Baltimore softball teams at a glance

March 27, 1997|By Brant James

Carver Bears

1996 record: 7-3 Coach: Ronald Friersen

Top players: Barnetta Berkley, P/IF, So.; Tania Hale, 2B. So.; Erika White, C, Jr.

Outlook: Multi-talented Berkley returns to balance a team hurt by five graduation losses and a low player turnout. Friersen expects at least a .500 season if he can keep enough bodies on the field.

City Knights

1996 record: 8-4. Coach: Julio Fernandez

Top players: Mary Sautter, P, Sr., Cory Schreier, CF, Sr., Keisha Evans, C, Sr.

Outlook: The Knights lost in the Class 2A region final last season and have to recover from the loss of .600-hitting shortstop Lisa Smith to graduation. City, a young team, will need to manufacture runs and get solid pitching from senior Sautter.

Douglass Ducks

1996 record: 3-9. Coach: Rodney Coffield

Top players: Angel Frazier, 1B, So.; Tiesha Little, SS, Jr.; Christine Horton, RF, So.; LaTisha Blackwell, LF, So.

Outlook: Coffield will stress competitiveness and development. The Ducks will rely on a host of sophomores, including Frazier and Horton, but a senior, Nina Parsons, will pitch, for the first time.

Dunbar Poets

1996 record: 2-5. Coach: Greg LeCounte

Top players: Corrine Matthews, SS, Sr.

Outlook: LeCounte is determined to institute a new mind-set at Dunbar, including a change in attitudes in athletics and life. He worries not so much this season about wins and losses but about establishing a good program, considering the Poets are young and inexperienced.

Edmondson Redskins

1996 record: 4-12. Coach: James James

Top players: Marquise Goodwin, Jr., SS; Tiah Kunkin, Jr., P; Denia Boone, So., 2B; Lakia Morris, Jr., 3B.

Outlook: Edmondson's dilemma is no different than that of many schools -- pitching. A more experienced group of hitters gives James hope for "playing a lot of seven-inning games" and scoring more than one or two runs a contest.

Forest Park Foresters

1996 record: 8-5. Coach: Gregory Warren

Top players: Leslie Thorne, P/IF, Sr.; Shawniece Smith, SS, Sr.; Shanelle Hawks, OF, Jr.; Michole Anderson, OF, Jr.

Outlook: Second-year coach Warren brought the Foresters' win total up by five last season and hopes for at least another modest improvement. That will be tough with the loss of the team's best player -- Pat Boykins -- to graduation. Starting pitcher Thorne, a control specialist, returns, as do top hitters Smith and Hanks.

Lake Clifton Lakers

1996 record: 4-8. Coach: James Monroe

Top players: Angela Cottrell, P, So.; Charlotte Bradley, C, Jr.; Faith Moore, 1B, Fr.

Outlook: Cottrell is the key, after exchanging battery positions and moving to pitcher this season. She will also be expected to heft much of the offensive burden after belting six homers and eight doubles as a freshman.

Mervo Mustangs

1996 record: 4-6. Coach: Nancy Havrenak

Top players: Tabitha Jones, P, Sr.

Outlook: The Mustangs have moved past the stage of having just enough bodiesand hope to begin learning the game. Jones, normally an outfielder, will pitch,Havrenak said, partly because she's the team's best athlete.

Northern Vikings

1996 record: Unreported. Coach: Beverly Grant

Top players: Tia Moss, CF, Sr.; Gina Welch, SS, Jr.; Lameca Crenshaw, P/C, So.; Candice Reefer, 1B, Jr.; Chauntelle Dance, 3B, So.

Outlook: First-year coach Grant expects a breakthrough season, predicting her young Vikings will not lose more than two games. Lameca Crenshaw is expected to the be cornerstone, as starting pitcher and top power hitter. Crenshaw, who both windmill and slingshot styles, "throws very hard," Grant said.

Northwestern

No response.

Poly Engineers

1996 record: 5-8. Coach: Carrie Parker

Top players: Heather Allen, 1B, Sr.; Mandy Bosse, SS, Sr.; Ieesha Gillis, 3B, Sr.; Rhea Marasigan, P, Jr; Elizabeth Nafziger, 2B, Jr.; Akeya Vaughn, C, Jr.

Outlook: Poly is determined to recover from a fourth-place finish in the city and win another championship. First-year coach Parker said her team "has a lot of energy" and will keep its head in games. Marasigan takes over full-time pitching, and is slowly building speed in her windmill delivery. Switch-hitter Allen is the key to the pesky offense.

Patterson Clippers

1996 record: 13-7-1. Coach: Derek Maki

Top players: Valerie Funari, OF, Sr.; Cathy Branagan, C, Sr.; Melissa Reinhardt, IF, So.; Christina Kirkpatrick, IF, Jr.

Outlook: The Clippers could be in a rebuilding mode after winning the city championship and advancing to the Class 4A North final last season. They should be solid defensively and will employ good speed, but their pitching is an enigma, Maki said.

Southern Bulldogs

1996 record: 12-4. Coach: Jack Nehsmann

Top players: Tiffany Sparra, P, So.; Tanya Mosher, C, So.; LaTrina Felder, CF, Jr.; Heather Clark, SS, Jr., Felicia Holman, 3B, Sr.

Outlook: Southern appears ready to battle for the city title again. A main reason is hurler Tiffany Sparra's return. As a freshman last season, she went 11-4 and struck out 132 batters in 70 innings. The Bulldogs return a core group of experienced sophomores. Mosher, who hit .577 with five homers last spring, leads that group.

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