Team capsules

March 23, 1997|By Stan Rappaport

Atholton Raiders

1996 record: 12-7 overall, 9-4 league.

Coach: John Zitko.

Top players: Shannon Eierman, Sr., SS; Shelly Crotts, Sr., 3B; Lindsay Gilliam, Sr., 2B; Stephani Arnold, Jr., OF.

Outlook: Junior Melaney Porter, who started in Friday's 4-2 opening-season loss at Glenelg, will be one of three pitchers used by Zitko. Junior Shannon Barrett and freshman Jenny Poston also will see action. "We're going to have to rely on all three," Zitko said. "We might even use all three in one game." The Raiders have a solid infield, led by Eierman, who is co-captain with Crotts. Their weakness is at the plate. "We need to work on our hitting," said Eierman. Graduation and the movement of some players to River Hill has hurt the Raiders, but Zitko remains positive. "It's going good. They're really working well with me," Zitko said. Added Eierman: "I think we're going to do decent."

Centennial Eagles

1996 record: 15-4 overall, 10-1 league.

Coach: Dale Huting.

Top players: Jodi Godbout, Sr., SS; Emily Hall, Sr., P; Michelle Kincaid, Jr., OF/2B; Angela Strittmatter, OF/C; Kim Paulis, SS/P.

Outlook: Godbout broke her collarbone on the second day the team went outside to practice. Huting expects to have her back toward the end of the season. Huting, whose team opened the season Friday with an extra-inning win at Wilde Lake, said the Eagles will certainly miss Godbout, a starter since her sophomore year. "It's people like her who really give continuity to the program and help set a direction," said Huting, who has five starters returning. Hall, an all-county and All-Metro selection last season, was 14-3 with a 1.94 ERA. A leadoff hitter, Hall batted .611, second highest in school history. Huting, whose team was awarded the county title last season based on its won-loss percentage because it was unable to complete its schedule, said the team's strength is "potential. And what we need to do is make a commitment to develop it. We have a ways to go. There's a lot of hard work ahead." Many of the Eagles can play more than one position, and might do so during the season. "This team is going to have to be flexible," Huting said. Kristy Mitroka will start at second, and Lauren Martin at third. Huting said Martin has improved greatly from last season. Kathy Mitroka, who played third last year, has moved to catcher. Huting also has been impressed with two sophomores -- shortstop Kim Paulis, the backup pitcher, and Strittmatter. "They have a lot of raw potential," Huting said.

Chapelgate Flames

1996 record: 11-3 overall, 7-0 Christian School Athletic Association.

Coach: Steve Kunkel.

Top players: Kannah Bonnell, Sr., SS/2B; Jen Norris, Jr., P; Anna Lohrmann, Jr., CF.

Outlook: "We're basically starting from scratch," said Kunkel, a veteran HCYP travel team coach in his first season at Chapelgate. "All I'm hoping for is improvement game-to-game." The Flames likely will start three freshmen, three sophomores, two juniors and one senior. Norris, who played the infield last season, will handle most of the pitching. Good things are expected from two starting sophomores, first baseman Stephanie Kunkel and second baseman Carmen Lanio. Kunkel expects the infield to be the strength of his defense.

Glenelg Gladiators

1996 record: 15-8 overall, 11-3 league.

Coach: Dean Sheridan.

Top players: Pam Goldberg, Jr., SS; Marni Brown, Sr., P; Shana Wyant, Jr., 2B/P; Caroline Jones, Jr., OF; Suzanne McGarity, Sr., C.

Outlook: After seven seasons as JV coach, Sheridan takes over a program rich in tradition. The Gladiators, under Chuck Struhar, finished first or second over the last seven years. They won the county in 1990 and 1994. Although River Hill has six players that were at Glenelg last season, the Gladiators return two first-team all-county players in Goldberg and Brown. Goldberg (.463 batting average) and Brown (.400) are co-captains this season. "We're going to be good," Sheridan said. "Our defense up the middle is strong. They can play with anybody in the county. It just depends on how we hit." Jones was a second-team all-county selection last year. Sheridan, who expects his team to compete for the county title, also is expecting good things from senior third baseman Shannon Keeny and freshman first baseman Nicole Barnoski. The Gladiators defeated Atholton, 4-2, Friday's opener.

Hammond Golden Bears

1996 record: 1-16 overall, 0-14 league.

Coach: Jenn Petering.

Top players: Nicole Owe, Sr., P; Erin Murray, Jr., C; Jaymi Kim, Jr., OF; Kristy Loisel, Jr., 3B; Jen Hansen, Fr., SS; Alison Herriman, Sr., 1B.

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