The authority for sports coverage in the Fredericksburg region.
SOFTBALL SEASON PREVIEW CAPSULES
BROOKE POINT BLACK—HAWKS
Coach: David Falin
Last year: 2–17 overall
Top returners: Jr. SS Rachel Payne, Jr. P Gabby Palmer, Jr. 3B Heather Money, So. 1B Alexis Delgado, So. C Chelsea Broks, So. 2B Lacey Chambers, Jr. CF Liz Washington, Jr. OF Kim Anquiano.
Top newcomers: Fr. OF Khayla Easley, Fr. OF/U Jessy Perry–Romero.
Outlook: Falin is in his first year at Brooke Point after coaching at Bruton for nine seasons. He said the team has put in good work during the offseason. They’ve got some good young pieces returning.
COLONIAL FORGE EAGLES
Coach: Erin Keenan
Last year: 12–13 overall, 9–10 in district
Top returners: Sr. SS Ashley Vastano, Jr. CF Destiny Sharpe, So. C Emily Bradford, So. P Lauren Vastano.
Top newcomers: Fr. 2B Jordan Casey, Fr. OF Taylor Schaefer.
Outlook: The Eagles made a good postseason run last year. They’ve got just two seniors in 2013, and Kennan is excited about a talented and hardworking younger group.
Coach: Ric Dugan
Last year: 11–10 overall, 9–7 in district
Top returners: Sr. P/IF Maiven McKnight, Sr. P/IF Taylor Lee, Sr. SS Adreanna Alsop, Sr. RF Alexis Rodriguez, Jr. LF Morgan Cawthon, So. CF Caylin Spencer, So. 3B Sydney Michael, Jr. 2B Sabrina Rodriguez.
Top newcomers: So. C Tori Risner, So. SS Kellie Taylor, Jr. P Emily Rosenberg, Jr. LF Taylor Rinker.
Outlook: The Panthers took a big step forward last year, and many of their starters return. Lee and McKnight have both signed D–I scholarship offers, and should help Massaponax push to finish in the Commonwealth’s top two.
MOUNTAIN VIEW WILDCATS
Coach: Beau Banglesdorf
Last year: 1–19 overall, 1–15
Top returners: Sr. U Trena Wilson, Sr. 3B Victoria Conner, Jr. CF/U Amber Scites, Jr. IF/C Emily White, So. Shelby Tennant.
Top newcomers: Fr. Taylor Levesque.
Outlook: Mountain View worked through a rebuilding year last spring, after graduating 10 seniors from the previous season. That experience can only help this year, and the Wildcats have added some key pieces. They should be much improved.
NORTH STAFFORD WOLVERINES
Coach: Pam Kantor
Last year: 22–3 overall, 16–0 in district
Top returners: Jr. Ashleigh Neville, Jr. Amber Wood, Jr. Sam Barbarczuk.
Top newcomers: So. 2B Emily Pryor, Fr. SS/OF Sygourni Johnson, Fr. 3B/C Nytasha Johnson.
Outlook: Nine seniors—including eight starters—graduated from last year’s district championship team. The Wolverines will rebuild around their three returners and hope to keep pace in the Commonwealth.
Coach: Doris Buzzell
Last year: 16–6 overall, 12–4 in district
Top returners: Sr. P/IF Aysha Richardson, SS/2B Haley Jones, CF Ashleigh Williams, IF Kristen Anderson, IF Jamie Anderson.
Top newcomers: Fr. OF Katelyn Johnson, So. C Lexy Bledsoe, So. OF Jamie Dodson, So. IF/P Morgan Capaldo, So. OF Alexis Williams, Fr. C Taylor Hensley.
Outlook: Richardson returns to lead an otherwise young Orange squad that should contend for the district title in Buzzell’s first year as head coach. Jones and Kristen Anderson are also key parts for a strong offense and athletic defense.
Coach: Josh Johnson
Last year: 11–10 overall, 9–7 in district
Top returners: Sr. IF Rebecca Schneider, Jr. IF Brittany Jacobs, So. C Taylor Subacius, Sr. P Tyler Thomas, Sr. IF Brooke Frazier.
Top newcomers: Jr. Mikie Williams.
Outlook: Eight of nine starters return for Riverbend, including four all-district infielders. Schneider was an All-Area first-teamer last year. Johnson expects the Bears to be in the mix for the district title—on paper they seem to have the talent to do so.
Coach: Cathie Tobin
Last year: 12–10 overall, 9–7 in district
Top returners: Sr. IF Jen Quintero, Jr. C Kristen Weadon.
Top newcomers: So. IF Courtney Snyder, Fr. IF Kyra White.
Outlook: At the plate and on defense, Tobin thinks the Indians have a good group to build around. The question mark is pitching, where improvement would help Stafford compete in the district.
Coach: Greg Trainum
Last year: 14–7 overall, 9–5 in district
Top returners: Sr. P Abby Morrow, Sr. RF Jasmine Smith, Sr. 2B Rebecca Calhoun.
Top newcomers: Fr. C Allison Morrow, Fr. CF Madison Woody.
Outlook: The Cavaliers qualified for the region tournament for the first time in school history last year. Morrow—a Radford signee—returns to give the Cavaliers a strong pitcher to build around. They’ve got other key pieces, too, and will be a factor in the Battlefield race.
Coach: Monica Larkin
Last year: 18–7 overall, 12–2 in district
Top returners: Sr. IF Laura Phoebus, Sr. IF Taylor Hedrick, So. IF Heather McDaniel.
Top newcomers: So. IF Makayla Snider.
Outlook: The Chargers graduated six strong seniors from last year’s district tournament championship squad. But the returners they do have are strong, led by Hedrick, who will play at Longwood next season.
Coach: Tom Wingert
Last year: 6–13 overall, 5–9 in district
Top returners: Sr. Kara Cowgill, Sr. Briana Jackson.
Top newcomers: Sr. Kassie Moeller.
Outlook: Seven starters return including Cowgill and Jackson, who were both all-district picks last year. The Cougars could be a factor in the district race.
CULPEPER BLUE DEVILS
Coach: Earl Mills
Last year: 17–7 overall, 12–2 in district
Top returners: Sr. P Miranda Cropp, Sr. IF/OF Kara Cuccherini, Sr. IF Katrina Wright, So. P/IF Carolyn Campbell, Jr. C Colby Mocarski, IF Brittany Wright.
Top newcomers: Fr. IF/OF Emily Nagel, Fr. P/IF Brooklynn BIlyard, Fr. Hayley Kisiel.
Outlook: The Devils return a good amount of talent from last year’s Region I runner-up. Cropp ws the Battlefield District’s pitcher of the year, and Cuccherini was an all-district pick.
EASTERN VIEW CYCLONES
Coach: Lonnie Myers Jr.
Last year: 3–17 overall, 3–11 in district
Top returners: Sr. P/SS Lesley Waller, Sr. 1B/C Randi Mauck, Jr. SS/3B Nicole Murphy.
Top newcomers: Fr. 2B/P Taylor Norris, Fr. OF/P Amy Wayland.
Outlook: Seven players overall return from last year’s team. Mauck was a second-team all-district pick.
JAMES MONROE YELLOW JACKETS
Coach: Dennis Brown
Last year: 2–16 overall, 0–14 in district
Top returners: Sr. P/3B Tamera Howard, Sr. SS Rebecca Brenkman.
Top newcomers: Jr. OF Erin Cunningham, So. 1B Kayla Smith, Jr. OF Tyel Johnson.
Outlook: The infield will be a strength for JM, with all but one starter returning. The pitching needs to develop quickly, though. Brown thinks this is the most athletic lineup the team has fielded in year.
KING GEORGE FOXES
Coach: Renee Parker
Last year: 12–8 overall, 7–7 in district
Top returners: Sr. P Taylor Brandts, Sr. SS Taylor Balmaz, Sr. CF Kari McCullough, Jr. C Monica Brandts.
Top newcomers: So. C/3B Shelby King, So. P/OF Savannah Nalls, Fr. 2B/SS Alexis Sheehan.
Outlook: A good group of returners awaited first-year coach Parker, led by Brandts, who should be one of the district’s best pitchers this year. The Foxes also will get some help from three solid newcomers and should compete with the district’s best teams.
Coach: Danny Brooks
Last year: 11–8 overall, 7–5 overall
Top returners: Sr. C/OF Casey Sheaffer, Jr. P/IF Sr. Makayla Baker, Sr. C/IF Hannah Harris, Sr. IF Andrea Carroll.
Top newcomers: So. P/IF Caroline Sorrell, Fr. SS Vanessa Ruby, Jr. OF Chelsea McCabe
Outlook: Spotsylvania graduated six seniors from last year’s team, including three all-district players. Several key positions are being filled with younger players. The Knights will be strong up the middle, though, and look to be in the mix by the end of the season.
COLONIAL BEACH DRIFTERS
Coach: Scott Foster
Last year: 10–10 overall, 2–8 in Northern Neck District
Top returners: Sr. P Karley Inscoe, Sr. 1B Madison Gorfida, Jr. 2B Taylor Lee, Sr. LF Caneisha Fulcher, Jr. CF Billie Gould, So. 3B Mckenzie Conway.
Top newcomers: So. C Emily Parks, Jr. OF Kaitlyn Profitt, Sr. IF Tiffany Allison.
Outlook: The Drifters took a small step forward last year, and they hope to continue that momentum this spring, especially in the district.
FREDERICKSBURG CHRISTIAN EAGLES
Coach: Jim Peerbolte
Last year: 7–9 overall, 5–2 in DAC
Top returners: Jr. C Morgan Nebel, Jr. 3B Alexis Love.
Top newcomers: 8th SS Kirsten Beatley, 8th P/CF Taylor Sansom, 8th OF/2B Marley Dubberly, 8th OF/3B Olivia Askew.
Outlook: Nebel was an all-conference catcher last year and Love an all-conference pick, too. They’ll lead the way for a team Peerbolte thinks has improved offensively and defensively.
Coach: Daniel Barrett
Last year: 21–4 overall, 9–1 in Jefferson District
Top returners: Sr. OF Katelyn Chisolm, Sr. 1B McKenzie Riner, Sr. P Brittany Wratchford.
Top newcomers: Fr. U Sarah Sharpe, Jr. 2B Samantha Madison.
Outlook: Wratchford was 5–0 pitching last year, and will be the full-time hurler in 2013. Overall seven of nine starters return, but the two the Lions must replace were big pieces.
WASHINGTON & LEE EAGLES
Coach: Lacey Morris
Last year: 0–10 in Northern Neck District
Top returners: Sr. C Tori Swann, Sr. CF Haley Balderson, Jr. SS Victoria Minor.
Top newcomers: So. U Erin Doerr, Fr. U Veronica Wyszynski.
Outlook: The Eagles’ most important task is replacing their only graduate—2012 pitcher Tonierra Shepherd. They do have five candidates for the job, though.