Talk about the rich getting richer; Old Mill's softball team has moved into a higher tax bracket.
But has the Patriots' baseball team gone bankrupt?
While Mel Montgomery's crew lost its top two starters, including second-team All-County southpaw Jimmy Simms (7-2) and first-team catcher John Bussey, the Old Mill girls cashed in with the addition of Jennifer Bostak.
Bostak missed last season with a knee injury, but the Patriots still went to the regional playoffs for the third straight year under former coach Debbie Shacklock. Now, the senior pitcher/shortstop joins senior Jennifer Schmittle and junior Karen Jacobson toform one of the best staffs in the state.
Schmittle won eight games with 108 strikeouts and a 0.98 ERA in being named first-team All-Metro -- as an outfielder.
"Schmittle is strong and an amazing hitter, as well. And the same with Bostak," said first-year coach Lori Darnall, who worked with the junior varsity team last season with Tom Schiltz, now a varsity assistant. "Both of them will be in the line-up, either pitching or somewhere else."
Another team strength is itsversatility. Schmittle (.327, seven triples) also can play the infield, and Bostak will share time at shortstop with juniors Christine Baer and Tracy Kaszuba, who also can move to first base.
Senior Sarah Storrs -- a first-team All-County designated hitter who posted a .481 average -- and juniors Lori Lynch and Melissa Maisch will don the catching gear.
Lynch also plays center field, and Storrs will takea few throws at first base.
"We'll have a lot of juggling to do to figure out who plays where," Darnall said.
Most of the players Montgomery sends out will be fairly untested, with only two seniors back from a team the 14th-year coach labels "one of the youngest I've ever had."
Mike Mahoney batted .350 last season as an outfielder/designated hitter, but he'll replace Bussey (.408, 22 RBI) behind the plate. Outfielder Mark Bailey is the only other senior.
Montgomery,who also lost second-team All-County shortstop Eric Scott (.468), will carry 13 newcomers, including six sophomores.
"These guys are pretty good ballplayers. It's just going to take time and, hopefully, it won't take too long. We don't have long to wait," he said.
"If they get their sticks moving, we'll do fine. We just have to make sure we get them to the point where they can do it on the varsity level."
Junior left-hander Lee Haney assumes the role of No. 1 starter. He won four games last season, and will team with junior right-handerJeff Robinson to "carry the majority of the load," Montgomery said.
Other throwers include juniors Brian Jones, Chad Isbell and Pat Crawford and sophomores Jeff Haynie, Mike Bussey and Kenny Pumphrey.
"If our pitching can keep us in there, we'll be OK," Montgomery said.
"I would like to finish in the playoffs, but there are some strong teams in county. Severna Park is a strong club, Glen Burnie has good pitching, and Arundel always is tough because they work so hard. We're going to be looking at some pretty good ballclubs."
Old Mill looked at an exceptionally good Arundel team three times last year --and lost each game.
"We did the same thing to them in 1989. It goes in cycles," Montgomery said. "We're still even in wins and losses since the beginning of time -- or at least the beginning of Old Mill.
"It's a fun rivalry, but losing three times, to anybody, makes meupset."