Softball: Team-by-team preview capsules for 2019
Winters Mill's Zoey Deniker throws a pitch in the fourth inning of the Knights' win over the Falcons in Westminster Saturday, April 28, 2018. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)


Coach: Stephanie Haines, 3rd year


Last year’s record: 13-5, 8-4 county

First game: March 25 vs. Manchester Valley, 4:30

Key losses: Chichi Ahulamibe, Olivia Carmack, Gillian Sinnott, Allyson Windell

Key returners: Emily Kain, senior CF; Brianna Kessler, junior SS; Gina Martin, junior 2B

Outlook: The reigning Carroll County Athletic League champions are back with a core group of returning starters that includes Kain and Kessler, both Times first-team all-countians in 2018. A group of experienced freshmen are primed to take on pitching and catching duties left behind by Sinnott and Windell. “They will be asked to take on a large task of helping out … but will learn from the upperclassmen looking to go far in the season,” Haines said via email.


Coach: Thom Vickery, 5th year

Last year’s record: 5-10, 3-9 county

First game: March 25 at Westminster, 4:30

Key losses: None

Key returners: Gabby Archie, Jess Blanchard, Kaesey Green, Jodie Staub

Outlook: The Eagles picked up three county wins last season, but suffered an early playoff exit to Boonsboro in the 1A West playoffs. Archie, a first-team all-county pick in 2017, posted a .375 batting average for the Eagles last season and is back to even out the infield. “To say we are pumped to get things started would be an understatement,” Vickery said via email.


Coach: Chris Szocik, 11th year


Last year’s record: 8-12, 6-6 county

First game: March 25 vs. Mount de Sales, 4:30

Key losses: Abby Devine, Brooke Heffler, Kaya Holmes, Jen Sothoron

Key returners: Logan Heydon, senior P; Amy Jacobs, senior 1B; Jordan Nastos, junior C

Outlook: The Lions boast seven seniors, including last year’s top hitter in Heydon who led the team with a .492 average. Nastos is back from last season’s all-county team, and Liberty is adding some sophomores to its lineup. “We expect our seniors to lead the team to a winning season this year with good pitching, defense and sound hitting production through the lineup,” Szocik said via email.


Coach: Mike Hernandez, 10th year

Last year’s record: 9-9, 5-7 county

First game: March 25 at Century, 4:30

Key losses: Megan Cappadora, Emily Christmann

Key returners: Stephanie Barksdale, Erika Bitzel, Shelby Davis, Jaclyn Gouge, Kassidy Johnson

Outlook: The Mavericks will be young with only two seniors and graduated Christmann, last year’s county batting average leader at .500. Look for Barksdale to lead the Mavs’ pitching duties with offensive contributions from Johnson, a first team all-countian in 2018. “Even though we are young, we are looking forward to a competitive and successful season,” Hernandez said via email.


Coach: Matt Cannistraci, 12th year

Last year’s record: 12-7, 7-5 county

First game: March 25 vs. Winters Mill, 4:30

Key losses: Amanda Christian, Victoria Holston, Chloe Sharman

Key returners: Sydni Carroll, junior OF; Hannah Herche, senior OF/P; Olivia Reardon, sophomore SS

Outlook: Two first-teamers are back for the Cavaliers in Carroll and Reardon. The Cavaliers will be young this year as they return just one senior. Sharman, the 2017 Times Player of the Year, graduated last spring, so pitching duties could likely be split between Carroll, sophomore Ava Wallace, and junior Allysah Davis. “We will be young, but competitive in the county working toward getting better each and every day and trying to hit our peak come playoff time,” Cannistraci said via email.


Coach: April Sexton, 2nd year

Last year’s record: 14-7, 7-5 county

First game: March 25 vs. Francis Scott Key, 4:30

Key losses: Jill Haines, Olivia Herman

Key returners: Jackie Coyle, junior SS; Emily Sicinski, junior P; Laura Tipton, sophomore 3B/P

Outlook: The Owls graduated their starting pitcher and catcher in Haines and Herman, the reigning Times Player of the Year, but return a solid group of athletes prepared to make another run to the state tournament. “Our goal is to take the county title this year and return to, and win, states,” Sexton said via email.


Coach: Felicia Knill, 4th year

Last year’s record: 8-11, 6-6 county

First game: March 25 at South Carroll, 4:30

Key losses: Megan Alisauckas, Taylor Glover

Key returners: Zoey Deniker, senior P; Megan Harman, senior INF; Lauren Wiley, senior OF

Outlook: Harman was second in the county with a .492 batting average as a junior in 2018 and returns from last year’s all-county first team. The Falcons split their county record last year, but lost to Century in a 2A West sectional semifinal. With a handful of returners, the Falcons are poised for success. “We have a very experienced team and are looking to click,” Knill said via email.