Preseason Top 15

Softball

March 20, 2002

1. McDonogh

Last season: 16-6, ranked No. 2

The defending Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference champion returns the same team minus one starter. Is a repeat in the cards?

2. Archbishop Spalding

Last season: 24-3, No. 1

The Cavaliers, who boast one of the toughest schedules in the metro area, seek to reclaim the IAAM crown.

3. Westminster

Last season: 16-7, No. 4

The reigning Class 4A state titlist is recharged for another run with pitcher Nichol Moeller and catcher Casey Brengle.

4. Atholton

Last season: 22-3, No. 6

Last season's Class 2A state finalist appears poised to collect its first state championship.

5. Chesapeake-AA

Last season: 15-6, No. 9

The defense and pitching have been constants for the Cougars. If they can improve on offense, their potential is limitless.

6. Glen Burnie

Last season: 14-9, No. 7

A year removed from winning the Anne Arundel County title, the Gophers have enough hitting to return to the county final.

7. Severna Park

Last season: 15-6, No. 11

A wealth of experience on the mound and in the infield makes the Falcons, who moved from 4A to 3A, a contender for the East Regional crown.

8. Eastern Tech

Last season: 14-4, unranked

The Mavericks return six starters and will be buoyed by the presence of center fielder Shannon Markel, who missed most of last season with a broken ankle.

9. Mount de Sales

Last season: 12-9, No. 10

The Sailors, who stunned two No. 1 teams in 2001, hope avoid a repeat of last year's late-season slump.

10. Fallston

Last season: 17-5, No. 13

The return of their top two pitchers and top four hitters makes the Cougars, 3A state semifinalists last season, a favorite to repeat as Harford County champions.

11. Northeast-AA

Last season: 22-4, No. 3

Pitcher Kristin Duvall and catcher Melissa Tewey must carry the Eagles until their younger players mature.

12. North County

Last season: 15-7, No. 8

With Brittany Boyd pitching, the Knights are a constant threat in Anne Arundel County.

13. Catholic

Last season: 12-8-1, No. 15

If a supporting cast develops around pitcher Kelley Tiesi, the team may improve on last season's IAAM semifinal finish.

14. North Carroll

Last season: 18-4, No. 5

Pitching is the big question mark for the Panthers, who won a share of the Carroll County title with Westminster last year.

15. C. Milton Wright

Last season: 15-6, No. 12

The Mustangs hope seven sophomores develop quickly.

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