After changes, UMBC riding high in softball

State notebook

Retrievers on 15-0 roll behind French, Vecchio


March 28, 2002|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Imagine the chaos resulting from three new coaches for the UMBC softball team in three years.

Plus, one of the team's top pitching and hitting stars, Crystal Ray, decided not to return for her senior year.

But somehow the school's third new coach, Joe French, has been able to restore order this spring, and already, the Retrievers (22-11, 4-0 Northeast) have broken the school record of 10 consecutive wins.

UMBC ran its winning streak to 15 games yesterday by sweeping a doubleheader from Brown University at UMBC.

In the middle of all this success has been senior shortstop Deanna Vecchio, who is having a dream season.

Vecchio is the runaway team hitting and stolen-base leader with a .423 batting average and 22 stolen bases. The Matawan, N.J., native is tied for second in doubles with six and sets the pace in hits with 47.

Her supporting cast includes junior center fielder Lisa Boone (.359 average), freshman catcher/first baseman Christina French (.321), senior DH/catcher Bonnie Nevin (.319) and junior second baseman Christy Sheppard (.307).

Nevin leads in RBIs with 22 and Boone is setting the pace in doubles with seven.

Sokenu sets record

Coppin State's Anthony Sokenu established a school record in the 110-meter hurdles last weekend at the Florida State relays.

Sokenu, a junior, was clocked in 15 seconds flat to finish fourth, breaking the mark of 15.04 set last year by Vaughn DeVaughn.

Sokenu also anchored the 800 relay team that took second in a time of 1:28.20. Terrence Brown, Aaron Gibbs and Pete Pinnock also were also on the relay squad.

Mids among best

Navy's squash team compiled a 19-7 record to finish No. 11 in the country.

The Mids recorded victories over nationally ranked Franklin and Marshall and Bowdoin. They lost 6-3 to two top-10 teams, Denison and Penn.

Juniors David Haile (39th) and Edson Greenwood (43rd) were ranked among the top 50 in the nation.

4 Eagles repeat

Amy Bullock (bowling), Beryl Harris (men's cross country), Lilly Rivera (women's tennis) and Henock Terefe (men's tennis) have received the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Commissioner's All-Academic awards for a third time.

They led Coppin State's contingent of 31 student-athletes who were 2001 winners.

Et cetera

Towson sophomore shortstop Brian McKenna had a five-game run last week, hitting .389, with two doubles and six runs scored. For the season, McKenna has a .357 average, three home runs, four doubles, 11 RBIs and 18 runs scored.

Western Maryland's David Hose racked up 11.5 points in the Washington and Lee Invitational track meet, outscoring the Houghton and Theil teams himself.

Johns Hopkins University's fencing team finished 21st in the NCAA championships last weekend at Drew University. Senior Sarah Walsh led the Blue Jays by winning eight duals in the sabre.

Sophomore Melanie Pulley was the first Western Maryland athlete in seven years to qualify (1,650 freestyle) for the NCAA Division III women's swimming championships.

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