Dennis if he ever left Natomas, I'd follow him," said Guerra. "He's a great AD, a good guy to work with."
Down time for most There was no movement in The Bee's top 20, largely because most teams were on spring break.
The teams that played in out-of-area tournaments had mixed results.
Second-ranked Sheldon won its first two games, and then lost the next three, and No. 4 St. Francis went 2-3 in the Michelle Carew Memorial Classic in Anaheim Hills.
Tenth-ranked Cosumnes Oaks placed sixth; No. 13 Whitney eighth and No. 9 Pleasant Grove 11th in the Livermore Stampede on Saturday.
Productive pitcher In 12 games this season, Marysville senior Ashten Welch has pitched all but five innings for her team.
She is 11-1 (1.65 ERA) with 88 strikeouts in 72 innings. Her only loss was 3-0 to No. 1 Woodcreek on March 30 in the Stephanie LeDoux Memorial tournament.
In a 5-1 win over Lindhurst her latest outing April 4 Welch tossed a one-hitter as the Indians (11-1, 6-0) moved two games ahead of the Blazers (10-5-1, 4-2) in the Golden Empire League.
Showdown in Roseville No. 3 Del Oro is scheduled to play top-ranked Woodcreek at 4 p.m. today, weather permitting, at Roseville's Mahany Park in a Sierra Foothill League showdown.