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Softball: Looking at local teams as they prepare for the long spring season

Aberdeen

Head coach: Bill Lewis (first season)

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2011 record: N/A

Key returning players: Abigail Harrison, Jr. (3B); Rebecca Roberts, Sr. (SS, P)

Key newcomers: Victoria Phelps, So. (SS, P); Sarah Tyc, So. (CF, P, C)

Outlook: "We return just five position players from last year's squad," rookie head coach Lewis said. "Senior leader Rebecca Roberts and hard-hitting Abigail Harrison lead a young squad. Three key sophomores, Tyc, Phelps and Morgan Sulzbach, fill out an all-new and speedy outfield, and lone freshman Kaysha Davis looks to contribute for us."

Bel Air

Head coach: Becky Will (fifth season)

2011 record: 14-6

Key returning players: Taylor Hensley, So. (SS); Kelsea Hilditch, So. (OF); Erin Morrissey, Sr. (P); Emily Rosenberger, Sr. (C); Emily Rothbard, Sr. (Util.); Jen Schofield, Jr. (3B)

Key newcomers: Bethany Cook, So. (2B)

Outlook: "This spring we are bringing back most of our starters with experience on the varsity level," Will said. "Moving up to the Chesapeake Division in the UCBAC will give us plenty of challenges, and we will be even more determined to sharpen our game. Our focus is to compete at every game with fewer errors, more hits, more speed and to play a sharper mental game. Team unity and support of each other will help us reach our goals, and we are aiming high this year.

C. Milton Wright

Head coach: Russell Kovach (fifth season)

2011 record: 15-6

Key returning players: Kayleigh Allender, Jr. (2B, OF); Jessica Canami, Sr. (CF); Jordan Dick, Jr. (2B, OF); MacKenzie Fitzgerald, Jr. (3B); Regan Ibberson, Jr. (OF, P); Alicia McMahon, Sr. (1B); Lindsay Resnik, Sr. (SS); Holli Rutkowski, Jr. (OF); Brittany Stein, Sr. (P)

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Key newcomers: Emily Luzetsky, Fr. (OF); Katie Lydic, So. (P); Payton Poss, Fr. (OF); Caroline Weimer, Fr. (2B)

Outlook: "We have been to state finals or semifinals for the past two years running, and are hoping to be competitive for another appearance at College Park in May," Kovach said. "Goal one is to win the Chesapeake Division; goal two is to position ourselves to make a run at a state title through regions and states. In April we are traveling down south to participate in a tournament that includes the reigning North Carolina 3A state champs. This combined with a challenging regular-season schedule we hope will help prepare us for the Maryland state tournament. We have a seasoned team with seven returning starters from last year's state semifinal team, six of which were starters in 2010 when we last made it to the state finals. We are very excited to have a great mix of returning athletes, along with such promising young players."

Edgewood

Head coach: Megan Meinert (first season)

2011 record: N/A

Key returning players: Elissa Dzambasow, Sr. (CF); Morgan Kaseman, Jr. (SS); Ceara Scanlon, Sr. (P, 2B)

Key newcomers: Ryanne Schruhl, Fr. (C, Util.)

Outlook: "With eight returning varsity players, I anticipate a strong 2012 season," first-year head coach Meinert said. "We have several girls that can play a variety of positions, which will allow us the opportunity to play against each opponent's strengths. I look forward to seeing our seniors shine in their final high school season, and am grateful for the opportunity to coach such a fine, hardworking group of young women."

Fallston

Head coach: N/A

2011 record: N/A

Key returning players: N/A

Key newcomers: N/A

Outlook: The Fallston coaching staff did not provide information for this preview

John Carroll

Head coach: Jack Westermeyer (first season)

2011 record: 5-10

Key returning players: Maria Edwards, Sr. (OF); Darien Exter, Jr. (SS); Jenna Fiamingo, Jr. (LF); Talia Kahoe, Sr. (1B); Amanda Norris, Sr. (3B); Clare Puopolo, Sr. (P)

Key newcomers: Molly Exter, Fr. (Util.)

Outlook: Rookie head coach Westermeyer summed up the Patriots 2012 goals simply, saying, "we want to bounce back this year with solid returning veterans, and improve on last year's record."

Joppatowne

Head coach: Sara Rentz

2011 record: N/A

Key returning players: N/A

Key newcomers: N/A

Outlook: The Joppatowne coaching staff did not provide information for this preview

Harford Tech

Head coach: Fred Mongan (sixth season)

2011 record: 5-11

Key returning players: Brittney Horseman, Sr. (3B); Melissa Johns, Sr. (OF); Tori Lomonico, Sr. (OF); Kristen Mueller, Sr. (SS)

Key newcomers: Juliana Candaleria, Fr. (OF); Karizma Hockaday, Fr. (1B); Rhonda Mahale, Fr. (3B)

Outlook: Heading into the new campaign boasting a solid core of returning seniors and able underclassmen, Mongan said the Cobras are "coming out guns blazing, and with a goal set."

Havre de Grace

Head coach: Ed Yodris (sixth season)

2011 record: 13-5

Key returning players: Hailey Bethke, Jr. (C, 2B); Hayley Kitts, Sr. (P); Megan Thompson, So. (1B, P)

Key newcomers: Taylor Smith, Fr. (3B, 1B)

Outlook: "Havre de Grace returns 11 players and eight starters from last year's 13-win team, which at one point consisted of five freshman and a sophomore in the starting line-up," Yodris said. "We look to be extremely competitive, and I believe this is our most athletic and versatile team in my six years as head coach. Aside from Hayley Kitts, we have experience at the senior level, led by Kelsey McRoberts, Tori Caine, Dana Teufer and Kaitlyn Husfelt. Our strength lies in some very talented youngsters, and we are extremely excited to see where second-year players like Megan Thompson, Emily Lewis, Allison Lewis, Riley Arnold and Rebecca Ashman will take this team. Taylor Smith and Kayla Vaughan are the two new members to the team, and both should provide some much needed pop in the lineup."

North Harford

Head coach: Robert Ott (first season)

2011 record: N/A

Key returning players: Emily Briggs (SS); Missy Doering (IF, P); Clare Dowley (C); Becca Kappel (OF); Amanda Roberts (1B, P); Taylor Stiles (OF); Abby Young (1B, P)

Key newcomers: Juliane Caughron, So. (IF); Alex Chabarria, Jr. (1B); Madison Ferrara, Sr. (IF); Britney Fleming, Jr. (IF); Alexis Lyttle, Fr. (IF); Allyson Meil, So. (C);

Outlook: With a load of returning varsity talent and new additions to the lineup, the Hawks are looking to improve this season by keeping things simple. "Day to day, one game at a time," Ott said.

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Patterson Mill

Head coach: George Harcarik (fifth season)

2011 record: 7-12

Key returning players: Torrie Manning, Sr. (2B); Katie Sullivan, Sr. (OF, 3B, C, 1B); Lauren West, Sr. (1B)

Key newcomers: Sam Denson, Fr. (C, OF); Hailey Horton, Fr. (P)

Outlook: "We are coming off a season like no other I have experienced, with injuries to players mid-season that changed our program dramatically," Harcarik said. "With that said, the returners are a very close group because of last season. We will be a young team this season, with only three seniors. Our returners will have to excel and model exemplary play and leadership as the newer players learn the system and develop. With so many talented players in the county, the younger players will have to learn a lot in a short period of time. They are a smart and hard-working bunch with great work ethics, so we will see how far that takes us."

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