Mount de Sales senior Emily Fitzsimmons is back on the mound for the Sailors after posting a 12-4 record and 2.40 earned run average last year.
Mount de Sales senior Emily Fitzsimmons is back on the mound for the Sailors after posting a 12-4 record and 2.40 earned run average last year. (File photo/2015)

Mount de Sales returns seven starters from last year's team that lost to Archbishop Spalding in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland softball tournament finals.

Senior Emily Fitzsimmons is back on the mound after posting a 2.40 earned run average and 12-4 record.

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She also batted .350 on a solid hitting squad that should be better offensively this season.

Other senior starters back from last year's 14-6 squad are Hannah Cimerola (3B) and Kellie Schinzel (2B), and they are accustomed to playing in big games like last year's IAAM tournament semifinals, where they defeated rival Seton Keough, 10-5.

"I like the senior leadership of this team. They won it [title] as freshmen and went to the finals the last two years," coach Pete Waskiewicz said. "Hopefully we can get over the hump and we can win it again."

Cimerola is a product of the Catonsville Chaos fastpitch program.

Juniors Taylor Forgen (CF), Maggie McGuire (RF) and McKenzie Scott (LF) and sophomore Karlee Stocksdale (SS) also started on varsity.

Newcomers in the starting lineup include freshman Olivia Davidson (IB) and junior Lauren Cosey (C), a transfer from Archbishop Spalding.

Freshman Allie Cluster could also help out behind the plate.

Sophomore Abby Fontana is a candidate for the pitching staff.

Junior Valerie McGrath and sophomore Lindsay Koller provide outfield depth, and senior Samantha Snider and freshman Julie Rowe are utility infielders.

Mount de Sales opened the season with a rematch with Spalding, and the Sailors fell 8-2. Waskiewicz knows what they need to do to improve.

"We'll get good pitching and we will hit the ball, but defense right now is my major concern," Waskiewicz said. "We are just trying to get them to play together."

He'll be able to see how well they grow together right away as the Sailors play several tough opponents during the early season.

After opening with Spalding, they were defeated by Northern, of Calvert County, 14-3, on March 21.

They play at Notre Dame Prep today and face Severna Park and Glenelg in the Cavalier Classic at Spalding (March 26).

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The Sailors then get a break from local competition when they travel to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to play five games in five days in the Grand Strand Tournament (March 28-April 1).

"I'm looking for a pretty good year," Waskiewicz said. "We'll go away and play five games and come back and play four games the next week and we're pretty heavily loaded on quality ballclubs at the beginning."

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