Change brings about a new team chemistry.

With all the changes being made with the Larry H. Miller Toyota fastpitch softball team - like the retirements of Randy Ward, Lance Pratt, Todd Wartman, Doug Streeter, coach Gary Cleverly and Brad Burrup -things could be more than a little strange this season. Five of the missing - Pratt, Ward, Streeter, Burrup and Gordon Eakin (who'll play only in local Travel League games and in the St. George tournament) - made numerous ISC All-World and ASA All-American teams.The retirees helped Miller Toyota finish second in the 1992 ASA Tournament and take four third-place finishes. They also helped Miller to finish third in the '93 ISC Tournament and take a silver medal in the '93 ASA Olympic Festival.

As Miller Toyota prepares for the annual Polar Bear Tournament, Monday through April 16 at Cottonwood Complex, coach Wes Haymond is confident.

"I believe that youth will be served and we will have a good team chemistry," said Haymond. "These kids are hungry to prove themselves. And we've got guys, like Brandon Burt and Brett Alvey who are second-generation players, and they've been with our team for quite a while.

Miller finished fifth in both the ASA and ISC last year.

"Maybe, it was time for the changes," Haymond said. "We're going to miss those veterans who retired, but our youngsters have a lot of pride, and we're expecting big things from them this year."

Brett Alvey, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound first baseman, has proven to be a solid player. The former Ute is a budding fastpitch star.

At second base, Kyle Magnusson, who was named to the second team ASA All-American team last year as an outfielder, replaces Pratt.

Tom Montgomery, a former Minot, N.D., like Magnusson, and pitcher Dwayne Dyck, replaces Eakin at shortstop, and Tommy Gray moves to third base for a full-time assignment.

In the outfield, Brian Lehrman is back in right after a second-team ASA All-American performance last year. He will get help from Gary Daniels, the former BYU All-WAC performer, and former Ute Mike Aranzullo.

Ken Erikson, who missed most of last season with a fractured hand, can play first base, catcher, DH and outfield. Brandon Burt will also be used at first, third and DH.

Pitcher Peter Meredith remains the key to Miller Toyota's season. Meredith got off to a great start this season going 5-0 for the United States in a silver-medal performance in the Pan American Games in Argentina last month.

"If we were going into this season without Meredith, it would be a different story, with all the changes," said Haymond.

But Meredith has more help on the mound now. Dyck is back from a 27-10 season, and Miller has picked up Billy Hillhouse, 23,from Shelbyville, Ind.. Hillhouse has also pitched for Baltimore, Md., and Seattle SeaFirst. He got his start playing for Ken Hackmeister's K&L Sports 18-and-under team in Utah. He pitched for the New Zealand Ramblers this winter.

With Burrup and Wartman's retirements leave Chip Ehlers, who caught for Salt Lake Hydraulics last season. In three years of playing 23-and-under tournament ball, Ehlers was selected to the ASA All-American team each year.

Miller also picked up veteran left-handed catcher Ken Garinger from 1994 Canadian champion Rempel Bros.

Miller Toyota's schedule: April 10-16 - Polar Bear Tournament (Cottonwood Complex); May 5-7 - St. George tournament; May 19-21 - Vista, Calif., tournament; June 2-4 - Sioux City, Iowa, tournament; June 28-July 2 - Victoria, B.C., and Seattle tournaments; July 7-9 - Pioneer Days Tournament (Cottonwood Complex); July 14-16 - Fargo, N.D., tournament; July 28-Aug. 1 - Tampa Bay, Fla., tournament; Aug. 4-6 - Long Beach, Calif., tournament; Aug. 11-20 - ISC World Tournament (Sioux City, Iowa); Sept. 9-16 - ASA National Tournament, Midland, Mich.