1994 COUNTY SOFTBALL PREVIEW

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Aberdeen Eagles

1993 record: 0-7. Coach: Janie Robinson.

Top players: Sash Bratcher, OF, Jr; Chrissy Doran, 3B, Soph.; Jackie Elliott, P, Sr.; Melissa Gerdom, 1B-P, Jr.; Krissy McDougal, C-OF, Jr.; Tinisha Moore, 2B-OF, Sr; Billy Jo Sills, SS, Jr.; Shawna Statan, P-OF, Jr.; Amanda Walker, 2B, Fr.

Outlook: Pitching, as usual, will be the strength of the Eagles this season, led by Elliott, one of the top hurlers in the county a year ago. Robinson has a fairly young team, with many players up from JV, so questions remain with hitting, yet the Eagles counter with a strong defense especially up the middle. Robinson sees big things from freshman Amanda Walker.

Bel Air Bobcats

1993 record: 14-4. Coach: Val Cooper.

Top players: Asleigh Carter, 1B, Sr; Jen Conway, OF, Sr.; Amy Finlayson, P, Sr.; Sherri Godbee, 3B, Sr.; Denett Jablecki, OF, Sr.; Jaime Kocher, OF, Sr.; Shelby Robbins, C, Sr.; Daniele Rohde, SS, Sr.

Outlook: With six returning starters, plenty of depth and few weaknesses, the Bobcats appear to be the favorite to win the county title, which they shared with Edgewood last season. The Bobcats advanced to regional finals a year ago before losing to Dundalk. Although Cooper isn't making any predictions, her squad should again be strong at the plate -- with most of its productive hitters back -- yet the Bobcats may not be as strong in the field with some positions still unfilled. "If we do all the fundamentals right, we should do well," said Cooper.

C. Milton Wright

1993 record: 7-7. Coach: Joseph Dunch.

Top players: Lois Breece, OF, Sr.; Katie Crause, 1B, Sr.; Shannon Crouch, SS, Sr.; Kim Ditmer, 3B, Jr.; Patti Eller, INF, Sr.; Nicky Kaminski, C, Jr.; Bionca Marovec, P, Sr.; Diana Rice, OF, Jr.; Leslie Simmons, OF, Jr.

Outlook: Dunch likes his team's chances with a mixture of experience -- five returning seniors -- and youth. The Mustangs possess good chemistry, a lot of depth and a sound defensive infield. If they can maintain their aggressiveness, Wright should be in the thick of things in the county race. The Mustangs open their season against two-time state champion Elkton and its out-of-county schedule also includes Dulaney and Westminster.

Edgewood Rams

1993 record: 14-4. Coach: Mark Buzzminsky.

Top players: Jen Andrachowski, 2B, Jr.; Shannon Basham, CF, Sr.; Jen Collins, SS, Jr.; Shana Harry, 3B, Jr.; Cathy Johnson, P, Sr.; Nadia Kassis, OF, Sr.; Nia Kelli, 1B, Jr.; Kim Taylor, P-1B, Sr.; Airon Young, C, Sr.

Outlook: Despite the loss of seven seniors to graduation, the Rams bring back a solid core of players that makes them a serious threat to win the county title, which they shared with Bel Air last season. Edgewood's defense gave up 3.5 runs per game a year ago and looks to remain just as strong. Buzzminsky expects his team to be more aggressive at the plate and on the bases. The Rams are, however, thin on pitching and three tough out-of-county games (Bohemia Manor, Northeast and Perryville) to begin the season should be a real test.

Havre De Grace

1993 record: 11-7. Coach: Alex Spooner.

Top players: Amy Allingham, 3B, Sr.; Nicole Barker, OF-P, Sr.; Martha Boyle, 1B, Sr.; Jaime Brogen, 2B-OF, Sr.; Jennifer Crouse, C, Jr.; Wendy Gehman, 2B, Sr.; Rhonda White, OF, Jr.

Outlook: First-year coach Spooner looks to see improvement at the plate this season with a team that has no standout player. With the loss of last season's top pitcher, the Warriors have to rely on newcomers like Trisha Oals, up from JV, and others with not much varsity experience. Behind the pitchers, though, the Warriors are sure handed in the field and Spooner sees good things from freshman shortstop Raven Reedy. Barker figures to be the most consistent hitter.

Fallston Cougars

1993 record: 5-8. Coach: John Houston.

Top players: Jamie Berdine, DH, Sr.; Jeanine Biondo, 1B-OF, Sr.; Amy Bauersfeld, P, Sr.; Amanda Cahmer, OF, Sr.; Kara Cooper, P, Jr.; Pam Gauss, SS, Sr.; Danielle Maliszeski, C, Sr.; Linsey Marshall, OF, Sr.; Erin Neal, P, Jr.; Kristy Pugh, INF, Sr.; Kim Rapisarda, INF, Jr.

Outlook: Six seniors return for first-year coach Houston, who looks to play as many as five sophomores. Plenty of depth, a sound defense -- anchored by Gauss -- along with team speed make the Cougars a team to watch out for this season. How far the Cougars go, however, will depend on pitching, where they are thin. But Houston isn't passing up the possibility of his team reaching the regional playoffs. While not strong at the plate, the Cougars should get enough production to keep them in most games.

Harford Christian

1993 record: 10-1. Coach: Charlotte Street.

Top players: Suzanne Akers, INF-P, Jr.; Capri Ingram, C, Jr.; Jen Lowenstein, OF, Jr.; Jettie Moir, OF-P, Jr.; Jen Patrick, 1B-C, Sr.

Outlook: With her youngest team in her six years as coach,

Street looks ahead to a rebuilding year with six freshmen and two sophomores likely to see action. Street said she would be happy if her squad finishes with a .500 record, with a pitching staff that is unsure and offense that is full of inexperience. In the field, Harford Christian should be at it strongest. A part of the Pennsylvania league, its schedule includes games against York Country Day, Lancaster Country Day, Linden Hall and Tome School.

John Carroll Patriots

1993 record: 12-3. Coach: Neil Drexel.

Top players: Kelly Barnes, C, Sr.; Molly Boyle, INF-P, Sr.; Paige Boyle, C-INF, Soph; Lisa Chrismer, SS, Jr.; Lauri Giorno, INF-P, Sr.; Heather Pyzik, 1B, Jr.; Anne Romanelli, OF, Jr.; Melissa Smith, OF, Jr.; Casey Wallerweber, OF, Jr.

Outlook: Although the Patriots have nine players back, they are rather young and must regroup with the loss of three All-County players. Drexel said this won't be a usual John Carroll offense. It will have to work harder for runs, yet if the sophomores come around, the Patriots could stay competitive. As a 1A school, its schedule includes games against Northeast, Catholic and two games against each of three county teams.

Joppatowne Mariners

1993 record: 4-12. Coach: Dan Eaton.

Top players: Kristen Conway, 3B, Sr.; Erin Lieb, 1B, Sr.; Krissy Poist, P, Sr.; Tara Southerington, P-C, Sr.; Jamie Vanderwarker, SS, Sr.

Outlook: The Mariners figure to improve over last year's record. Eaton has more talent around this season, which has the Mariners sound in the field and capable of scoring more runs. Poist, the ace, will carry the pitching load while Marie Stout gives the Mariners more stability on the mound, which is encouraging to Eaton.

North Harford Hawks

1993 record: 5-12. Coach: Ben Bray.

Top players: Nicky Fisner, OF, Sr.; Tina Kidd, OF, Sr.; Kristin Murk, P, Sr.; Mindy Patrick, OF, Sr.; Rebecca Williams, 1B-DH, Sr.

Outlook: Good speed and ability come up with several players from JV, but only two returnees were starters a year ago. The pitching load will be on Murk to keep the Hawks in games while at the plate they will have to prove themselves. A young infield should get better with time, particularly with strong non-league games against Northeast, North Carroll, Rising Sun and Elkton.

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