Harford County

Softball

March 21, 2001|By Mark Hoeflich

There's a new look to C. Milton Wright's softball team this season. Well, sort of.

Foremost, the Mustangs don't have a big-hitting lineup, not with the graduation of Megan Hube, and they are a bit more youthful. What Wright does have, however, is the league's premier pitcher in senior Laura Siler, who went 16-1 last season and set a single-season school record with a 0.26 ERA. Another stellar season by Siler could be enough to propel the Mustangs to their fifth consecutive Harford County title.

Fallston appears to have the necessary pieces for a breakout season. There's a top pitcher in sophomore Heather Donhauser (10-1, 83 strikeouts); steady hitters in seniors Melissa Coll (outfield), Debbie Parker (outfield) and Melinda Heisey (third base); good speed; and a sound defense.

"We're definitely looking to be title contenders," said Fallston coach Wendy Selznick.

North Harford has much of its nucleus back from last season's 15-5 team, including seniors Jess Petty (pitcher) and Noelle Arrowhead (catcher), and junior Jenn Griffin (shortstop). Expect the Hawks to manufacture runs with their speed on the bases.

Joppatowne and Aberdeen are two teams looking to make big strides this season. The Mariners return eight starters from a team that posted 10 wins last season, the most in eight years. Sophomore pitcher Sarah Lowery benefited from an off-season camp and has four pitches. Lowery is among a group of three Joppatowne hitters (which includes Christina Selle and Kateri Jameson) who were ranked in the league's top 10 last season.

Aberdeen has a strong battery in sophomore pitcher Erin Hullett, who has three pitches and improved speed, and sophomore catcher Natasha Johnson, who is a threat on the bases. Coach Scott Endlich has emphasized defense, and the Eagles are bolstered by the addition of newcomers Ashli Morris and Megan Araiz, a transfer from Texas.

Bel Air must retool after losing a number of seniors, but the Bobcats return steady pitcher and top hitter Essie Psau, along with senior shortstop Tabitha Kolb (.344).

Havre de Grace coach Dave Tramontana said this Warriors team is the best in his four years as coach, thanks to a recreation league that has produced more talented players. Sophomore pitcher Holly Martin has three good pitches, a sound battery mate in sophomore catcher, Austyn Ripken, and should benefit from stronger infield defense.

With a few more runs, Harford Tech could match its win total (nine) of two years ago, the most in school history, especially with pitcher Sarah Wolfe back for a fourth season.

John Carroll anticipates a higher level of play with 12 returners. Coach Neal Drexel will split pitching duties among senior Maggie Pyzik and sophomore Julie Lewis and expects the Patriots to be more active at the plate, as several players attended summer camps.

Harford Christian did not field a team last season, and coach Jim Carroll looks to feed off the optimism of renewed interest in softball.

Players to watch

Heather Donhauser(Fallston, sophomore, pitcher)

Posted 0.68 ERA with only 24 walks last season

Laura Siler(C.M. Wright, senior, pitcher)

Held foes to .129 average and threw three no-hitters last season

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