Ex-Eagles start strong at TowsonPitcher Jodi Meitl and...

April 18, 1993|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Ex-Eagles start strong at Towson

Pitcher Jodi Meitl and outfielder Becky Joeckel, two cornerstones of Centennial's excellent softball program before they graduated last spring, already are making their presence felt at Towson State University.

Meitl, a two-time Player of the Year who came back to win her second honor last year after missing her Notebook

junior season because of injuries sustained in a car accident, has earned a spot in the Tigers' starting rotation. Joeckel, a four-year starter and three-time All-County selection, has won the right-field job.

Meitl has been especially impressive. She has completed all four of her starts and has a 3-1 record to go with her 1.43 ERA. She beat Temple, 2-1, on Tuesday in her most recent start.

"Jodi is doing an excellent job," said Towson coach Elaine Lucas, whose Tigers are 11-8. "She hasn't had a bad day. She has such poise and confidence for a freshman."

Lucas initially worried about how quickly Meitl would adjust to the college game. The hitters obviously are more skilled than those she faced in high school, and the 43-foot distance from college mounds to home plate is three feet greater than high school diamonds. Meitl has calmed those fears.

"She's an intelligent pitcher who realizes location is the most important thing," Lucas said. "And she thinks she can beat a ballclub. That's the first step toward doing it. I'd trust her wholeheartedly on the mound against anybody."

The adjustment has been tougher for Joeckel. A .400 hitter for most of her high school career, she has struggled at the plate (.182), but still has won two games in Towson's last at-bat. Her eighth-inning sacrifice fly beat George Mason, 4-3, and her eighth-inning hit beat Kutztown (Pa.) by the same score. Joeckel also is holding her own defensively, which is no surprise. She was the county's premier outfielder for several seasons.

"I recruited Becky because I knew she could start right away. She's a big, strong girl who tracks the ball well in the outfield and has a strong arm," Lucas said. "She needs to be more aggressive at the plate. She's getting there."

Wilde Lake ends softball streak

Two weeks after Wilde Lake's boys lacrosse team won its first game in 29 tries, Wilde Lake's softball team ended another agonizing streak. Last week, the Wildecats beat Oakland Mills, 8-4, for Wilde Lake's first victory against a county school in five years.

"Parents were jumping up and down. The kids were going nuts. It was like the Olympics," said Kelly Rosati, Wilde Lake's first-year coach.

Rosati, who already has begun to turn around the Wildecats' girls basketball program, has a tougher chore ahead of her with the softball program. With this long-awaited victory, the Wildecats have taken a critical step forward.

"It's been very challenging, very frustrating, but also really rewarding," Rosati said. "The more I get to know the girls, the more they realize I'm going to be there every day for them. Now, they want to practice all day long."

Scorps turn it around

The Oakland Mills boys lacrosse team can point to several reasons to explain its turnaround. After suffering through two losing seasons, the Scorpions are off to a 6-0 start.

Terrific execution of their zone defense has been a key factor. So has goalkeeper Matt LeBlanc's play. Midfielders Jeff Cartwright and Shawn Madison are improving.

But the most eye-catching part of Oakland Mills' revival has been the emergence of attackmen Iggy Levelev and Shannon Hiteshew as a scoring combination. Levelev, a sophomore newcomer, leads the team with 16 goals, along with four assists. Hiteshew, a returning senior, has 10 goals and a team-high 15 assists.

Hebron boys start slowly

Mount Hebron boys lacrosse coach Warren Michael warned that because this is the youngest team in his six years at Hebron the Vikings probably would start slowly.

He was right. After blowing a five-goal lead on Tuesday and losing to Westminster, 10-9, the Vikings fell to 2-2.

Michael's cites three main shortcomings: a young defense -- only Sammy Kang is back -- a younger second midfield unit and an inability to control the ball.

Hebron will play host to talented, red-hot Centennial (5-1) Wednesday at 3:30.

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