Coach: Joe Linthicum, sixth year
Assistant coaches: Brian Hollingsworth, Bobby Reese, Cathy Coale
Last year's record: 14-7 overall, 11-7 in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League, Region II champions
Top returnees: Seniors -- Kathy Bower (P), Wendy Galandak (1B), Lori Woodson (OF), Suzie Small (OF); juniors -- Erin Murphey (SS), Shelley Smith (C); sophomore -- Amber Smith (P)
Top newcomers: Juniors -- Kitty Rupp (IF), Michelle Black(IF), Tina Smith (IF), Damien Overholser (OF); sophomore -- Amber Smith (P)
Coach's comments: "I'm pretty optimistic about our season.We have six girls returning that went to the playoffs last year. Hopefully, they can use that leadership for guiding us back to the playoffs. Our infield and defense should be as solid as last year's team."
The Carroll County Sun's outlook: The Eagles are a strong contender to reclaim the Class 1A Region II title and advance far in the playoffs. They reached the semifinal round before being knocked out by North Caroline, in Caroline County, last year. The defense is the cornerstone for the Eagles this season. Last year, Key held opponents to five runs or less for the last 15 games. With Galandak at first, Murphy at short and Shelley Smith behind the plate, the Eagles have a formidable defense. Coach Linthicum is working on the team's hitting andhopes that it is the key ingredient in Key's 1992 quest for a state title.
Coach: Dale Green, third year
Assistant coach: Ray Barrow
Last year's record: 14-5 overall, 9-3 in the Central Marland Conference
Top returnees: Seniors -- Brenda Timko (P), Laura Rivera (LF); juniors -- Amy Wolff (CF), Michelle Smith (OF), Darlene Marsiglia (IF), Andrea Dixon (P), Carrie Myers (2B) Kelly Cathy
Top newcomers: Clare Barvir, Wendy Wollschlager, Shelly Reichl, Jill Jordan, Vicki Senner.
Coach's comments: "We have experience and skilled players coming back. We should do well if we play together as a team. I'm happy with what we got from the girls last season and in preseason."
The Carroll County Sun's outlook: The Liberty Lionshave consistently improved on the previous year's record since Greentook over as head coach. This season should be no exception, with pitcher Timko (13-5 a year ago) returning and a solid defense to back her up. The Lions have depth all around the bases and in the outfield.In addition to the senior Timko, Dixon can also supply some heat from the mound. While the pitching seems to be the strong point for the Lions, the offense is suspect for the '92 season. The Lions are minusCindy Leeds this season, but have to rely on Wolff, Smith and Cathy for the firepower. With all factors weighted, the Lions should returnto battle for the CMC and have another winning season with the guidance of Green.
NORTH CARROLL PANTHERS
Coach: Phil Bonnell, sixth year
Assistant coach: Tom Davidson
Last year's record: 19-4 overall, 8-1 in the county, 9-3 in the Central Maryland Conference, Class 3A state champions
Top returnees: Seniors -- Vickie Jackson (CF), Kim Piccione (OF), Mindy Bankert (OF), Danielle Canoles (OF), Tina Martin (IF), Sherri Woodburn (IF/C)
Top newcomers: Juniors -- Michelle Jeffery (P/1B), Stephanie May (2B), Liz Piper (1B/OF), Christy Brenden (C/3B); sophomores -- Jenny Baker (SS), Casey Rhoten (2B)
Coach's comments: "I think we have a good ballclub. We lack some experience, but the team is accustomed to winning. As far as returning to the states, you never know. It's a tough chore. You need a little bit of luck to go with your talent."
The Carroll County Sun's outlook: Losing four All-County players, including standout pitcher Michele Ament, is a heavy loss for the Panthers in their quest for a third straight state championship. But before one counts out North Carroll as defending state champion, take a closer look at the nine players returning. Jackson will be the spark plug on offense and controls the outfield in center. Jeffery is a new pitcher in the North Carroll lineup,and that likely is the key for the team this year. The pitching is unproven for the Panthers this season. To lose an ace like Ament is a big loss for any team, but the Panthers still have the right stuff toreturn to the states.
SOUTH CARROLL CAVALIERS
Coach: Debbie Barnes, sixth year Assistant coach: Charlie Fazenbaker
Last year's record: 2-12 overall, 1-5 in the county, 2-10 in the Central Maryland Conference
Top returnees: Seniors -- Liz Masterson (OF/P), Michelle Zepp (OF/C), Carey Zylka (OF), Jenny Hickey (OF); junior -- Melissa Moore (OF/C)
Top newcomers: Senior -- Maria Jones (C/DH); juniors --Becky Fryfogle (OF), Shannon Wilder (P/3B), Tammy Koon (SS), Jamie Mercier (2B); sophomores -- Nicole Carter (P), Tanya Clutter (OF); freshman -- Kendra Pulis (OF)
Coach's comments: "Right now it's hard to say, but it all boils down to pitching. If the pitching comes through, we will do well."