Outlook: A large group of underclassmen make up the Knights' roster this season, with nine freshmen and sophomores. Coach Jay Seaborg has high expectations for the Knights, and said he hopes they will be playing their best softball by May. "We have a very young team," Seaborg said via email. "As they transition to the demands of varsity softball we hope to see a steady improvement as we move towards May and the playoffs."
Outlook: Vickery said the Eagles should go as far as his six senior leaders take them. Altaver and Brown should split the pitching duties, and FSK's outfield has veteran experience with Russell and Kreimer patrolling.
Outlook: The Lions advanced to the Class 2A West region final last season and will return five seniors and four juniors, including Lexi Jones and Lexi Trail. Trail was one of only three sophomores to make All-Metro first team last spring and Jones, a Murray State commit, led the county in triples and home runs last year. "We have brought up several juniors who will be competing for playing time and I forsee another great year," Czocik said via email. "We hope to go further than the regional championship this year."
Key losses: Katie Cullum, Madison Grimm, Kimran Randhawa, Karina Robinson.
Key returners: Taylor Brown, Kayla Geho, Sarah Ruiz, Storm Smith, Jessie Swistock, Lauren Vogel.
Outlook: The two-time reigning Class 1A state champions are returning six starters from last year's championship team. The Mavericks will be without Madison Grimm, the 2015 Times Softball Player of the Year but shortstop Jessie Swistock and catcher Kayla Geho are expected to lead the Mavs in 2016. "The team will contend for the county championship with hopes of defending it's state championship," Hernandez said via email.
Outlook: The Panthers will have a collective amount of upperclassmen on their 2016 roster and Abell said she expects the leadership to be top-notch this season. "We have a great squad this year full of energy, knowledge and love for the game," Abell said via email. "Team chemistry has a fantastic vibe early on and we can only anticipate that it will grow as the season continues."
Coach: Matt Cannistraci, 9th year
Last year's record: 10-9, 7-7 county
First game: Today vs. South Hagerstown, 4:30
Key losses: Taylor Hoff, Sam Magee, Cindy Sheckels.
Key returners: Sam Amateau, junior IF; Alex Cisar, senior P/IF; Taylor Dauer, senior IF; Chloe Sharman, sophomore P/IF.
Outlook: The Cavaliers split their county record with seven wins and seven losses last season, finishing 10-9 overall. Just three seniors will return to the pitch for the Cavs in 2016. "We are a young team with only three seniors but we have varsity experience at several key positions," Cannistraci said via email. "I believe we will be competitive in the county and work towards improving each day to take our game to the next level and be prepared for a strong playoff run."
Outlook: The Owls have a large number of players returning from 2015 to improve last season's record, including junior pitcher/infielder Nicole Barrett, senior infielder Jillian Howell and senior pitcher/infielder Emily Maseth. "We are looking to make a strong showing again this season and into the playoffs," Harford said via email.
Outlook: Felicia Knill takes over coaching duties for Winters Mill this year. The Falcons captured just one county victory in 2015 and will look to improve that record this season. "We are a young team looking to compete this year," Knill said via email. "We are looking to rebuild the program after a few down years."