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Spring Sports: McDaniel College softball off to good start with young squad

Spring Sports: McDaniel College softball off to good start with young squad
McDaniel College softball player Megan Horsey, a freshman, had the team's top batting average entering play April 2, 2019. (Courtesy photo/McDaniel Athletics)

McDaniel’s softball team began Centennial Conference play last weekend with a doubleheader split against Haverford, and the young Green Terror are holding their own so far in 2019 as the conference slate resumes this week.

They took a 13-7 record into Tuesday’s Centennial matchup with Dickinson, with several freshmen leading the way in 2019.

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Krista Waller has filled a spot in the team’s starting rotation, and the freshman was 4-2 in seven games with a 4.01 ERA. Paige Bleyer, a junior, posted a win March 28 over Hood in which she tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings, then struck out six over 6 2/3 innings three days later in a McDaniel win over York.

The Terror dropped their Centennial opener March 30 at Haverford, 7-1, but fended off the Fords in Game 2 behind a grand slam from sophomore Michaela Persinger. The Catoctin High School graduate smacked her fifth career home run in the seventh inning, and McDaniel won 6-4.

Persinger led the team with six doubles entering Tuesday’s game, and she was batting .288.

Megan Horsey, a freshman catcher, held McDaniel’s top batting average for regulars at .397, while fellow freshman Madison Froemel was next at .364. Froemel had a team-best 17 RBIs as well.

Another rookie, outfielder Mattie Whalen, had a team-high two homers going into Tuesday’s game.

The Green Terror feature only four seniors -- pitcher Fiona Johnson (5-2, 2.76 ERA, 46 strikeouts), first baseman Alicia Wagner (five doubles, 10 RBIs), outfielder Kristina Shank (two triples, team-high seven stolen bases), and utility player Tori Wilkins (.267 average, six steals).

Wagner and Wilkins were first-team all-Centennial selections in 2018, along with pitcher Cassie Rickrode and utility player Megan Coyle, now both juniors.

Phil Smith is in his 15th season as McDaniel’s coach, and reached 300 career wins during the team’s annual trip to Florida two weeks ago. The Terror played 10 games in the Sunshine State and went 7-3.

Baseball

McDaniel (8-10-1) went into Tuesday’s home game with Washington College in search of its first Centennial win of 2019.

Naquan Holden, a junior infielder, entered the week as the Green Terror’s offensive leader, hitting .393 with 22 hits, second most on the team. Holden had a pair of doubles and two triples, and was tied for the team lead with 12 RBIs.

Tim Griest, a fellow junior, was the only other hitter with an average of .350 or better, hitting .381 on the year with a team-high 24 hits that included four doubles and two triples.

Jordan Rhodes and Brad Thaxton have both reached the 30-strikeout mark for the season. Rhodes, a junior, who reached 118 career strikeouts, fanned 36 in his first 30 innings this season. Thaxton, a senior, who got to 106 for his career, had 30 Ks in his first 30 1/3 innings.

Women’s Lacrosse

Megan Kotelchuck enters play this week needing just two points to become the second active Terror player to reach 100 career points. The senior attacker has 46 goals and 52 assists for her career, entering the week with 98 points. She has already reached a career high with 23 assists this season; Kotelchuck finished her junior campaign with 19.

McDaniel goalie Hannah Miller has reached double-digit saves in each of her first two conference starts. The freshman established a career high with 18 stops March 30 at Washington as well as a career-best eight ground balls. It was her third double-digit save game in six starts.

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Miller enters the week with an 8.13 goals-against average and .542 save percentage. Both rank in the top three in the conference.

McDaniel (4-5, 0-2 Centennial) hosts Dickinson on Wednesday and travels to Ursinus on Saturday.

Men’s Lacrosse

McDaniel (2-9, 0-4 Centennial) travels to Ursinus on Saturday trying to snap a four-game losing streak.

Junior midfielder Jackson Reilly leads the team with 24 points (17 goals, seven assists). Nick DeLoriers, a freshman attackman, has a team-high goals. Sophomore attackman Micha Brooks has 16 goals.

Westminster grad Joey Conklin came into the season as one of the leaders on defense, but the sophomore has been out since March 2 with an injury. Conklin had three goals and two assists, as well as 20 ground balls and six caused turnovers.

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