Chesapeake girls are after fourth state 4A title 1993 high school softball preview

March 23, 1993|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer


Coming off a two-win season, Annapolis coach Gloria Day isn't looking for miracles from her team.

Instead, she's looking for the Panthers to play competitively and maintain a positive attitude during what should be another lean spring.

L "It's going to be a learning experience for them," she said.

The only seniors on the team are first baseman Allison Dacey and outfielder Jennifer Dzagan. Dacey was on the varsity last year, and Dzagan is a newcomer.

Two players whom Day hopes to build around are junior shortstop Uyen Do and sophomore third baseman Emily Nugent. Do batted a team-leading .350 last year, and Nugent hovered around the .275 mark and was steady with the glove.

"My biggest asset is that I have all of my infielders returning," said Day, who also welcomes back junior second baseman Jenee Smith.

Day will send out a new pitcher, sophomore Chaminaka Hill, a member of the junior varsity last year who is working to increase her velocity. Her catcher most likely will be sophomore Amy Disilvestre, who played at Southern last year.

"Her pitching is very slow," Day said of Hill, "but she has a lot of potential."

Freshman Ginny Dauses will back up Hill.

Two outfielders return in juniors Shannon Henderson and Janelle Queen. Sophomore newcomers April Brown and Artina Trader could see time in the outfield, with Trader also able to play at

second base.

Sophomore Gloria Nicholson (first base) and freshmen Hunter Hammond (shortstop) and Tema Watsky (second base) also join the varsity this year.

"I'm not looking to win a whole lot of games, but I expect to be

some type of contender to the other teams," Day said. "It's a matter of their willingness to learn and stick with the game. It's going to be kind of frustrating for them at times."

Archbishop Spalding

Let the post-Sheridan era begin.

Archbishop Spalding's pursuit of a fourth-straight Catholic League championship won't include last year's Baltimore Sun Player of the Year, pitcher Kim Sheridan, the blazing windmiller who won 58 games and threw 14 no-hitters (six perfect games) in four seasons. The Cavaliers will miss her arm, and her bat (.421 last year, four home runs, 23 RBI).

"You don't replace a Kim Sheridan," said coach Jim Nemeth.

Interestingly, Nemeth sounds more concerned about trying to replace Jen McKeldin, a second-team All-County catcher.

"I feel we have some pitchers who are just as capable of filling that role, but our greatest loss was Jen McKeldin. We'll have a new pitcher-catcher combination, and they'll need to get used to each other," he said.

With Sheridan on scholarship at South Carolina, the Cavaliers will turn to junior Rachel Synowski, who was 2-0, including a no-hitter, and didn't surrender an earned run. Also a shortstop, Synowski batted .352 with 11 RBI.

Also available to pitch are junior Carrie Parsons and senior Kelley Newbert. "We're fortunate to have a glut of pitching at Spalding," Nemeth said.

The Cavaliers still pack a powerful offensive punch, with the return of seniors Carrie Lycett (.485, 19 RBI, 26 runs scored) -- a first-team All-County and second-team All-Metro first baseman -- and Kelly Mabe (.455, 14 RBI, 29 runs scored), who will play at shortstop and third base. Junior Kathleen Legg (.419, 19 RBI, 16 runs scored) will play at third base and the outfield.

Sophomore Nicole Trumpler should get most of the starts behind the plate. Last year, she hit .474 in 19 at-bats.

Also back from last season are senior outfielders Amy Povloski, Lisa Laumann and Kelly Fickes.

The batch of newcomers includes freshman Crystal Henderson, who can play virtually anywhere, but most likely will wind up at second base. Junior Dana Fidazzo gives Nemeth another option at catcher.

"The key for us is to take the 14 individuals who make up the varsity program, use whatever talents they have and what they can offer the team, and mold it together," Nemeth said. "We're a new-look team, no doubt about it. We'll just try to get everybody focused on the same thing, in a fluid motion. That's the biggest challenge."


Arundel coach Don Banks doesn't know which is more impressive, the returning nucleus of veteran players, or the splendid crop of freshmen. Either way, it adds up to another promising season for the Wildcats, who ended a long exile from the playoffs last season.

Senior pitcher Traci Koenig, who won 11 games and batted .426, with 19 runs scored and 17 RBI, leads a balanced Arundel team that Banks believes can take "the next step" and advance beyond the first round of the region playoffs. Last season, the Wildcats (11-8) and Chesapeake were locked in a scoreless tie through 5 1/2 innings before the Cougars prevailed, 6-0, in the Class 4A, Region IV semifinals.

"Traci will be even better this year," Banks said. "Her fastball is even faster and she learned some other things."

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