1998 SOFTBALL PREVIEW

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Baltimore City

Bryn Mawr Mawrtians

1997 record: 10-4

Coach: Terry Detorie

Top players: Melanie Sperl, Sr., P; Katelin Isaacs, Sr., SS; Charlotte Elder, Soph., 1B; Sarah Cook, Jr., CF; Erin Bellamy, Soph., 3B.

Outlook: The Mawrtians won the AIS A division regular-season title last year but suffered a tough one-run loss to Notre Dame Prep in the championship game. They have the talent to get back to the title game. Sperl anchors a pitching staff that has more depth, and Detorie will be able to rest her at times.

Carver Bears

1997 record: no team

Coach: Ron Frierson

Top players: Ivory Harris, Jr., P/CF; Duvalle Johnson, Soph., 1B; Tinia Janey, Soph., SS; Erica White, Sr., C.

Outlook: Carver didn't field a team last season, but Frierson has some talent this year. The Bears have a solid nucleus of about 14 players.

Catholic Cubs

1997 record: 5-13

Coach: Jerry Dieter

Top players: Corrine Butcher, Sr., C/3B; Allison Merkle, Jr., SS; Kristen Topper, Soph., P; Jenna Meekins, Soph., P.

Outlook: This should be a much better year for Dieter's team. Topper and Meekins provide a solid foundation on the mound. Merkle returns from an injury that cost her most of last season, and Butcher is solid defensively.

City Knights

1997 record: 13-1

Coach: Julio Fernandez

Top players: Mandy Westfall, Sr., P; Amanda Evans, Soph., C; Ann Phillips, Jr., 1B.

Outlook: The defending city champions were undefeated in the regular season last year but lost six starters from that team. Westfall leads a good pitching staff. The Knights have some depth but are very young.

Douglass Ducks

1997 record: 4-9

Coach: Rodney Coffield

Top players: Angel Frazier, Sr., 1B; Dwania Lamb., Jr., LF; Christine Horton, Jr., C; Tarsha Bowie, Jr., SS; Jovana Titus, Sr., 3B

Outlook: This is the third year since the program resumed play, and Coffield, who coached the boys basketball team to the city title, hopes the team continues the habit of improving annually. The offense has looked good in preseason work. Defense may be a question mark, and the pitching is inexperienced.

Dunbar Poets

1997 record: 14-5

Coach: Greg LeCount

Top players: Sarah Muse, Sr., IF; Shakia Tolson, Sr., C; Katrina Street, Sr., OF.

Outlook: The Poets lost some key players but have gained experience. They started five freshmen last year and all return. LeCount says they'll score some runs.

Edmondson Redskins

1997 record: 2-15

Coach: Joe Page

Top players: Marquie Goodwin, Sr., SS; Jennifer Mundell, Soph., IF/OF; Lakia Morris, Sr., OF; Latonya Butler, Sr., OF; Tiah Kuniker, Sr., P.

Outlook: The Redskins have some experience and should be able to score. Defense caused trouble last year, but Page looks for improvement this year.

Forest Park Foresters

1997 record: N/A

Coach: Earl Womack

Top players: Tiffany Stanley, Jr., SS; Shanell Hawks, Sr., 1B; Trenay Wren, Sr., 3B.

Outlook: New coach Womack said he likes how hard his team has been working in the preseason. The Foresters lack experience and depth, but should score and will be aggressive on the basepaths.

Friends Quakers

1997 record: 8-5

Coach: James Brown

Top players: Leslie Deutschendorf, Sr., P; Johanna Tassone, Jr., SS; Mimoza Cejku, Sr., CF; Carrie Maylor, Sr., C; Anouk Erni, Jr., 3B.

Outlook: The Quakers have an interesting mix of experience and young players. Five starters are back, and Brown looks for help from four seniors and four freshmen. Deutschendorf will be in her third varsity season.

Institute of Notre Dame Indians

1997 record: 11-11

Coach: Greg Ehrman

Top players: Kristen Heaney, Sr., C; Shannan Machin, Sr., P; Beth Schleupner, Sr., 3B; Jamie Clingan, Soph., 2B; Erin Farrish, Soph., SS.

Outlook: The Indians are looking for their eighth straight trip to the Catholic League title game. They lost to Spalding in last year's championship game but have a better team this season. Machin moves to No. 1 pitcher and has good defense to back her up. Heany, Clingan and Farrish anchor a productive lineup.

Mercy Magic

1997 record: 8-14

Coach: Carrie Hueston.

Top players: Sara McAllister, Sr., SS; Ashlee Courter, Jr., LF; Michelle Russell, Jr., P; Megan Cosgrove, Sr., C; Mary McCotter, Jr., C.

Outlook: Hueston takes over a team that has some talent and hopes to improve. She said the team will work more on the basics this season. The Magic should be strong defensively and hopes for good pitching from Russell.

Mervo Mustangs

1997 record: 4-3

Coach: Nancy Havranek

Top players: Christina Fisher, Sr., 1B; Christina Powers, Sr., C; Takisha Robinson, Soph., P/SS; Pam Wade, Jr., 3B.

Outlook: Havranek has a young team with a program she's trying to rebuild. Several good young players should help and the Mustangs have hitting and speed. There's inexperience in spots, but some talent is definitely there.

Northern Vikings

1997 record: 8-4

Coach: Beverly Grant

Top players: Gina Welch, Jr., SS; Crystal Lewter, Soph., 1B/3B; Lauren Owens, Fresh., 2B; Tiona Davis, Soph., RF.

Outlook: Several players return from last year's team. In addition, Grant has some good young players, especially Owens and Davis. Welch and Lewter are the captains and lead the way for a team that will have solid defense.

Northwestern Wildcats

1997 record: 8-4

Coach: Shannon Flowers

Top players: Keena Brown, Sr., IF; Jada Walker, Sr., IF.

Outlook: Flowers takes over a team that lost a lot of talent. The Wildcats have only a few veterans but do have talent in spots.

Poly Engineers

1997 record: 8-5

Coach: Norman Perry

Top players: Akeya Vaughan, Sr., CF/C; Rhea Marasigan, Sr., P/2B; Heather Myers, Jr., SS/3B; Luquonda Williams, Jr., 3B/OF.

Outlook: The Engineers have some talent and experience this season. They will score some runs and a first-year JV team should help with depth. Perry said the biggest questions are how effective the defense and pitching can become.

Patterson Clippers

1997 record: 6-13.

Coach: Derek Maki.

Top players: Laurianne Lau, Soph., C; LaToya Carter, Jr., OF/P; Christina Kirkpatrick, Sr., IF; LaShawn Neal, Jr., OF; Christina Vittek, Sr., IF.

Outlook: Ten returnees should help the Clippers find more success. Lau and Kirkpatrick will lead an improved lineup. The team lacked experience last year, and Maki still needs help on the mound.

Roland Park Reds

1997 record: 5-6

Coach: Mary Hain

Top players: Zaineb Makhzoumi, Sr., SS; Adrienne Smith, Jr., 1B; Gretchen Cook, Jr., P; Katrina Shank, Jr., CF/C; Blythe Beall, Soph., P/IF.

Outlook: The Reds are a good hitting team hurt by the preseason loss of shortstop Lauren Waesche (torn ACL, out for season). Seven new players join the Reds, and Hain said they should contribute.

Seton Keough Gators

1997 record: 12-4

Coach: Chris Ashby

Top players: Kristen Zaleski, Soph., P; Natalie Crook, Sr., 2B; Shalese Tolentino, Fr., SS; Chris Thompson, Soph., 1B; Kellie Phillips, Sr., CF.

Outlook: The Gators took third in the Catholic League last year and should be in the hunt again. Ashby has an experienced team back, led by Zaleski, who has speed, control and several good pitches.

Southern Bulldogs

1997 record: 11-5

Coach: Jack Nehmsmann

Top players: Latrina Felder, Sr,. CF; Tanya Mosher, Jr., C/3B; Tiffany Starra, Jr., P/3B; Wendy Cavanaugh, Jr., 2B.

Outlook: This may be the best team in the city. The Bulldogs lost just one starter from last year's region semifinalists and have a group of talented players back. Felder hit .600 last season, and a healthy Starra will be a plus. She's the top pitcher and injured her arm late last season but looks good now.

Southwestern Sabres

1997 record: 8-5

Coach: Dave Lang

Top players: Shenika Sumpter, Sr, 3B; Tyra Shipman, Jr., 1B; Lisa Young, Jr., C.

Outlook: Lang takes over a very inexperienced team that does have talent in spots. He has 14 players and could use a little more depth. Lang said the young players have worked hard in preseason.

Walbrook Warriors

1997 record: no team.

Coach: Landon Saunders

Top players: Latoya Riggs, Soph., IF/OF; Pamela Franklin, Fr., IF/OF; Cristine Booker, Fr., IF.

Outlook: This will be a building year for a young team. The goals are simple -- just to have a team and be competitive since there has not been a team since 1995.

Western Doves

1997 record: 9-8

Coach: Shawn Stoliker

Top players: Monique Butler, Sr.; Jennifer Johns, Sr., P/C; Nikki Greeson, Sr., P/SS; Jamaica Wood, Soph., 3B.

Outlook: The Doves have lots of talent. Johns and Greeson lead a good pitching staff, and Wood helps a lineup that should score. The defense looks good, especially in the outfield. In addition, Western's 16 players give Stoliker some depth.

Pub Date: 3/24/98

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