Local Sports : Softball Preview

March 20, 1996|By Kevin Eck and Rich Scherr

Baltimore County

Arlington Baptist Eagles

1995 record: 9-2. Coach: Elizabeth Byers.

Top players: Carter, Sr., 2B; Leah Clelland, Fr., P; Becah Ritter, Sr., C.

Outlook: The Eagles begin play in the AIS, and with two-thirds of the starting lineup returning should be in for another strong campaign. They are led by the battery of pitcher Clelland a hard thrower who started every game last season and Ritter.

Beth Tfiloh Warriors

1995 record: 1-8-1. Co-Coaches: John Grap and Marc Ershler.

Top players: Dodi Vogel, So., C; Marlene Hollander, Jr., P; Aliza Baer, So., 2B; Elina Berman, So., CF; Rachael Golden, So., OF-IF.

Outlook: Beth Tfiloh returns five starters and should be strong up the middle. The biggest question marks are at first and third. Despite last year's poor record, most games were competitive.

Carver A&T Wildcats

1995 record: Top players: Jen Albright, Jr., P/Inf.; Charissa Raivel, Jr., SS; Jessie Fowler, Soph., Inf.

Outlook: The Wildcats struggled through their first varsity season, but they should benefit from the county's new divisional alignment, which consists of three divisions based on the teams' projected talent levels. Playing in Division III (the weakest), Watts said his team could triple last season's win total.

Catonsville Comets

1995 record: 11-4. Coach: Steve Miller.

Top players: Shannon Rexrode, Sr., SS; Krista Bayne, Sr., CF; Lindsay Denton, Sr., P; Emily Knight, Sr., C; Stacie Healy, Sr., RF.

Outlook: The Comets will compete in the county's strongest division (Division I) , which should be "an eye-opening experience," Miller said. Catonsville returns six starters and is strong up in the middle. Rexrode (.400 average, 31 RBIs) and Bayne (.450 average) are the team's offensive and defensive catalysts.

Chesapeake Bayhawks

1995 record: Top players: Christine Flora, Sr., C; Jummy Bullock, Sr., 3B; Janet Walters, Sr., SS.

Outlook: Seven starters return, but the Bayhawks will have to fill the void left by the transfer of pitcher Kristin Evans to Eastern Tech. "We're looking at a couple of candidates for pitching. That's the big question mark," said Ickes, whose team will compete in Division I.

Dulaney Lions

1995 record: 13-4. Coach: Elaine Lindsay.

Top players: Tracy Miksis, Jr., SS; Paige Young, Jr., CF; Kim Curran, Jr., P; Livia Brocato, Sr., RF.

Outlook: The two-time defending county champion Lions graduated five starters, but they proved last season that they can adapt well to changes in personel. It may be tougher this season, however, since Dulaney will compete in Division I against the county's strongest teams. Lindsay used three dependable pitchers last season, but only Curran returns. "We're going to be learning some important things through the first half of the season," Lindsay said.

Dundalk Owls

1995 record: 9-5. Coach: Jim Marsheck.

Top players: Jen Stahl, Sr., SS; Christina Vaughan, Sr., OF; Kristy Shultz, Jr., 3B; Karen Harrison, Jr., P; Jen Wolf, Sr., C.

Outlook: Marsheck, who takes over after coaching the JV last season, will have to fill the huge void left by the graduation of his daughter, hard-throwing All- City/County pitcher Katie Marsheck. The Owls, who will compete in Division II, have six starters back and Marsheck said he has been "pleasantly surprised."

Eastern Tech Mavericks

1995 record: 15-4. Coach: Marian Klein.

Top players: Tara Dolly, Sr., 3B; Sandy Birchfield, Soph., P; Jessi Maffei, Soph., C; Kristin Evans, Jr., P.

Outlook: The Mavericks, the surprise team of the county last season when they made the Class 3A state semifinals, are considered one of the favorites in Division I. Klein can't help but be optimistic with the return of batterymates Birchfield (14-4, 3.13 ERA) and Maffei (.459 average, 4 HRs, 28 RBIs, 37 stolen bases) as well as Dolly (.388 average, 2 HRs, 25 RBIs).

Franklin Indians

1995 record: 15-4. Coach: Rick Wiscott.

Top players: Kara Wingate, Jr., P; Jessie McGraw, Jr., C; Jaala Palmer, Soph., 3B; Gail Rubin, Sr., 1B; Melissa Wenderoth, Jr., CF.

Outlook: The Indians appear to have the pitching, experience (six returning starters) and hitting to compete with anyone in Division I. Wingate ( 15-4, 153 K's in 97 IP) was one of the county's top pitchers last season and Wiscott said she is "looking even better this year."

Garrison Forest Grizzlies

1995 record: 1-7. Coach: Nick Burns.

Top players: Jen Zienty, So., P-SS; Melissa Monfried, Sr., P-SS; Shelli Hardesty, Sr., OF; Alison Luzuriaga, Sr., 1B; Caroline Hirsh, Sr., 2B.

Outlook: Burns takes over a team that struggled last season, but seems to have the potential for rapid improvement. Zienty and Monfried should be tough on the mound, and the Grizzlies have experience at most other positions.

Hereford Bulls

1995 record: 8-10. Coach: Sam Bowen.

Top players: Nancy Zentz, Sr., 1B/P; Christy Murphy, Sr., SS; Erika Ingles, Soph., 1B/DH; Natalie Cardone, Soph., OF.

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