Makenzie Hockensmith is one of four key senior leaders this spring for Marriotts Ridge.
Makenzie Hockensmith is one of four key senior leaders this spring for Marriotts Ridge. (Photo courtesy of Israel Carunungan)

2015 record: 8-9 county, 9-12 overall

Coach: Karyn Peksa

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Key players: Seniors Makenzie Hockensmith (CF), Grace McCoy (1B/OF), Molly Meininger (RF) and Jordan Stepke (SS); sophomores Mikayla Barnard (3B/P) and Romy Lindahl (3B/P).

What you need to know: A popular sleeper candidate according to county coaches, the Mustangs have the pieces in place to potentially move into the upper tier of the standings this spring. The four seniors leading the way — Hockensmith, Stepke, Meininger and McCoy — are all three-year varsity players.

"The biggest determinant of our success will be our versatility, basic fundamentals and team chemistry," coach Karyn Peksa said.

Stepke made second-team all-county a season ago thanks to her standout defense and success as a speedy lead-off hitter. She batted .344 last year, stole seven bases, had six extra-base hits, scored 17 runs and drove in 12.

Romy Lindahl is the team's top returning hitter in terms of average, hitting .441 to go with 7 extra-base hits and 15 runs scored. She's also one of the team's two sophomore starting pitchers that gained valuable experience last year.

Hockensmith and Barnard both had batting averages under .300 last year, but did come through with some big hits. Both had at least five extra-base hits and 16 runs scored. Hockensmith, Meininger and McCoy help make up what should be a very strong defensive outfield.

Marriotts Ridge opens with games against Hammond and Wilde Lake — two of the county's bottom four teams last season — before the schedule heats up with three straight games against the county's upper tier immediately after spring break.

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