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Young HCC softball team has potential

March 11, 2005|by JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent

The Hagerstown Community College softball team will be sipping from the Fountain of Youth this spring.

With 15 freshmen on a team of 17 players, the Hawks will not only be drinking from the Fountain ... they will be wading in it.

"We have got a young team with 15 freshmen," HCC coach David Brooks said. "We expect them to hit the ball and produce runs for us."

Only center fielder Dee Brown (Broadfording) and outfielder Gina Harshman return from last year's 13-13 team. From there, the team will be getting on-the-job experience.

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That begins with the Hawks' four-player pitching staff. Casey Woods (Jefferson) will be HCC's primary pitcher, while Amy Miller (Smithsburg), Crystal Barrett and Destinee Olden (Boonsboro) will be used in spots. Miller can also play third base.

"I think that we have depth with our pitching," Brooks said. "I told them to throw strikes and get ground balls, then we'll make the outs. It looks like our pitchers have good control."

Catchers Amanda Coe (Boonsboro) and Cherrae Freeman will split time behind the plate. When Freeman is not catching, she will play third base.

Janet Cole (Boonsboro) and Barrett will alternate between first base and designated hitter.

The shortstop position will be manned by Tawnya Blair (Clear Spring), while Jess Stough (James Buchanan) will play second base.

"Jess is a good contact hitter and she will hit in the No. 2 spot in the batting order," Brooks said.

Flanking Brown in the outfield are Megan Riggleman (James Wood) in left field and Christina Line (South Hagerstown) in right. Harshman will also play some outfield.

"Megan will be our leadoff hitter," Brooks said. "She is very fast and will be a key for speed at the top of the lineup. Christina is also very fast."

Lindsay Kline (South Hagerstown) and Kara Williamson (South Hagerstown) will also play outfield, while Heather White (South Hagerstown) and Britnee Harbaugh (Boonsboro) will be reserve infielders.

"I think that our team has got a chance to win a lot of games," Brooks said. "We have got some sound defensive players. I told the players to take care of the ball in the field. That will give us the opportunity to get to the plate and score some runs."

Scoring runs is one thing the Hawks should be able to do.

"Offensively, our strength will be with some power hitting and some speed," Brooks said. "The power of our lineup will come from Blair, Freeman, Barrett and Stough. We really don't have too many holes in our lineup. The top of our batting order has speed, and we have power in the middle of our lineup. We have a good core of hitters."

The offensive blend gives HCC the chance to be competitive.

"I am looking forward to a good season with the team," Brooks said. "I think that we have a lot of potential."

HCC opens its season on Saturday and Sunday at the the College of Southern Maryland Invitational. The Hawks open the home schedule on March 25 when they host Potomac State in a doubleheader at 2 p.m.

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