1998 Baseball And Softball Previews

March 20, 1998|By Stan Rappaport

Howard softball

Atholton Raiders

1997 record: 2-19 overall, 2-16 league

Coach: John Zitko

Top players: Melanie Porter, Sr., 2B; Jessica McDonagh, Soph., SS; Lauren Mickley, Soph., P; Sarah Costa, F., P.

Outlook: "We're starting over and building toward the future," Zitko. "That's are main focus this year." Mickley, up from the JV, and Costa will share the pitching duties. "They both have good control but not a lot of speed," Zitko said. The Raiders "should be decent" at the plate, he said, and play well defensively. With two freshmen and seven sophomores on his 16-player team, Zitko is looking for the Raiders to learn and improve.

Centennial Eagles

1997 record: 15-7 overall, 13-5 league

Coach: Dale Huting

Top players: Angela Strittmatter, Jr. CF; Kim Paulus, Jr., SS; Sara Misorek, Sr. C; Lauren Martin, Sr., 3B; Michelle Kincaid, Sr., RF.

Outlook: For the first time since 1993, Huting is carrying three freshmen. Those three players, plus two sophomores, "are capable of playing a key role for us," Huting said. Two of the freshman -- Amanda Hall and Rebecca Decesare -- will handle most of the pitching. Hall is the sister of Emily Hall, a two-time All-County pitcher now playing her freshman season at Elon (N.C.) College. Laura Angle, another freshman, "has a lot of speed" and will play the outfield. Sophomore Jessica Barrett will see time catching and at second base, and sophomore Jennifer Roberts is a pitcher and utility infielder. "The strength of our team probably is its potential," Huting said. "The young kids bring a lot of potential to the team." Of course, they also bring inexperience, and that's where Huting hopes team captains Paulus, Martin and Kincaid step in with their leadership qualities. Paulus (.410 batting average) and Kincaid (.300) were second-team All-County selections last season. Strittmatter, who caught several games last year, batted .330. The Eagles tied with Glenelg last year for second in the county.

Chapelgate Flames

1997 record: 6-7 overall

Coach: Steve Kunkel

Top players: Jen Norris, Sr., P; Laura Starsoneck, Soph., SS; Laura Calhoun, Sr., C; Meghan Price, Jr., CF.

Outlook: "Defensively, we're going to be fine, and our pitching should be improved," said Kunkel, whose team will play in the AIS A Division this season. "The only question mark now is the offense." Starsoneck, one of four returning starters, led the team in hitting last year as a freshman. Also expected to help are Lena Fanara (Jr., 3B), Jenn Hodge (Jr., 2B) and Tori Marriner (Soph., LF).

Glenelg Gladiators

1997 record: 17-6 overall, 13-5 league

Coach: Dean Sheridan

Top players: Pam Goldberg, Sr., SS; Shana Wyant, Sr., P; Caroline Jones, Sr., CF; Kristin Hooker, Sr., 1B; Nicole Barnoski, Soph., C.

Outlook: Glenelg will start eight seniors and one sophomore. Four players -- Goldberg, Wyant, Jones and Hooker -- were first-team All-County last year, and Barnoski was a second-team selection. Wyant moves from second base to become the team's top starter. Hooker played at River Hill last year but went back to Glenelg for her senior year. Barnoski goes from first base to catcher this year. Other starters include Jamie Alascia (Sr., RF), Marianne Hayden (Sr., LF), Julie Apel (Sr., 3B) and Vicki Bennett (Sr., 2B). "We have the potential to be very good," Sheridan said. His main concern? "Are we going to be mentally consistent every time we go out on the field?" Said Sheridan: "On paper, we should be very good, but we still have to go out there and show we are." Three players that also will be counted on are sophomore Amanda Strandquist, an infielder and the team's second pitcher, junior outfielder Laurie Driver and freshman infielder Lauren Koutrelakos.

Hammond Golden Bears

1997 record: 7-12 overall, 6-12 league

Coach: Karyn Scoville

Top players: Jaymi Kim, Sr., CF; Erica Dietsch, Jr., C; Sarah Murray, F., P; Jen Hansen, Soph., SS.

Outlook: Scoville played at Hammond before graduating in 1989, and after serving as JV coach last season moves up to the varsity position. She has a young team, with only two seniors on the roster. Scoville expects the starting lineup to include four freshmen, three sophomores, one junior and one senior. "We'll be competitive," said Scoville. "The kids are hard-working, dedicated and enthusiastic." Kim, a solid hitter, also will pitch this season. When the left-handed Murray isn't pitching, Scoville said she'll find a place for her on the field. "She's a very versatile player," Scoville said. Kim and Dietsch will serve as captains. "This is definitely a building year," Scoville said. "I think we'll be very good next year and the year after."

Howard Lions

1997 record: 15-4 overall, 15-3 league

Coach: Dave Vezzi

Top players: Stacey Swiney, Jr., C; Kelly O'Neill, Jr., P; Sarah Berg, Jr., SS.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.