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HCC softball banks on versatility

March 13, 1999|By JACK HILL III

Hagerstown Community College softball coach Brian Beck is hoping "versatility" will spell "victory" for the Hawks this season.

Beck has a small roster this year - just 12 players - but he is counting on being able to play almost any player at almost any position.

"Everybody is even," Beck said. "There are a lot of interchangeable parts. A lot of the girls can play numerous positions. We only have 12 girls on the roster, but all of them can contribute significantly. These 12 girls have the best team chemistry that we have ever had in the three years that I have been a part of the program. They are very hard workers."

Ten of the 12 players on the team played high school softball in Washington County.

Hagerstown has five sophomores returning from last year's 23-13 team: outfielder/first baseman Natalie Linn (Greencastle, Pa.), second baseman Tera Martin (Smithsburg), pitcher-outfielder Carin Shives (South Hagerstown), pitcher/outfielder Chris Scott (North Hagerstown) and third baseman/outfielder Beth Malberg (Grace Academy).

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This year's seven incoming freshmen are pitcher/outfielder Stacy Zeger (South Hagerstown), first baseman/shortstop Katie Baker (Clear Spring), catcher Julie Gause (St. Maria Goretti), outfielder Lindsey Secrest (Williamsport), third baseman/catcher Jackie Snyder (Williamsport), shortstop/second baseman Alaina Bressler (Smithsburg) and first baseman/outfielder Ashley Frantz (Clarke County, Va.).

Beck credits pitching coach Missy Kesecker and assistant coach Kristen Glines for helping to develop the players.

"We have two assistant coaches that have been working with the players' individual skills," Beck said. "Those two assistant coaches are great to work with. They are former Hagerstown athletes. Our assistant coaches are very committed to making this team the best that they can."

Beck said there is quite a bit of competition for a lot of the starting positions.

"I have three pitchers (Scott, Shives and Zeger) who are pretty much even right now," Beck said. "Julie will probably be our starting catcher. The other starting positions are still pretty much up in the air.

"We'll see who rises to the occasion. The same thing goes for our pitchers. The cream always rises to the top. We'll just keep experimenting to find the right combination of players."

Hagerstown finished with a 24-11 record and won the Region XX Tournament championship during Beck's first year as coach in 1997. Last year, Hagerstown finished second in the Region XX Tournament to Cecil.

Beck hopes to continue building on those successes this season.

"We have a very solid team," Beck said. "As long as injuries are cut to a minimum and we maintain the same positive attitude that we have shown so far, the outlook looks good."

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