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High school softball: Players to watch


* Heather Amend, Patapsco, Sr., 3B -- An excellent fielder and good hitter who will help the Patriots. She batted close to .400 last year and is a good all-around player.

* Celia Ashton, Seton Keough, Soph., OF/C -- Ashton, a Catholic League All-Star last year, batted .420 and played tough defense in center field for the Gators.

* Amy Beall, Catholic, Sr., P/IF -- Beall, an All-Catholic League selection last year, batted .456 and tied the Cubs in home runs and was second in RBI.

* Krista Cantafio, Catonsville, Jr., C -- Cantafio has a strong arm that she uses well. She's a good hitter, capable of hitting for power. She's one of Catonsville's top hitters.

* Cindy Coleman, Franklin, Jr., P -- Coleman should be a big key for the Indians this season. She is one of the county's top hitters, batting around .600 last year. This is her third season on the varsity.

* Stacey Comins, Parkville, So., 1B -- She hit over .300 last year as a freshman while playing every spot in the infield. An All-County pick last year, she'll be one of the team's top hitters and should provide power.

* Christa Engleman, IND, Sr., P -- Engleman returns to the mound for her fourth season and may emerge as the best pitcher in the Catholic League. Behind her throwing last year, IND (14-5) finished second behind champion Spalding.

* Kelly Franklin, City, Sr., IF -- Franklin, in her fourth season, is one of the Knights' top power hitters and is also effective defensively at first base.

* Shannon Furletti, Perry Hall, Sr., P -- She posted a 6-3 mark last year with a 1.36 ERA. Furletti is a hard thrower with good location.

* Michelle Geho, Patterson, Sr., IF/P -- Geho is a versatile player both on the mound and at first base.

* Julie Green, Dulaney, Jr., P -- Green should be a key for the Lions this season, just as she was last year. She's a strong pitcher and one of the best in Baltimore County.

* Tracy Gruzs, Western, Sr., P -- Gruzs, an All-City selection last year, had a 14-1 record and batted .517 last season.

* Stacey Hanson, Kenwood, Sr., SS -- The transfer from Maine should add a lot to Kenwood. She is quick, has a good arm and can hit well, batting .375 last year.

* Oprah Holmes, Edmondson, Jr., SS -- Holmes led the C Conference Champions in hitting and was one of the Redskins top defensive players last year.

* Erica Hurtt, Towson, Sr., SS -- Last season, Hurtt batted around .400 with power and stole 14 bases. She also is one of the team's top fielders.

* Robin Joyner, Edmondson, Sr., P -- A four-year player for the Redskins, Joyner compiled a 14-1 record last season and is expected to repeat her performance on the mound this year.

* Amy Lohrig, Chesapeake-BC, Sr., C -- She will be the glue that holds the Bayhawks together. Arguably the top defensive catcher in Baltimore County, she has a great arm. She also hits well and has power.

* Tina Lotz, EVT, Sr., 3B -- Last season, she batted .367 with 16 RBI, 21 steals and a .925 fielding percentage as a first-team All-County pick. She's a good on-field leader.

* Kim Osborne, Western, Jr., OF -- An All-City selection last season, Osborne is expected to be a key on offense and defense for the Doves.

* Kim Thomas, Southern, Sr., IF -- Thomas was one of the RBI leaders for the Bulldogs last year, and was equally effective on defense at first and third base.

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