High school softball: Players to watch

March 23, 1993|By Roch Eric Kubatko

* Christine Baer, Old Mill, Sr., SS -- Baer is Old Mill's leading returning hitter, after batting .281 last season. She also had one home run, and displayed smooth glove work at shortstop. She also brings a winning attitude and invaluable leadership.

* Loren Bailey, Northeast, Jr., P/1B -- Bailey is fighting for the No. 1 pitching job, and her velocity has been impressive. And with a .412 average last season, she's no weakling at the plate, either.

* Natalie Black, Chesapeake, Senior, C -- Black hit .403 last year and made just three errors. She is being counted on as one of Chesapeake's big run-producers this spring, and she will get plenty of opportunities.

* Uyen Do, Annapolis, Jr., IF -- Do batted around .350 last year, and coach Gloria Day is expecting the same, or better, this year from her shortstop/third baseman. Do is one player around whom Day thinks she can build.

* Lori Congdon, Chesapeake, Sr., P -- Congdon is in "a league all her own," says coach Dennis Thiele, and her numbers from last year back him up. She went 13-0 with 185 strikeouts, and allowed just two earned runs all year. Easily the county's best pitcher this spring.

* Erin Early, South River, Sr., CF -- Early batted .346 as a sophomore with 36 steals, but slumped last year and finished with a .224 average and 12 steals. Coach Don Leonard thinks his speedster will rebound strongly this year.

* Nicki Faulkner, North County, Sr., CF -- Faulkner batted .310 last year and was second on the team with 19 RBI. With the Knights losing four first-team All-County picks to graduation, Faulkner's presence takes on even greater importance.

* Amy Henshaw, South River, Jr., 1B -- Henshaw went 8-for-8 on opening day and finished with a .333

average. Coach Don Leonard predicts an All-County season from her.

* Karen Jacobson, Old Mill, Sr., P -- As the Patriots' third pitcher last year, Jacobson was nearly perfect. She went 5-0 with an 0.24 ERA, and she didn't walk a batter in 29 innings. As the top gun this year, she finally will get the recognition she deserves.

* Jen Johansen, Northeast, Soph., SS -- Though she didn't hit much for average as a freshman, Johansen had a team-leading 13 RBI and three triples. She possesses enormous potential and seems destined to become one of the county's best shortstops.

* Traci Koenig, Arundel, Sr., P -- Koenig was a primary reason that Arundel finally made the playoffs last year, going 11-8 on the mound, batting .426 with 19 runs scored and 17 RBI, and being chosen second-team All-County. And coach Don Banks says she has more velocity on her fastball this spring.

* Robin Konrad, Northeast, Sr., CF -- Konrad, a captain this year, hit .345 with seven steals last season. She's a key part of new coach Ron Price's first Northeast team.

* Kathleen Legg, Spalding, Jr., OF/3B -- Legg made the All-County second team after batting .419 last year with 19 RBI and 16 runs scored. And coach Jim Nemeth doesn't see any reason why there should be a drop-off in 1993.

* Carrie Lycett, Spalding, Sr., 1B -- A first-team All-County and second-team All-Metro choice, Lycett batted .485 while playing every inning of every game. She had nine doubles, three triples, 19 RBI and 26 runs scored.

* Kelly Mabe, Spalding, Sr., 3B/SS -- Mabe was a second-team All-County selection who batted .455 with 29 runs scored, 14 RBI and just one error. She has accepted a softball scholarship to Georgian Court College in New Jersey.

* Samantha Miller, Glen Burnie, Soph., P -- Miller is one of coach Bob Broccolino's "Fab Five," having gone 7-2 with a 1.84 ERA as a freshman and developing into one of the county's more pleasant surprises. She also batted .313 with 12 RBI.

* Jen Spampinato, Severna Park, Jr., P -- After going 11-5 and being named second-team All-County as a freshman, Spampinato experienced a "sophomore jinx," said coach Wayne Mook, and went 8-10. But the left-hander remains one of the more promising pitchers in the county.

* Tracy Starke, Chesapeake, Sr., OF -- Batting leadoff, Starke hit .451 with a team-high 27 runs scored and 16 steals. She also had 13 RBI, and provided a dependable glove in the outfield. She helps make the Cougars go.

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