Giffin, a senior who hit .344 and was an All-County Second Team catcher a year ago, will move to shortstop. Sophomore second baseman Katie Forsythe hit .304 last year.
Senior Chelsea Showe will handle the pitching duties again this year. She posted a 3.58 ERA last season.
"I just think if Chelsea does her job and we do our job in the field, we can be competitive," McQuillen said. "Chelsea will throw strikes, we have to play defense and hit the ball."
Offense won't be an issue for the Saints -- even after they lost All-County Second Team shortstop Heather Lowery (.577, five doubles, five homers) to graduation.
Senior catcher Alina Rossini (.511) earned All-County Second Team DH honors last year. Junior first baseman Tierra Jonbes (.457), senior Kali Worth (.324) and sophomore outfielder Payton Berry (.345) also return.
"(Alina) shows great leadership and the young girls really look to her," Saints coach Joanna Ruderman said.=2
0"She plays great defense and she really motivates the team, encourages them and keeps them positive. Our offense is there. We need our pitchers to pitch a good game and be consistent in the strike zone. Once the ball is hit, I think we can field it."
Worth and juniors Sunny Bae and Morgan St. George will all be called upon to pitch.
St. Maria Goretti
The Gaels lost two key players to graduation in All-Area First Team catcher Katie Marrama (.517, eight doubles, four homers) and All-County First Team second baseman Gabby Turano (.493).
Senior outfielder Katie Cronise (.321, four doubles) was an All-County First Team pick a year ago and will help anchor the offense, along with two sophomores -- third baseman Colleen McCauley (.340) and outfielder Colleen Costello (.316). Goretti is in fine shape in the circle with junior Caroline Rosenthal (1.86 ERA, 205 strikeouts in 128 innings), an All-County Second Team selection last year.
"We still have a fairly young team with only two seniors. The girls will have to step up to replace (Marrama and Turano), but I think they're ready for that," Gaels coach John Marrama said. "It's going to be a challenging schedule as always, but I think we'll be fairly competitive this season."
Beard may be the headliner, but the Wildcats have plenty of talent around her. Bohn hit .342 with five doubles a year ago. Ewing hit .383 as a freshman. Junior Alexis Fisher hit .293.
Dzur is hoping for senior outfielders Sara Duffey and Terra Babbie to contribute offensively, and for sophomore Candie Horchner to make an impact behind the plate.
"They have some potential to step in and contribute," Dzur said. "They have to realize that potential, but it's there."
The Wildcats have great pitching and a solid offense. Their defense could go a long way in determining how far they go come May.
"Our point of emphasis is, we've got to play good defense," Dzur said. "We've got to be fundamentally sound."
TEN PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kelly Beard, Sr., Williamsport -- The Herald-Mail Washington County Pitcher of the Year in 2008 went 10-2 with a 1.10 ERA and also hit .375 with 10 extra-base hits.
Bethany Garnand, Sr., Smithsburg -- All-County First Team pitcher struck out a county-best 217 hitters in 133 innings and provided some pop with four home runs.
Breanne Lohman, Jr., Boonsboro -- All-County First Team shortstop hit .456 with six doubles and five homers for the Warriors last year.
Destanie Agee, Jr., South Hagerstown -- All-County First Team third baseman transferred from North Hagerstown, where she hit .368 with 12 extra-base hits and scored 28 runs.
Jessica Hartman, So., Smithsburg -- All-County First Team outfielder had a solid freshman campaign, hitting .356 with four doubles.
Katie Cronise, Sr., St. Maria Goretti -- All-County First Team outfielder hit .32120with four doubles and stole 17 bases for the Gaels last year.
Felicia Bohn, Jr., Williamsport -- All-County First Team outfielder hit .342 with five doubles for the Wildcats last year.
Desiree Giffin, Sr., South Hagerstown -- All-County Second Team catcher last year when she hit .34, Giffin will move to shortstop this season.
Alina Rossini, Sr., St. James -- All-County Second Team selection a year ago, when the Saints' catcher hit .511.
Damara McDonough, Jr., Clear Spring -- All-County Second Team pick a year ago, when she hit .305 with nine extra base hits and posted a 3.16 ERA in the circle.