HCC hopes to duplicate last year's success

March 08, 2007|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

Hagerstown Community College softball coach David Brooks is hoping this season can be a repeat of 2006, when the Hawks won the Region XX Tournament championship and finished with a 33-10 overall record.

HCC is ranked 19th in the 2007 NJCAA Division II Softball Preseason Poll.

"I'm really excited about the season," Brooks said. "One of our goals is to win the Region XX Tournament, so we can return to the national tournament. Catonsville, Chesapeake and Allegany will be our top opponents in the region. Any team in the region can beat you at any time. We have to be prepared for every team that we play."

The Hawks have 13 players on their roster, including four returning sophomores from last year's team.

Adrienne Munoz (Williamsport) will be back in center field and she will once again be the leadoff hitter.

"We are looking for big things out of Adrienne this year," Brooks said. "Adrienne is an above-average runner, speed-wise. She covers a lot of ground in the outfield. She can swing the bat well for us as the leadoff hitter."


Jenna Clark (Hedgesville) will return at third base.

"Jenna is going to be a very important part of our team this year," Brooks said. "She will be hitting in the middle of our lineup. She has got speed that will help us on the basepaths and in the field. Jenna is one of the top third basemen in the region."

Nina Chiaruttini (Hancock) will once again be the catcher and she will be backed up by Karey Toms (Waynesboro), the other returning sophomore.

"Nina did a very good job at catcher for us last year by blocking balls and keeping our pitchers under control," Brooks said. "Karey does a very nice job of receiving the ball behind the plate."

Four of the nine incoming freshmen are pitchers.

Brooks claims that Samantha Koehl (Thomas Johnson) and Brenna Muckle (Winchester, Va.) will be the top two pitchers in the rotation.

According to Brooks, Faline Brown (Musselman) is the type of pitcher who can come in and close games. Brown will be the first baseman and she will be in the middle of the lineup.

Elena Prieston (St. Maria Goretti) can start a few games as a pitcher.

"This is the most pitching depth that we have ever had," Brooks said. "We have four pitchers that can do well this year."

The middle of the Hawks' infield will be anchored by second baseman Ashley Arentz (Gettysburg, Pa.) and shortstop Kasie Beaver (Smithsburg).

"Ashley is a contact hitter with good speed and she can help us in the lineup," Brooks said. "Ashley is real good at second base. Kasie will be our No. 4 hitter and she has got power. Kasie is coming off knee surgery and she is ready to go."

Katelyn Patrey (Boonsboro), Teonna Jewell (Smithsburg), Kayla Martin (Smithsburg) and Prieston are the other four outfielders who will battle for the other two spots.

"I am happy with what we have for our hitting," Brooks said. "This year, the nine players that I will put in the lineup will be whoever is swinging the bat well. If we can score a lot of runs with the pitching that we have, then we have the potential to win a lot of games."

HCC opens up its season this weekend in the College of Southern Maryland Invitational.

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