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HCC ready to make an impact

March 03, 2009|By JACK HILL III

Amy Sterner gets her chance to call them like she sees them.

"We have a very talented, hard-working squad," Sterner said of the Hagerstown Community College softball team. "I would say every player on our roster is an impact player."

Impact is something that Sterner might know a little about. After all, she is beginning to do some of that herself.

After spending six years as an assistant, Sterner begins her first stint as head coach of the Hawks. Now, she has an even bigger role in tailoring that impact. It all begins on Sunday when HCC opens the season with a home doubleheader at 1 p.m. against Anne Arundel.

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"I'm excited for the season to start," Sterner said. "We have very strong sophomore leadership on and off the field. (All the players) can all play multiple positions on the field."

HCC will be coming off a 23-4 season, including a 15-1 Maryland JuCo Conference record to share the regular season co-championship with Catonsville.

"Overall, we are really solid in every aspect of the game," Sterner said. "One of our main strengths will be our hitting. We have a very talented core. We should be able to score a lot of runs this year with the talent that we have at the plate."

It all starts for the Hawks with four sophomores - catcher/pitcher Megan Holmes (Musselman), shortstop Brittany Main (Greencastle), middle infielder Jess Patey (Williamsport) and center fielder Julia Becker (Kodiak, Alaska). There is also continuity on the coaching staff as Marsha Moats returns for her fourth season as an assistant.

Filling out the roster are seven freshmen - third baseman/catcher Emily Myers (Williamsport), pitcher/infielder Amanda Waltman (Berkeley Springs), pitcher/first baseman Christina Mehaffie (Clear Spring), outfielder Stacey Pittman (Hancock), outfielder/third baseman LaShawn Tolson (Northwestern), outfielder Jetta Williams (Boonsboro) and outfielder Chelsea Wolff (Greencastle).

"We have some speed that is going to enable us to do some different things on the bases," Sterner said. "We can have aggressive baserunning."

Sterner looks for Holmes, Waltman and Mehaffie anchor the pitching staff.

"We have three very talented pitchers," Sterner said. "They all are right-handers, but we have three different styles of pitchers. We can show the other teams different things and mix it up a little bit."

HCC's talent translates to defense and speed in the field.

"Our defense is very solid," Sterner said. "I am very confident with our defense on the field. They will be able to make the plays that will allow us to get back in the dugout, so we can swing the bats and score some runs."

The impact of it all could be another successful this year.

"I feel this team will be a contender," Sterner said. "If teams overlook us, they will be surprised. As always, Catonsville will probably be our toughest competition, but the entire Region XX field of teams is very strong."

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