Atholton third baseman Miranda Thompson, who was a second-team all-county selection last spring, is a senior leader this spring for the Raiders.
Atholton third baseman Miranda Thompson, who was a second-team all-county selection last spring, is a senior leader this spring for the Raiders. (File photo courtesy of Israel Carunungan)

2015 record: 7-10 county, 8-13 overall

Coach: Ed Holshue

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Key players: Seniors Caitlyn Burmester (1B) and Miranda Thompson (3B); juniors Bethy Medina (SS) and Allison Orlosky (C/IF); sophomore Patty Drumheller (P).

What you need to know: The Raiders, despite the below .500 record last spring, were extremely competitive in almost every contest and bring back several key pieces of that group. In fact, new coach Ed Holshue has five returning starters at his disposal.

"We have five returning starters as our core, but are vastly inexperience thereafter. It's not a negative, but instead a challenge," Holshue said. "(The key is) staying healthy in key spots and the rate of growth and maturity learning curive of our newer players."

Thompson, a senior captain headed to play at McDaniel next year, is a standout defender at third and is also coming off a junior season where she hit for a .357 batting average to go with 13 runs scored and 10 RBI. She will be taking over a lot of the senior leadership responsibilities vacated by the graduated Amanda Petersen.

Burmester provides some power at the plate, hitting five doubles and driving in 16 last season. She, along with Medina and Orlosky, hit for an average above .380 a year ago.

Drumheller is a capable hitter as well, but it's the experience she gained as a freshman pitcher last year that could play a big role for the team. She pitched 92 innings in her rookie season and earned five wins.

Holshue, may be new to Atholton, but he's familiar with the county softball scene. He was the varsity coach at Howard in 2008 and 2009 and at Centennial in 2011.

The roster overall features experience in the form of four seniors, but also youth in terms of three freshmen.

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