Costa helps Shippensburg softball back to NCAAs



May 12, 2004|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

As Sarah Costa boarded a plane yesterday morning to fly to Orlando, Fla., for the NCAA Division II softball tournament, she couldn't help but remember all the good times of a 46-4 ride for Shippensburg University to the final eight.

"Every time, we enjoyed one of those special moments," said the former Atholton High standout, "it seemed like we'd come right back with another unforgettable moment. I feel so good about our chances since we're the only team coming back to championships."

Shippensburg had a 1-2 record in the final eight last season, losing back-to-back games after opening with a 3-2 victory over West Florida behind a two-run home run by Costa.

She has continued her power hitting this season, leading the team in homers (four), doubles (17), RBIs (45) and slugging percentage (.600).

The junior catcher/designated hitter is fourth in batting average (.353) and is the team leader, according to her coach, Bob Brookens, "whether she wants to be or not."

"Sarah has been a leader since she first walked on campus," Brookens said. "The other players look up to her. It's because of the values her mother and father instilled in her and the way she carries herself."

Brookens said it was Costa he went to see play when he discovered his nationally renowned sophomore pitching ace Kelley Tiesi from Catholic High.

Costa said she and Tiesi have been friends since high school.

"I enjoy catching her," said Costa of Tiesi, who has a 28-1 record and an 0.18 ERA. "She has a rise ball, a changeup that freezes hitters and a strong fastball."

Costa enjoys her reputation as a clutch hitter, but she hasn't gone out of her way to nurture it. "I concentrate hard every time I'm at the plate," she said. "If there are runners on base and I drive them in, that's all the much better."

Shippensburg will meet Angelo State of Texas (43-10) in the opening round of the double-elimination tournament tomorrow.

Two Archbishop Spalding alumnae have played part-time this season. Junior right fielder Amanda Collins is hitting .417 with 21 RBIs in 25 games, and sophomore shortstop Kristen Marll is batting .206.

Another Edell

Sophomore midfielder Erin Edell (Glenelg) has finished the season as the leader for Delaware in draw controls (39) and second in ground balls (41) in addition to being fourth on the team in scoring with 22 goals and three assists.

The daughter of former Maryland lacrosse coach Dick Edell is one of five Baltimore-area players who have contributed for the Blue Hens (6-10, 2-5 Colonial Athletic Association) this season.

Junior attack Shannon Kron (Maryvale) was second in scoring (18 goals, 18 assists), had one game-winning goal, 21 ground balls and 10 draw controls. Sophomore attack Becky Rausa (Fallston) had seven goals and six assists along with 21 ground balls and 17 draw controls. Sophomore midfielder Allison Lynch (St. Mary's) had 38 ground balls.

Freshman midfielder Laura Libertini (Mount de Sales) had five goals and three assists.

Et cetera

Muhlenberg senior midfielder Candice Coffman (Loch Raven) led all field players on the lacrosse team in ground balls with 33, tied for the lead in caused turnovers with 16 and scored three goals this season. Coffman scored two of her goals in the final game of her career, an 18-4 victory over Elizabethtown that gave the Mules a final overall record of 5-9 and 2-7 in the Centennial Conference.

Junior midfielder Brian Small (Calvert Hall) scored 11 goals and had five assists for Ohio Wesleyan (8-6, 4-1 North Coast Athletic Conference).

Freshman second baseman/shortstop Bryan Bednarczyk (River Hill) is hitting .342 with two doubles, one triple, and nine RBIs for York College (28-16, 7-3 Capital Athletic Conference).

Junior Lesley Dotson (Franklin) was selected the Most Valuable Player on the Immaculata tennis team.

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

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