Dulaney softball off to fast start

Notebook

April 05, 2006|By KATHERINE DUNN | KATHERINE DUNN,SUN REPORTER

Dulaney's softball team slipped under the radar a bit this spring after graduating some key players while Catonsville returned its All-Metro pitcher Amanda Fefel and Western Tech came off a state final four appearance last May.

However, it didn't take the Lions long to make their presence felt.

The No. 11 Lions opened their season with a 2-1 loss in extra innings to defending Class 4A state champ North County, and then upset defending Baltimore County champ Catonsville, 4-2, and Western Tech, 4-0, last week.

"When I look at this team, we don't have any stars, just a good solid team, and they play good fundamental softball," Dulaney coach Lori Ryan said. "In years past, they would go up against Fefel or [Stacy Davis] from Westminster and think, `Oh, my God.' These kids think, `Let me go up and try to hit this.' We're hitting, and the confidence factor is a difference."

All-County left fielder Katie Cole leads the team, batting .438 with seven RBIs. Sarah Kutzberger is hitting .429 with two RBIs, while Michelle Barwick is hitting .357 with three doubles and five runs scored.

On the mound, the Lions rely on sisters Sarah and Katie Moelter. Both right-handed pitchers, they threw back-to-back no-hitters last season and have been consistent this season.

Sarah, a senior who pitched against North County and Catonsville, has a 1.33 ERA with 24 strikeouts and three walks. Katie, a junior who beat Western Tech, has a 1.00 ERA with 13 strikeouts and five walks.

The team, 4-1 after Friday's 11-1 win over Parkville, has also improved its defense, boasting a .981 fielding percentage. Catcher Jamie Eckenrode has thrown out all three runners who have tried to steal on her.

Ryan has a roster full of summer-league players, many of whom play with the Cockeysville Sting. She said that experience has helped make up for the graduation of top players such as Dani Woods, who helped Alabama to the Women's College World Series last season, Brittany Woods and Erin Ober.

"At the parents' meeting before the season, I said we're going to see where we stand from Day One," Ryan said. "We play the defending state champion and two days later we play the defending county champion. Now, the kids know they can play with them and it's built their confidence."

Hurts so good

Franklin's boys lacrosse team has overcome a rash of injuries to become perhaps the hottest team among Baltimore County's public schools, a run that included being unbeaten entering yesterday's game with Baltimore County rival Towson.

Attackman Matt Higgins has overcome two broken legs; faceoff midfielder Matt Woods has endured surgeries on each of his shoulders; and David Borcik, another faceoff specialist, is recovering from a broken wrist.

But familiarity could be a key to putting the pain in the background for Franklin, which is coached by Scott Laudeman.

Goalie Geordy Clements, Higgins and fellow attackmen Jesse Headly and Tommy Montanye -the latter of whom is coming off a 59-goal season - once played on a recreation league team that won a youth state title prior to high school.

They have been the leaders on a squad that has averaged more than 14 goals while allowing on average just 5.

Tracking Davis

Nearly 20 professional baseball scouts were on hand Friday to see Catonsville left-hander Neal Davis, and he did not disappoint the men armed with radar guns.

Davis, a 6-foot-6 senior who has a scholarship to Virginia, pitched six shutout innings as the No. 3 Comets posted an 8-2 victory over Perry Hall at Catonsville.

Consistently throwing in the high '80s with his fastball and occasionally touching 90 and 91, Davis impressed the talent scouts.

It was the first win of the season for Davis, who has not given up an earned run in 14 2/3 innings and has struck out 26. He is considered to be the area's top prospect and could go high in the June draft if he keeps throwing the way he has so far this season.

Coach Rich Hambor's Comets have also gotten outstanding play from junior left-handed pitcher-center fielder Adam Kolarek. Kolarek is batting .600 (6-for-10) with a homer and five RBIs while going 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA.

Blair's a hit

Top-ranked Calvert Hall has an outstanding freshman hitter in Pat Blair, whose father, Randy Blair, played at the school in the 1970s.

Blair is batting second and playing right field for the Cardinals after impressing coach Lou Eckerl in the preseason.

"He's been hitting the ball so well, we've got to get him in the lineup somewhere," said Eckerl, whose club had its 38-game winning streak ended last Friday in an 8-2 loss at No. 6 Archbishop Spalding.

"He's a player and can play anywhere. He's really an infielder, but can play in the outfield. ."

Blair had four hits, including a triple in a 13-2 romp over Loyola before the loss to Spalding.

"He's been coming to our baseball camp since he was 5 years old and we've been waiting for him to get here," Eckerl said. "He's the kind of kid we're really excited to have for the next four years."

Staying together

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