College Notebook: Four from Carroll fueling Frostburg softball

Taylor Vandegrift and three other locals have helped the Frostburg State University softball team to its best start in at least 12 seasons.

The Bobcats have opened the year 12-3 with Vandegrift at the center of it.

The Winters Mill graduate, one of just four seniors on the squad, leads the Capital Athletic Conference with a .491 batting average.

The outfielder also has posted a .517 on-base percentage and 13 RBIs in starting all 15 of Frostburg's games.

She is joined on the Bobcats by a trio of former county players: freshman infielder Lauren Capece (North Carroll), freshman pitcher/third baseman Nicole Bradford (Century) and sophomore infielder Amanda Hennessee (North Carroll).

Capece is batting .308 with four homers and seven RBIs in 15 games (14 starts). Bradford is 2-0 with a 2.71 ERA in seven games (five starts), with one shutout from the pitcher's circle.

The Bobcats have now won nine in a row since a 3-3 start.

FROM FROSTBURG WITH LOVE: Freshman attack Spenser Love (Winters Mill) has begun his career with the Frostburg men's lacrosse team in scorching fashion.

Love leads the Bobcats with 22 goals and 31 points to lead the team to a 6-3 start. He scored a season-high four goals in his first collegiate game and proceeded to find the back of the net at least twice in each of his first eight contests.

Love is joined by four other former county players on the team.

Junior goalie Tyler Haines (Winters Mill) has started all nine games for Frostburg, putting up a 7.80 goals-against average and .608 save percentage.

Freshman attack Michael Kibler (Westminster) has played in seven games as a reserve, recording three goals and one assist. Freshman goalie Taylor Schmitz (South Carroll) has served as the Bobcats' primary backup, appearing in three games and a shade less than 34 minutes, posting a 10.69 goals-against average and .333 save percentage.

Freshman defender Chris Baker (Winters Mill) has played in three games off the bench, helping the team hold opponents to 69 goals in nine contests.

ALL-AMERICAN BROOKS: Less than a month after being named Most Outstanding Performer of the Meet and Outstanding Rookie Performer at the Centennial Conference men's swimming championships, McDaniel College freshman Brad Brooks added another honor.

Brooks earned two-time All-American status by finishing fourth in the 1,650-yard freestyle and 10th in the 500 freestyle at the 2013 NCAA Division III men's swimming championship in Houston.

Brooks swam the 1,650 in 15:31.6, which was 14.43 seconds better than his previous program and conference records in the event. He also knocked another 6.54 seconds off his 1,000 freestyle record, splitting a time of 9:23.95.

Brooks swam the 500 in 4:29.30 to become the first All-American in program history with honorable mention accolades.

TOP ROOKIE: San Diego State freshman Felice Artuso (Winters Mill) was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Rookie of the Week, the conference announced on Monday.

Artuso scored a goal and recorded a draw control in SDSU's 12-10 road victory over Oregon on Saturday. The freshman's score came off a pass from sophomore Michaela Jarvis to break an 8-8 tie with 16:08 remaining.

Artuso is sixth on the team in goals scored (9), second in draw controls (13) and tied for second in caused turnovers (5). Last week, Jarvis was named Offensive Player of the Week, while senior goalkeeper Sammy Slattery was named Defensive Player of the Week.

GOLDEN TERROR: Freshman Chloe Allen-Gorman won the 3,000-meter run and finished fourth in the 1,500 for a strong start to McDaniel's outdoor track season at the Battleground Relays hosted by Mary Washington last weekend.

Allen-Gorman won the 3,000 with a time of 11:05.11 on Friday before finishing fourth in a Centennial-qualifying time of 5:07.67 in the 1,500 on Saturday.

Freshman Alva Ecker led the Green Terror on the field side, finishing in the top six in all three of her events, winning the triple jump with a distance of 10.32 meters, hitting the standard and debuting in fifth place on the program's all-time list. She placed sixth in the pole vault (2.44) and third in the long jump (4.64), hitting conference-qualifying standards in both.

ALL-NEC SWIMMER: Mount St. Mary's senior swimmer Courtney Griffith earned an All-NEC nod as an individual and as part of a relay team.

Following her third place finish at the NEC Championships, Griffith was recognized as a third-team selection for the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.30.

In the 200 freestyle relay, Griffith teamed up with Erin Regan, Mollie Walsh and Cat Coppler for the third-fastest time in the field by clocking in at 1:34.83, earning third-team recognition.

STARTING STRONG: Sophomore Cody Mewhirter (North Carroll) has performed well to open his spring season with the McDaniel men's golf team. Mewhirter has recorded a pair of top-10 finishes, tying for second at the Myrtle Beach Shootout on March 19 and tying for ninth Saturday at the Gettysburg Spring Invitational.

Mewhirter picked up right where he left off in the fall, which he capped by tying for sixth at the Mason-Dixon Collegiate Classic.