Western remains class of city league softball

Doves 33-0 in 3 years

private season goes on

Notebook

High Schools

May 30, 2000|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

For a third straight year, Western's softball team breezed through the Baltimore City League. The Doves have gone 33-0 in the league and won three city championships during that stretch.

Ericka Butler pitched nine games this season in which the opposition managed two or fewer hits. The junior had two no-hitters and five one-hitters. She threw a two-hitter at Dulaney in the regional semifinal, but the Doves fell, 3-2.

Butler has been a key reason the Doves have had so much success, finishing 14-3 this season. The right-hander finished 10-3 with a 3.02 ERA and struck out 86 in 70 innings. In addition, she was Western's top offensive threat, hitting .623 with two home runs and 24 RBIs.

Catcher Heather Delair also made a big contribution at the plate, hitting .543 with five doubles and 34 runs scored. Her 24 RBIs tied Butler for best on the team. Delair also displayed a fine arm, allowing just two runners to steal.

Seven of the Doves' nine starters batted over .425, including Stephanie Tolbert (.550, four triples), Shante Ridgeway (.500, 24 runs scored), Beth Mason (.487), Dana Furno (.432) and Lisa Cox (.429).

"I can't say enough about this team," said Doves coach Shawn Stoliker. "This is the best team we've had since I've been here. Even when we played Dulaney and other quality teams, we played them well."

More innings

While all of the other area teams have finished their seasons, several of the top softball teams are still going strong in the Maryland State Private Schools tournament. Pushed back several times because of rain, the tournament should finally conclude this week.

In the Gold Division semifinals, scheduled for 4 p.m. today, No.1 Archbishop Spalding plays host to Seton Keough and No.10 Institute of Notre Dame welcomes Pallotti. The final is set for 5:30 p.m. tomorrow at Prince George's Community College.

In the Silver Division final, Chapelgate meets Elizabeth Seton at 3:30 tomorrow at Prince George's Community College.

Coaching moves

Wendell Thomas left a huge coaching void at Atholton when he resigned after the lacrosse season.

Chosen Lacrosse Man of the Year by his coaching peers last week, Thomas leaves behind 23 seasons of coaching lacrosse, 15 seasons of coaching soccer and six seasons of coaching indoor track at Atholton.

He started Atholton's boys soccer program in 1978 and was the school's second boys varsity lacrosse coach. The past four seasons, he coached girls soccer. He'll coach nothing at Atholton next year, but won't leave coaching completely. This fall, he will coach the soccer junior varsity at Howard, where his son, Philip, attends school.

Philip, who will be a sophomore, plays soccer and lacrosse and wrestles. And Thomas' daughter, Carla, 12, is also a soccer and lacrosse player.

"It's tough to leave. When you go in, you think you'll never leave. I thought I'd die coaching at Atholton. But I saw my son play lacrosse only once this year - the day we played him," said Thomas, 48, a physical education teacher, Poly graduate, three-time All-America defenseman at Towson University and a member of its Division II national-championship team in 1974.

The coaching switch will enable Thomas to see all of his son's games.

Longtime Centennial lacrosse coach Mike Siegert, a second-team All-American who played against Thomas in college, said: "He is genuinely the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet. I've never heard anyone say a bad word about him. But as an athlete, he was an incredible competitor. Our attackmen at Hopkins never wanted to face him."

Jim Albert has resigned as assistant lacrosse and assistant football coach at Atholton. He will continue to coach boys varsity basketball, however.

"It's been a lot of fun and I've worked with a lot of great people at Atholton," Thomas said. "Jim Albert is a great guy and has helped make it a wonderful experience."

Dave Vezzi has stepped down as Howard's girls varsity soccer coach, but will continue to coach varsity softball. River Hill girls varsity lacrosse coach Becky Stefano is resigning after four seasons to spend more time with her family.

Senior all-stars

Maryland's best senior softball players will be featured in the third annual Old Line Classic All-Star Game at 5 p.m. Thursday at Prince George's Community College.

The event pits the private school stars against the public school stars.

Among those on the private school roster are Spalding's Jackie Emmart and Sara Merkl and IND's Jamie Clingan and Erin Farrish. On the public school roster are C. Milton Wright's Megan Hube, Glenelg's Nicole Barnoski, Chesapeake-AA's Kirsten Bishoff, North County's Linda Parks, Dulaney's Jennifer Rockford and Northeast's Renee Springston.

Time for honors

Six Carroll County baseball players were named to the Central Maryland Conference first team last week.

Senior right fielder Perry Sartain, junior left fielder Alex Moore and junior pitcher Jim Miller were selected from 11th-ranked Liberty.

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