COACH: Richard Hilleary
LAST SEASON: 6-13 overall, 1-5 district.
PLAYER TO WATCH: P/OF Angie Stonebraker, Sr.. Stonebraker was a first-team all-Cardinal District selection last year for a Bruins squad that set a school record with six wins in its second varsity season.
KEY LOSSES: Not available
OTHER TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Not available
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Not available
OUTLOOK: The Bruins earned their first victory in school history last spring. They’ll try to make more progress this year under first-year coach Richard Hilleary, who took over after Lane Byrd accepted a coaching job with the Massaponax softball program.
COACH: Mike McDonald
LAST SEASON: 19-5 overall, 6-0 district.Cardinal District champions.
PLAYER TO WATCH: 2B Sarah Malene, Soph. In her freshman season last spring, Malene batted .444, scored 26 runs and drove in 18 out of the No. 2 spot in the batting order. This year, she’s moved into the leadoff spot.
KEY LOSSES: P/LF Kelly Brown; P/1B Julia McChain; OF Amanda Webber; OF Deborah Allen.
OTHER TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: OF Claudia Cardenas, Jr.; SS Katy Foster, Jr.; 3B Rebecca Horesky, Soph.; LF Jade Ing, Jr.; P Shannon Massie, Sr.; C Sam Posey, Sr.; OF Krysten Warren, Jr.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: CF Lauren Firich, Fr.; C Cat Jennings, Fr.; P/INF Laura McChain, Fr.; 1B/OF Stephanie Murray, Soph.; 1B Mallorie Pellien, Fr.
OUTLOOK: The Indians have won five consecutive Cardinal District championships. Four star players Sarah Malene, Katy Foster, Sam Posey and Becky Horesky return from last year’s 19-win team. Gar-Field also welcomed back pitcher Shannon Massie, who was a part-time outfielder as a freshman, and added three freshmen starters to the lineup. The potential breakout star in that group is center fielder Lauren Firich, who also made the varsity girls basketball team in her first year of high school.
COACH: Desiree Hayden
LAST SEASON: 12-9 overall, 4-2 district. Advanced to the semifinals of the Northwest Region Tournament.
PLAYER TO WATCH: P Kelli Wilson, Sr. Wilson was the Bulldogs’ MVP last spring, earning first-team all-Cardinal District and second-team all-Northwest Region honors. She posted a 1.04 ERA and had 126 strikeouts.
KEY LOSSES: C Jessica Lonsinger; SS Jennifer Rhodan.
OTHER TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: 3B Maggie Barham, Jr.; 2B Amanda D’Attillio, Soph,; SS Alex Roderick, Soph.; OF Jereis Smith, Sr.; OF Larissa Williams, Soph.
PROMISING NEWSOMERS: LF Ashley Ahearn, Fr.; C Sarah Himan, Fr.; 1B Kristin Nickloy, Fr.
OUTLOOK: After qualifying for the regional tournament for the first time in seven years, the Bulldogs are a contender once again this spring. Led by four-year starting pitcher Kelli Wilson, Hylton will challenge Gar-Field for supremacy in the Cardinal District. The Bulldogs are young, with three freshmen and three sophomores in the starting lineup, but all six have talent and experience. Sophomores Alex Roderick, Amanda D’Attillio and Larissa Williams were each named to the all-Cardinal District second team last year.
COACH: Mary Jones
LAST SEASON: 3-18 overall, 1-5 district.
PLAYER TO WATCH: SS Michelle Plant, Sr. Plant has signed with the University of Delaware. After earning all-Cardinal District first-team honors at second base last season, she’ll start at shortstop in her final varsity season.
KEY LOSSES: SS Kate Lancaster; 3B Katie Bass; C Kat Harris.
OTHER TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: 1B Elizabeth Fulton, Sr.; 2B/P/CF Niki Garlow, Jr.; P/OF Becky Grau, Jr.; 3B Kellie Logan, Jr.; LF Kelly Masters, Jr.; OF Larissa Mihalisko, Jr.; P Elizabeth Murphy, Sr.; OF Karen Potter, Jr.; 2B Amy Vanderlinden, Fr.; OF Amy Williams, Sr.
PROMISING NEWSOMERS: OF Beth Anglin, Soph.; OF Ashley Friedman, Jr.; 3B Alley Fucci, Fr.; P/2B Jaimie Griffin, Fr.; C Toni Guaba-Ortiz, Fr.; 1B Lindsey Howerton, Jr.; C Caitlin McGuire, Fr.; OF Cassie Peterson, Soph..
OUTLOOK: The Vikings fielded a 19-player varsity roster this year and will not have a junior varsity team. Pitcher Elizabeth Murphy and shortstop Michelle Plant are Woodbridge’s veteran leaders. The rest of the team has very little varsity experience, which means the Vikings will benefit greatly from playing in the Fauquier Invitational during spring break. Head coach Mary Jones will rely on Murphy for most of the pitching but will also be grooming Becky Grau, Niki Garlow and Jaimie Griffin for next season. Also keep a watch on freshmen catchers Caitlin McGuire and Toni Guaba-Ortiz.
CEDAR RUN DISTRICT
COACH: Renee Leake
LAST SEASON: 20-5 overall, 4-2 district. Cedar Run District and Northwest Region champions. Advanced to Group AAA state tournament semifinals.
PLAYER TO WATCH: SS Stephanie Gaynord, Sr. Gaynord is headed to East Tennessee State on a softball scholarship next year. She is coming off an all-state junior season as the Eagles’ leadoff hitter. Gaynord batted .390 with 34 hits and 23 runs scored.
KEY LOSSES: OF Mandy Brady; OF Chelsea Hutton.
OTHER TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: LF Kristin Catino, Sr.; P Cristi Ecks, Soph.; DH Laura Hundemer, Jr.; 2B Alyssa Kemmerer, Soph.; CF Brittany Lansdowne, Soph.; 3B Katie Lee, Jr.; P Lydia Sumner, Sr.; C Sarah White, Sr.
PROMISING NEWSOMERS: RF Jessie Dameron, Jr.; 1B/OF Jamie Jansen, Fr.; RF Julianne Sudduth, Soph.
OUTLOOK: Osbourn set a schol record with 20 victories and qualified for the Group AAA state tournament for the first time last season. Virtually the entire squad is back, including 2002 All-Area player of the year Lydia Sumner, ETSU-bound shortstop Stephanie Gaynord and sophomore pitcher Cristi Ecks. Osbourn has another potential Division I player in third baseman Katie Lee and a rising star in Alyssa Kemmerer at second base. Sumner, who threw 47 consecutive scoreless innings in the postseason last spring, earned second-team all-state honors after posting a 15-2 record and 0.72 ERA. She will share the pitcher’s circle with Ecks, who batted .323 as a freshman.
COACH: Willie Lemay
LAST SEASON: 9-12 overall, 2-4 district.
PLAYER TO WATCH: P Laura Davis, Sr. Davis takes over the role as OP’s ace this spring. She has regional tournament experience and her leadership will be important to a squad that features seven freshmen and three sophomores.
KEY LOSSES: P Mickey McAllister; SS Katie Stauffer; P Claire Sanchez.
OTHER TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: OF Ashley Demarest, Jr.; 1B Alexis Hochstrasser, Jr.; CF Adrienne Johnson, Soph.; OF Heather Moore, Sr.; CF Erin Myers, Sr.; SS Tamara Poles, Jr.; 2B Kim Solarczyk, Sr.; OF Danielle Weaver, Soph.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: 2B Cat Beauvais, Fr.; P/OF Bethany Cawthron, Soph.; OF Lydia Davis, Fr.; P/DH Alysha Demarest, Fr.; 3B Ashley Ferry, Fr.; C Lauren Hensley, Fr.; 3B/SS Brittney Lyddane, Fr.; 2B K.B. Lyddane, Fr.
OUTLOOK: 2004 may be the Yellow Jackets’ year, but they may not want to wait that long. This is a young team, however, there is a lot of talent and Osbourn Park is definitely a team to watch. Four of the team’s seven freshmen Alysha Demarest, Brittney Lyddane, Lauren Hensley and Cat Beauvais will start along with sophomore Bethany Cawthron. The team’s future stars will benefit from playing alongside senior pitcher Laura Davis, star shortstop Tamara Poles and talented center fielder Erin Myers. “We’re a young ball club, but we have quire a future,” coach Willie Lemay said.
COACH: Chris Kadis
LAST SEASON: 1-18 overall, 0-6 district.
PLAYER TO WATCH: P Charee Tierno, Sr. Tierno took over as the Panthers’ ace after sophomore left-hander Shyla Rider suffered a season-ending back injury. Rider, who stars for the Rock-n-Fire travel team during the summer, is serving as a bench coach. Tierno pitched a five-hit shutout against Woodbridge.
KEY LOSSES: P Shyla Rider; 1B Peela McGee.
OTHER TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: 1B Stephanie Adkins, Sr.; RF Stephanie Freeman, Sr.; 3B April Liammantry, Soph.; CF Krystal McCrae-Brown, Jr.; C Jenny Sapp, Sr.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: SS Stephanie Antolic, Fr.; 2B Diane Foglio, Fr.; RF Britnee Terrell, Fr.
OUTLOOK: It took the Panthers less than two weeks to double their victory total from 2002. A young team with big plans for the future, Potomac is blessed with tremendous athletic talent up the middle. Freshman shortstop Stephanie Antolic could emerge as a star this spring. Another emerging player is freshman second baseman Diane Foglio. Senior Stephanie Adkins has been tremendous at first base and the Panthers also have speed in the outfield with junior Krystal McCrae Brown in center.
COACH: Jason Koch
LAST SEASON: 20-4 overall, 6-0 district. Cedar Run District regular season champions. Group AAA state Tournament runners-up.
PLAYER TO WATCH: SS/P Courtney Bures, Jr. The Virginia High School League Coaches Association Group AAA state player of the year, Bures led the Raiders to the state championship game last season. She tossed a pair of no-hitters and was 18-4 overall with 145 strikeouts. She also batted .463 with 4 home runs and 30 RBI.
KEY LOSSES: C Becca Walker; 1B Jesse Henderson; LF Kourtney Skinner; DH Keisha Robinson.
OTHER TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: RF/DH Shannon Darling, Jr.; 1B/P Jessie Green, Soph.; CF Sarah Hefter, Sr.; 2B/C Lauren Mayoral, Jr.; 3B Bethany McLain, Jr.; 1B/SS Julie Pallatt, Jr.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: C Amanda Burk, Jr.; P Kirby Jenkins, Soph.; OF Bethann Kuzma, Sr.; 2B Katie Speaks, Soph.; OF Kimmie Spinks; OF Kristin Windle, Soph.
OUTLOOK: The Raiders got off to a quick 5-0 start with impressive victories over Cardinal District favorites Hylton and Gar-Field. Even with two early-season injuries, Stonewall Jackson put a formidable team on the field for opening day. The arrival of sophomore pitcher Kirby Jenkins gives the Raiders more versatility and allows Courtney Bures to play her natural position, shortstop, more often. The Raider lineup is potent and will only get stronger when first baseman Jessie Green and catcher Amanda Burk return from thumb and knee injuries. Stonewall fields one of the state’s top defensive teams as well, anchored by Bures at shortstop and senior Sarah Hefter in center field.
COACH: Gerald Brooks
LAST SEASON: 16-6 overall, 7-3 district. Commonwealth District Tournament runners-up. Qualified for Northwest Region Tournament.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: SS/P Janna Durnavich, Sr. and CF/P Michelle Durnavich, Sr. The Durnavich sisters will both pitch for the Black-Hawks this season with Michelle working primarily as a starter and Janna as the team’s closer. Janna is also one of the district’s top shortstops, while Michelle can play at first base or center field.
KEY LOSSES: P Jen Rudy; 1B Nicki Carpenter; 3B Ashley Carr.
OTHER TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: 2B Jamie Fama, Soph.; RF/1B Samantha Maxwell, Sr.; C/3B Erin Pomeroy; C Alyse Rudy, Sr.; CF/LF Haley Smith, Sr.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: 3B Britnea Curtis, Jr.; B Jessica Robertson, Jr.; OF Sarah Toluba, Jr.; P Kai Zorich, Jr.
OUTLOOK: The Black-Hawks are gearing up for a return to the Northwest Region Tournament. All three outfielders return, along with star shortstop Janna Durnavich and catcher Elyse Rudy. Head coach Gerald Brooks had a lot of talent to choose from this spring as 57 players showed up for tryouts. Brooke Point’s offense will center around all-state second baseman Jamie Fama, who batted .430 as a freshman, as well as Janna Durnavich and center fielder Haley Smith, who were both named to the all-region team. The Black-Hawks will get a huge boost from junior pitcher Kia Zorich, who started for the junior varsity team last spring, along with junior infielders Jessica Robertson and Britnea Curtis.
COACH: Celina Parker
LAST SEASON: 5-14 overall, 1-9 district.
PLAYER TO WATCH: 3B Jessica Boutchyard, Sr.
KEY LOSSES: CF Tiffany Bruno; LF Courtney Paskanik.
OTHER TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: 3B Nicole Childress, Jr.; SS Rhiannon Thomasson, Jr.; OF Katie Romero, Soph.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: C Rachel Griner, Fr.; 1B Rae Johnson, Soph.; OF Christine Onidy, Fr.; OF Caitlyn Smoot, Fr.; P Tonie Sullivan, Soph.;
OUTLOOK: The Eagles have expoerience on the left side of the infield with Rhiannon Thomasson at shortstop and Jessica Boutchyard at third base. Most of the team is young with three freshmen and three sophomores ready to make an impact on the varsity level. Celina Parker takes over as head coach after moving over from Stafford.
COACH: Patti Sullivan
LAST SEASON: 1-15 overall, 1-9 district.
PLAYER TO WATCH: SS Heather Dickinson, Sr.
KEY LOSSES: P Chelsea Garfield; Lindsey Jones.
OTHER TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: C Caren Abel, Jr.; OF Michelle Boyd, Jr.; 1B Lauren Gehrig, Jr.; OF Courtney Jones, Jr.; 3B Katie McNully, Jr.; C Jessica Mumford, Sr.; P Catelyn Renninger, Jr.; OF Angie Shacklette, Sr.; P/2B Krystie Sheaffer, Jr.; 3B Jenna Wandress, Jr.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Melissa Donaldson, Soph.; Britt Resnover, Soph.
OUTLOOK: The Indians will be much more competitive than last year’s 1-15 record might indicate. Patti Sullivan takes over as the new head coach, replacing Celina Parker, who is now at Colonial Forge. Stafford’s squad is filled with upperclassmen, including eight juniors.
COACH: Pam Kantor
LAST SEASON: 16-2 overall, 9-1 district. Commonwealth District Tournament champions. Qualified for Northwest Region Tournament.
PLAYER TO WATCH: C Jennie Lincoln, Jr. In North Stafford’s first two games of the season Lincoln hit two homers, went 4 for 6 and drove in 6 runs. Lincoln basically picked up where she left off a year ago, when she batted .338 with 18 RBI
KEY LOSSES: P Katie Fox; CF Julie Oakes; 1B Susan Ishman; 3B Katie Duncan; SS Erin Rantz.
OTHER TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: UTL Rachel Cooper, Sr.; CF/P Alli Galvin, Jr.; OF Alta Stokes, Sr.; SS Erin West, Jr.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: 2B Katy Ashinhurst, Soph.; OF Samantha Halstead, Jr.; P Sharon Higgins, Jr.; UTL Brittany Lovejoy, Fr.; P/RF Jessica Merrill, Jr.; 1B Jen Ortiz, Sr.; LF Karen Price, Sr.; 3B Danielle Suarez, Jr.
OUTLOOK: The Wolverines plan on contending for the Commonwealth District championship again this spring. They’d also like to advance beyond the opening round of the Northwest Region Tournament. There are plenty of holes to fill following the loss of nine letterwinners and five starters, including Commonwealth District player of the year Katie Fox, star shortstop Erin Rantz and all-region center fielder Julie Oakes. Junior Sharon Higgins inherits Fox’s role as the team ace, while junior Erin West moves over to shortstop. Alli Galvin, Alta Stokes and Karen Price will patrol the outfield and slugger Jennie Lincoln is back behind the plate.
BULL RUN DISTRICT
COACH: Amy Beard
LAST SEASON: 8-10 overall.
PLAYER TO WATCH: CF Katie Knoll, Soph. A second-team all-Bull Run District selection last year, Knoll takes over as the Tigers’ starter in center field.
KEY LOSSES: 1B Kristin Frederick; CF Bridgett Holohan.
OTHER TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: P Ashley Carr, Soph.; 2B Jessica Coe, Jr.; RF Andrea Finch, Sr.; LF Lauren Phillips, Jr.; SS Crystal Phipps, Sr.; 1B Jennifer Scherer, Jr.; C Kathleen Steele, Soph.; RF Kelsey Steele, Soph.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: P Brittany Bailey, Fr.; 3B Jessica Bryan Fr.; OF Jennie Haywood, Soph.; C/OF Heather Hogan, Soph.
OUTLOOK: The Tigers are playing their final season in the Bull Run District. They move to the Group AA Northwestern District next year. By then, they will be a formidable squad. Brentsville will be counting on six sophomores and two freshmen to make big contributions this spring. Freshman Brittany Bailey, who started on the junior varsity team as an eighth grader and also pitched for the 14U Manassas Blaze, will spend a lot of time in the pitcher’s circle. So will sophomore Ashley Carr. Another Blaze star, sophomore Heather Hogan, will do some catching as a backup to sophomore Kathleen Steele. Freshman Jessica Bryan has earned the starting spot at third base and Kathleen Steele’s twin sister, Kelsey Steele will be in right field.
COACH: Melissa Pitts
PLAYER TO WATCH: C Sam Martell, Soph. Martell started as a freshman for the Cougars and this year she will bat in the No. 4 spot.
KEY LOSSES: P Missy Hartman; RF Hopie Smith; 3B Heather Estright; 2B Michelle Hudson; OF Emily Key.
OTHER TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: OF Aimee DePugh, Jr.; P Amy Lorton, Soph.; CF Jessi Parker, Soph.; 2B Amanda Shifflett, Soph.; 1B Tabitha White, Soph.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: UTL Temalle Attiah, Soph.; OF Shaven Carl, Fr.; OF Ashley Gentry, Soph.; 3B/1B Rachel Mehus, Fr.; SS Ashleigh Robinson, Fr.; OF Jessica Vazquez, Fr.
OUTLOOK: The Cougars have already shown they can hit the ball. They opened the season with a 17-11 win over Group AA Rockbridge and then held off Clarke County, 3-2. Five starters return, including sophomore pitcher Amy Lorton and veteran outfielder Aimee DePugh. Among a talented group of six first-year players, the player to watch is shortstop Ashleigh Robinson, who was the hero of last year’s PONY national championship team for the 14U Fire & Ice.
DELANEY ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
COACH: Brian McDaniel
PLAYER TO WATCH: C Tanya Guthrie, 8th Grader. With six years of travel team experience, Guthrie is one of two eighth graders who will start this season for the Flames. Guthrie will be Emmanuel’s leadoff hitter.
KEY LOSSES: CF Betsy Jones; C Megan Gibson; 2B Crystal Grimes; RF Stephanie Hopkins; 1B Emily Wolcott.
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: 2B Heather Evans, Soph.; SS Amanda Hugill, Sr.; LF Gwen Jenkins, Sr.; P Lauren McQuain, Sr.; CF Ariel Thompson, Fr.; 3B Rachel Thompson, Sr.
OTHER PROMISING NEWCOMERS: OF Sarah Christensen, Jr.; OF Rachel Dahl, Fr.; INF Katie Fitzsimmonds, Sr.; 1B Samantha Jones, 8th Grade; RF Christin Luckett, Jr.; P Katie Knight, Soph.
OUTLOOK: Emmanuel Christian pitcher Lauren McQuain earned second-team all-DAC honors last season. She’s hoping to make the first team this year after attending several pitching clinics during the summer. She’s the star of a young team that will start freshman Ariel Thompson in center fielder, eight-grader Tanya Guthrie behind the plate and eighth-grader Samantha Jones at first base. Another second-team all-DAC selection, senior Amanda Hugill, returns at shortstop.
COACH: Steve Jones
LAST SEASON: 13-3 overall. Delaney Athletic Conference Tournament champions; 5th in Virginia Independent School League (second division) state tournament.
PLAYER TO WATCH: P Jess Daniel, Sr. A former catcher, Daniel takes over as the Conquistadors’ pitcher this spring. She is replacing all-state hurler Elena Jones, who is recovering from surgery to repair a torn knee ligament.
KEY LOSSES: P Elena Jones.
OTHER TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: 1B/RF Meghan Fimian, Sr.; LF Lauren Gambert, Soph.; CF Lisa Hadro, Sr.; C/1B Annemarie Messier, Jr.; OF Elizabeth Messier, Soph.; 3B Joanie Pretz, Sr.; SS Lauren Sewell, Jr.; OF Nicole Underwood, Sr.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: OF Caitlyn Harris, Fr.; OF Rebecca Loth, Soph.; OF Kathryn Munson, Jr.; OF Mandi Rafaelf, Soph.; OF Sara Spencer, Soph.; OF Durette Thompson, Soph; C Amy Torres, 8th grade; P Candace Wall, Fr.
OUTLOOK: The Conquistadors hope that Elena Jones can return to the team sometime next month. They could use her experience and her bat. Jones hit .540 and drove in 26 runs last year. She also threw a no-hitter and had a 1.47 ERA with 155 strikeouts. Jones began the season as Seton’s first base coach. The team still has plenty of talent, including all-DAC performers Annemarie Messier and Lauren Sewell. Keep an eye on freshman Candace Wall, who will do some pitching, and 8th-grader Amy Torres, who will start at catcher.