|Friday, March 23, 2001; Sport Pages: Page 2|
|Familiar faces promoted for Colonels Magruder, Watkins Mill still strong this season|
softball coach Kathleen Mulholland speaks reverently about her team this
season. She speaks even more excitedly about her team's chances of winning
the Division I title.
The Colonels return virtually intact after going 13-5 last season and getting bumped out of the 4A West Region semifinals by Springbrook, the division and region champion .
Magruder loses ace Allison Stang, but junior pitcher Brooke Hughes and a rotating combination of Lisa Conner and Laura Hendrickson will form a tested battery and the heart of this year's lineup. It's an alliance that looks to take Magruder further than last season, Mulholland said.
"We want to win our division and that's what I expect us to do this year," Mulholland said. "We just have to stay healthy."
Healthy is a suitable term to describe the squads this season in Division I. Nearly all clubs were unscathed by graduation, and the landscape should provide serious competition.
Magruder: Key returners: Brooke Hughes (Jr.,P), Lisa Conner (Sr.,C/3B), Laura Hendrickson (Jr.,C/OF), Amanda Griswold (So.,SS), Candi Derry (Jr., 2B/SS), Shannon Denham (Jr.,1B/OF), Jessica White (Jr.,CF), Janet Cushing (Sr., 1B/DH), Heather Orem (Jr., 1B/OF), Jeanine Panzera (Jr., RF).
Top Newcomers: Catherine Ebert (So.,IF)
Hughes has experience after sharing last season's pitching rotations with the now-departed Stang. Plus, with senior Conner and Junior Hendrickson behind the plate, Magruder retains experience where it needs it most.
Leadership is plentiful on coach Mulholland's team, and it should be just what the doctor ordered, considering the Colonels lost a handful of close games last year."We'll definitely have more experience in tight games," Mulholland said.
Blessed with some promising newcomers, the Colonels should be tough to thwart.