Harford County

Softball

March 20, 2000|By Mark Hoeflich

Harford County

Aberdeen Eagles (1-18)

Coach: Scott Endlich

Outlook: The Eagles' talent base has been boosted by a recreation program, and three freshman and a sophomore likely will start. Erin Hullett and Monique Medina will compete for the top pitching role. Endlich said freshman catcher LaTasha Johnson is an up-and-coming player.

Bel Air Bobcats (13-6)

Coach: Val Cooper

Outlook: Expect the Bobcats to stay among the league's contenders with their usual solid hitting, led by senior Jacque LaFleur, and reliable defense. A lot will depend on the progress of a newcomer at pitcher.

C. Milton Wright Mustangs (16-7)

Coach: Joe Dunch

Outlook: The Mustangs have reached the Class 3A North regional final three of the past four years and given all the talent on hand, optimism reigns high with the move to 4A East. The infield remains intact, but the lineup has few holes. Senior catcher Megan Hube batted .597 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs last season, while Liz McSpadden (.486, 17 stolen bases) and Nicole Luber each drove in more than 14 runs. Junior pitcher Laura Siler should benefit from the guidance of Hube.

Edgewood Rams (N/A)

Coach: Tony Cole

Outlook: The Rams made an unlikely run to the regional final last season, and with five returning starters, Cole is hopeful Edgewood can remain competitive. Junior pitcher Christina Hall has improved and the defense is sound behind her.

Fallston Cougars (14-7)

Coach: Wendy Selznick

Outlook: The biggest hurdle for the Cougars, who lost to North Carroll in last season's Class 3A state semifinals, is overcoming the loss of five starters. Selznick will go with freshman hurler Heather Donhauser. Runs could be in short supply early as senior shortstop Erin Elackiston is the only reliable hitter.

Harford Tech Cobras (9-8)

Coach: Don Godfrey

Outlook: First-year coach Godfrey brings better structure and a stronger defensive mind-set to the Cobras, who had the most wins in school history last season. Godfrey anticipates a breakthrough season from junior pitcher Sarah Wolfe, whose run support should come from seniors Bridget Fournier, Jen Gregory and Tasha Taylor.

Havre de Grace Warriors (4-12)

Coach: David Tramontana

Outlook: Tramontana is encouraged by the Warriors' versatility, which has created a lot of intrasquad competition. The Warriors have a much-needed catcher in freshman Austyn Ripken, Cal Ripken's niece (brother Fred's daughter), But are searching for a steady pitcher.

John Carroll Patriots (12-12)

Coach: Neal Drexel

Outlook: The Patriots approach this season with patience, as eight underclassmen try to fit in and Maggie Pyzik, the top hurler, recovers from a bad ankle. Drexel's defense is sound, but do the Patriots have the offense to match their move to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Division?

Joppatowne Mariners (8-8)

Coach: Bill Wiley

Outlook: Wiley likes his team's chances with an influx of quality freshman, three of whom will start. Catcher Allison Bender and shortstop Keri Jameson each batted over .400 last season and are the run-producers. The Mariners' defense also has a renewed look.

North Harford Hawks (15-3)

Coach: Susan Anderson

Outlook: This is the Hawks' best shot at their first county title. Five returning starters make up the top hitters and defenders from last season's county runner-up team. Junior pitcher Jess Petty will benefit from a sure-handed infield led by Jess Sturgill (second base), Courtney Ness (shortstop) and Jen Griffin (third base).

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