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Softball preseason poll

1. Eastern Tech

Coach: Jack Meyers

Last season: 21-1, ranked No. 1

Postseason: Class 3A finalist

Outlook: The Mavericks reached the state finals for the first time in program history and have the talent for another deep run with seven returning starters, including All-Metro Player of the Year Jordan Cargile.

2. Glen Burnie

Coach: Doug Schreiber

Last season: 16-7, ranked No. 3

Postseason: Class 4A finalist

Outlook: The Gophers should be in the hunt for another Class 4A East title with the return of pitcher Ali Moos, who went 12-5 with 1.34 ERA last season.

3. Mount de Sales

Coach: Pete Waskiewicz

Last season: 17-4, ranked No. 2

Postseason: Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference champions

Outlook: The Sailors are looking to defend their IAAM championship and will be led by four-year starter and left fielder Emma Mires.

4. Glenelg

Coach: Raymond Gerstner

Last season: 20-1, ranked No. 5

Postseason: Class 2A South quarterfinal

Outlook: The Gladiators will be in the hunt for a state title with Colleen Regan, who was 14-1 and batted .394, and first baseman Faith Kujawa, who batted .443 with six home runs.

5. River Hill

Coach: Marni Rosenbaum

Last season: 17-5, ranked No. 4

Postseason: Class 3A state semifinal

Outlook: The Hawks had an impressive season, and will look to carry that momentum into this year with eight returning starters. River Hill is led by third baseman Kinsey Johnson, who batted .487 last season and had a .925 fielding percentage.

6. Seton Keough

Coach: Chuck Snee

Last season: 17-3, ranked No. 10

Postseason: IAAM final

Outlook: The Gators have seven returning starters and will be back in the hunt for an IAAM title with the return of pitcher Kelly Lynch, who went 7-0 last season and is one of the top players in the area.

7. Liberty

Coach: Chris Szocik

Last season: 18-1, ranked No. 6

Postseason: Class 2A West quarterfinal

Outlook: The Lions surged through the regular season undefeated last year before being upset in the second round of the playoffs by Francis Scott Key. Liberty returns six of nine starters from last season and will be a force once again.

8. Northeast

Coach: Joe Hart

Last season: 19-3, ranked No. 7

Postseason: Class 3A East quarterfinal

Outlook: The Eagles were dominant in the regular season last year en route to the Anne Arundel County championship. Northeast has seven returning starters, plus some talented freshmen, and will compete for the regional crown.

9. Archbishop Spalding

Coach: Nicole Trumpler

Last season: 10-8, unranked

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinal

Outlook: The Cavaliers will challenge for the league title with 10 returning players, including six starters. Pitcher/first baseman Ali Caulkins has established herself as one of the top players in the state.

10. Perry Hall

Coach: Brian Radcliffe

Last season: 15-4, ranked No. 8

Postseason: Class 4A North semifinal

Outlook: The Gators, who have six returning starters, are looking to take the next step after last season’s impressive run. Perry Hall will be led by sophomore center fielder Hannah Lewis, who batted .509 with 33 runs and 11 RBIs last season.

11. Mount Hebron

Coach: Chuck Struhar

Last season: 18-6, ranked No. 11

Postseason: Class 3A East final

Outlook: The Vikings are led by the “Three Killer Bs” sophomore pitcher/outfielder Evvie Buehlman, pitcher/outfielder Maddie Bennett and shortstop Alli Blum, who combined for 71 RBIs last season.

12. Broadneck

Coach: Deanna Romeo-Hamilton

Last seasons: 14-8, unranked

Postseason: Class 4A East semifinal

Outlook: The Bruins have five returning starters, but coach Romeo-Hamilton expects big things from talented newcomers, including freshman pitcher Ally Thompson.

13. Severna Park

Coach: Meredith McAlister

Last season: 15-7, ranked No. 15

Postseason: Class 4A East quarterfinal

Outlook: The Falcons will be a force in Class 4A East with eight returning players, including senior Grayson Metzger, who can play shortstop, second base and center field an has signed to play at Brown.

14. C. Milton Wright

Coach: Russ Kovach

Last season: 19-3, ranked No. 14

Postseason: Class 3A North semifinal

Outlook: Kovach has put together one of the top programs in the area and the Mustangs will be tough once again. Emily Luzetsky, Caroline Weimer, Catherine Kim and Jenny Lynch lead a powerful lineup.

15. Lansdowne

Coach: Jamie Izdebski

Last season: 12-8, ranked No. 9

Postseason: 2A North semifinal

Outlook: The Vikings have established themselves as one of the top programs in Baltimore County. Even though Lansdowne will start the year with several newcomers to go along with four returning starters, the Vikings should be a force in Class 2A North.

Other teams considered: Atholton (14-6), Chesapeake-AA (15-8), Fallston (14-3), Howard (16-6), North Carroll (18-2), Reservoir (10-13)

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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