Softball

Varsity Spring Preview

March 14, 2007

GAMES TO WATCH

March 26

Westminster at F.S. Key, 4:30 p.m.

March 27

Dulaney at Western Tech (Catonsville MS), 3:45 p.m.

April 13

Archbishop Spalding at IND, 4 p.m.

April 30

Glen Burnie at Chesapeake-AA, 4 p.m.

May 4

Centennial at Hammond, 4 p.m.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Cynthia Foster

C. Milton Wright, outfield

The defending Class 4A state champion Mustangs will count on more clutch hits from their senior standout, who batted .475 with 24 RBIs and 31 runs last spring while also providing errorless play in left field.

Michelle Grap

Centennial, shortstop

Extra bases are the norm for the four-year star, who batted .493 last spring with six doubles, six triples , four home runs, 22 runs and 17 RBIs for the Eagles.

Megan Johnson

Francis Scott Key, pitcher

The hard-throwing senior (13-8, 1,86 ERA, 201 strikeouts last season) will try to lead the Eagles to the top of the pack in Carroll County.

Kelly Leary

Glen Burnie, pitcher-first base

On the mound (11-3, 1.11 ERA last season) or at the plate (.541 average, 16 extra-base hits, 22 RBIs), the four-year standout has always found a way to make a positive impact for the Gophers.

Nicole Lowenstein

John Carroll, catcher

At the plate (.706 slugging percentage, 15 RBIs last season) and behind it defensively, the junior is a solid fixture as the Patriots try to make an impression in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.

Carly Martin

Seton Keough, pitcher

In notching 11 wins with an 0.29 ERA last season, Martin led the Gators to the IAAM A Conference title game with an uncanny ability to throw strikes when she needed them most.

Brooke Owen

Chesapeake-AA, outfield

The senior leadoff hitter (.415, 35 runs, 14 stolen bases last season) provides instant offense for the Cougars with her knack for making contact, excellent speed and smart base running.

Julianne Roper

Western Tech, pitcher

The do-everything senior (15-5 on the mound, .345 at the plate last season) has played a major role in putting the defending Baltimore County champion Wolverines on the softball map.

Desirae Sullivan

Severna Park, third base

Like last season, when she hit .415 with eight homers and 45 RBIs, the Falcons are hoping Sullivan can once again thrive in the clean-up spot this spring.

Stephanie Weigman

Arch. Spalding, pitcher

The hard-throwing senior has been the top pitcher on the best team in the tough IAAM A Conference the past two years, leading the Cavaliers to their second straight title last spring with a 15-3 mark that included an 0.64 ERA and 180 strikeouts.

Other notables -- Michelle Barwick, Dulaney; Katie Blackston, Western Tech; Heather Brown, Northeast; Leah Cossentino, Glenelg; Shanice Crowder, Poly; Angela DiBeneditto, John Carroll; Meagan Elfert, Westminster; Brittany Falls, Dulaney; Chelsea Funk, C. Milton Wright; Michelle Gravdahl, Long Reach; Lindsey Gray, Northeast; Jessica Grimshaw, Centennial; Nikki Hartner, C. Milton Wright; Katie Hobson, Centennial; Michelle January, Eastern Tech; Meghan Kovacs, Seton Keough; Allison Kuchar, C. Milton Wright; Marie Lindberg, Century; Joy Ann Line, Digital Harbor; Kaela Mason, Harford Tech; Colleen Matthes, Institute of Notre Dame; Megan McConnell, Liberty; Kathy McLaughlin, Seton Keough; Jessica Myers, North Carroll; Jessica Oleinik, Centennial; Brooke Owen, Chesapeake-AA; Caroline Peddicord, Long Reach; Lindsey Pyzik, Mount de Sales; Nicole Reeder, Archbishop Spalding; Akeema Richards, Western; Jessica Richards, Glen Burnie; Becky Schmidt, Glenelg; Katie Skojec, Hammond; Stephanie Speierman, Hammond; Anna Struhar, Century; Kristin Urban, Mercy; Sloane Van Meter, Archbishop Spalding; Jessica Vandzwolek, Fallston; Amanda Ward, Institute of Notre Dame; Brandie Wright, Digital Harbor; Angela Yannone; Kelsea Zeglin, Perry Hall.

THE POLL

1. Chesapeake-AA

Last season: 23-3, ranked No. 4

Stocked with returning talent, the Cougars have all the ingredients to take that final step after their Class 4A state runner-up finish last season.

2. Arch. Spalding

Last season: 18-4, No. 1

Former Pallotti coach Paul O'Brien takes over for Nicki Trumpler as the loaded Cavaliers chase after their third straight Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference crown.

3. C. Milton Wright

Last season: 24-2, No. 2

There's no quit in the defending Class 4A state champion Mustangs, who proved it with two runs in the seventh to get past Chesapeake-AA, 4-3, in last year's title game.

4. Glen Burnie

Last season: 18-5, No. 5

With a fierce lineup, strong pitching and sound defense, the Gophers can match up with any team in the area.

5. Inst. of Notre Dame

Last season: 18-7, No. 13

Led by senior pitcher Colleen Matthes, the Indians have eight starters back and will try to dethrone Spalding in the IAAM A Conference.

6. Northeast

Last season: 17-5, No. 8

The Eagles always find a way to figure prominently in the competitive Anne Arundel County League

7. Centennial

Last season: 16-4, No. 9

With a senior-laden group returning eight starters, the Eagles are the favorites in Howard County.

8. Severna Park

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