Haag makes seamless entry into top-notch Emory softball



April 03, 2004|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Lauren Haag has barely blinked at the pressure of being a freshman shortstop on a contender for the national Division III softball championship.

"My stepfather [Thad Toal] has coached me all my life and has taught me so much about this game," said Haag, who plays for Emory, in Atlanta. "He taught me never to be satisfied. It was kind of natural for me to step right in and play here."

The Sun's 2003 Player of the Year, who led Severna Park to the Class 3A state title, followed the path of many talented Anne Arundel County players through top-notch summer leagues, where she was discovered by Emory between her junior and senior years.

"Emory has a solid, high-intensity, amazing program," Haag said. "And the fact that it's located in the South is a plus with the warm softball weather."

The Eagles have already played 31 games, winning 22, and completed their eight-game University Athletic Association tournament.

Haag played in six of the eight UAA games, hit .357 with three sacrifice bunts, had a .523 on-base percentage, was 2-for-2 in stolen bases and had a .938 fielding percentage.

Overall this season, she is hitting .261 with seven RBIs and a .346 on-base percentage in hitting mostly out of the seventh spot.

Pipeline to Harrisonburg

Eleven Baltimore area players were part of the James Madison women's lacrosse team that played Loyola tough last Saturday before falling, 14-9, at Geppi-Aikens Field.

James Madison came back Wednesday at Virginia and fell, 12-9, dropping its record to 5-3, but then beat William and Mary, 11-8, yesterday.

Senior Dukes midfielder Gail Decker (Mount de Sales) scored three goals in each of the three games, running her team-leading scoring totals to 31 goals and 16 assists (47 points).

Decker has increased her career goals total to 152, her assists total to 51 and her points total to 203. She's moved into third place on JMU's all-time goals list and into fourth place on the points list.

Freshman attacker Monica Buck (Mount de Sales) had one goal in the setback to Loyola and is third in team scoring with 11 goals and two assists (13 points). Freshman midfielder Kelly Berger (Hammond) is fourth in scoring (11 goals, two assists, 13 points), and another freshman, attacker Maria Bosica (Mount Hebron), has contributed four goals and two assists.

Junior Amy Altig (Archbishop Spalding) and sophomore Livvy King (Dulaney) have shared the goalkeeping duties.

Senior defender Jessica Beard (South River) and freshman defender Katie Shannon (Maryvale Prep) have each contributed a goal.

Completing the Baltimore connection are sophomore midfielder Betsey Priest (Franklin), freshman midfielder Lynlea Cronin (Wilde Lake) and freshman defender Lee Thompson (McDonogh).

Et cetera

Emory freshman Tim Newton (McDonogh) was one of 14 Eagles swimmers gaining All-America honors as the Georgia school finished second in the NCAA Division III national championships.

Have a Postcard? Contact Bill Free by e-mail at bfree7066@hotmail.com or by phone at 410-833-5349.

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