Rec Sports Spotlight: Winfield Sting buzzing this summer

Winfield Sting U-14. Top row (L-R): Mike Wolfrey, Mike Wallace, Abby John, Abby Hoare, Hailey Wolfrey, Hailey Medrano, Julia Wellen, Katy Brosenne, George Medrano, Joe Goonan, Jr. Bottom row (L-R): Camy Goonan, Kylie Wallace, Brynnie Laney, Bethany Wilkinson, Ashley Hoare.
Winfield Sting U-14. Top row (L-R): Mike Wolfrey, Mike Wallace, Abby John, Abby Hoare, Hailey Wolfrey, Hailey Medrano, Julia Wellen, Katy Brosenne, George Medrano, Joe Goonan, Jr. Bottom row (L-R): Camy Goonan, Kylie Wallace, Brynnie Laney, Bethany Wilkinson, Ashley Hoare. (Courtesy photo)

Sometimes you just know. Joe Goonan, Jr. certainly did.

It didn’t take him long to know that his Winfield Sting girls softball team would raise a ruckus in USSSA 14-under C circles this year.


All of the girls had previously played in the Sting travel softball program. He’d brought five up with him from the Sting 12-under team he’d coached the year before. And once he saw them blend with the six holdovers from the 2017 14-under C team, Goonan and his assistants knew they had assembled a winner.

“I’d watched them all play, even the girls playing on other teams, and I knew they’d be competitive throughout the year,” Goonan said.


His Sting finished second in USSSA’s Maryland/Delaware regional tournament for 14-under C teams.

The Sting were first in the Freedom Invitational Tournament and first in the Central Maryland Softball League’s 14-under regular season. It would finish third in the division’s postseason tournament as well as in two USSSA tournaments.

When the season was finished, the Sting were 43-9-1 overall, including 15-4-1 in USSSA competition.

Goonan is hard-pressed to identify any one thing that made his team good this year because everything was good.


He had four strong pitchers — Katy Brosenne, Camy Goonan, Julia Wellen, and Brynnie Laney.

The catching was shared by Kendall Hendrix, who was good at picking off runners who strayed too far from base, and Abby Hoare, who could range with the best of them for foul flies. She also filled in at first base.

Wellen also played first base and snagged everything that was thrown her way. Abby John was on second most of the time with an occasional stint in the outfield.

Goonan could fill in at short and could even catch. Hailey Wolfery played third as well as shortstop.

Their coach noted that very few grounders got through the infield, saying, "they exceeded my expectations every game."

The outfield was equally adept, with Joe Goonan saying, “very little hit the ground out there.”

Bethany Wilkenson was outstanding in center field, and Haily Medrano played left. Kylie Wallace was in right. Medrano could also play third base and first.

Laney was the go-to utility player when she wasn’t on the mound. She could play center, shortstop, and second.

His multi-talented squad was more than ready to take on the season.

It opened by going 2-1-1 and finishing third in Howard County's May Madness Tournament. Goonan felt that wasn't bad for a start.

A few days later, the team had another third-place finish, going 4-1 in the Queen of Diamonds tournament in Brooklyn.

On June 16-17 it played in the Freedom Invitational.

It opened with a 9-0 shutout in its first pool game, but lost the second one 10-4 to the West Manheim Extreme.

That was the Sting’s last loss, and they would avenge that one later on. Winfield won its next two games fairly easily and then faced the Finksburg Lady Lions Green under-14 C squad.

Later in the season, Finksburg beat the Sting for the Maryland/Delaware title and also win the under-14 C Eastern National championship.

But on June 17, Finksburg's girls were merely mortal, and Goonan’s team beat them 13-8.

That brought them to the championship game, again against West Manheim. This time, Winfield wielded the big bats and topped the Pennsylvania-based squad 12-4 to take the Freedom tournament title.

Goonan’s team was 5-1 in besting a field of 14 teams.

Two weeks later, on June 30 and July 1, Sting went to Columbia for the Maryland/Delaware 14-under championships.

Laney, backed by Medrano's three-run homer, won the first game 6-2 over the Delaware Storm. After the Sting victimized the Rockville Rampage 14-4, Laney shut out the Storm 10-0 in Game 3.

A 7-3 win over the Outlaws in set up an all-Carroll County championship final with Finksburg.

Goonan's team defeated the Lions in the Freedom fray, but this time was different. On a brutally hot day that saw several girls overcome by the heat, Finksburg scored two late runs to beat the Sting 7-5.

There were a lot of standouts for the Sting in that tournament.

Wolfery scored seven runs in the series; Goonan and John scored six runs each. Hoare and Hendrix slowed the opponents' running game. Each threw out base runners trying to steal.

The outfield played well defensively, as did Wellen, who snagged every throw from the infield.

In mid-July, the Sting tried for the Central Maryland League 14-under championship. It was first with a 24-4 regular season record, but would fall short in the postseason.

The tournament final against the Catonsville Chaos went into extra innings. Winfield scored four runs to take the lead, but Catonsville retaliated with a five-spot to win by a run.

The Sting could have gone to the USSSA Eastern National championships as Finksburg did

However, financial considerations and various players' scheduling conflicts made the trip impractical, Goonan said.

Winfield grabbed another honor, though. All 11 of them have been selected to play on one of six 14-under all-star teams set to play in this weekend's 14-under Delmarva Showcase tournament in Glen Burnie.

Goonan has been named one of the coaches.

This fall and next year, the Sting will move up to USSSA 16-under B tournaments. The field, in addition to being tougher, will also be different than the one on which the girls have played. That doesn't bother the coach.

“We'll have to change our strategy and play the short game more,” Goonan said. “We'll have to work on base stealing and bunting. But we've already beaten a couple of 16-under teams, and I think we'll be very competitive.”

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