CSM caps spring season

Soft­ball en­joy solid spring, other teams suf­fer los­ing sea­sons

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

Ear­lier this month, the Col­lege of South­ern Maryland spring sports teams col­lec­tively capped their sea­sons, with the squads run­ning the gamut from very suc­cess­ful to win­less.

For the sec­ond straight season, the CSM soft­ball team (2513 over­all, 12-6 in the Maryland Ju­nior Col­lege Ath­letic Con­fer­ence) as­cended to the head of

the class among spring sports teams on cam­pus, although the Hawks did not ad­vance quite as far as they had the year be­fore. The soft­ball team be­gan the season 9-1 and later added an eight-game win streak be­fore head­ing into the post­sea­son on a four-game skid.

“We had a smaller roster this season and we had a lot of girls play­ing hurt,” CSM head soft­ball coach Jim Cleary said. “We just could not give girls any rest. I thought our pitch­ing was very good all season. We were play­ing re­ally good de­fense un­til the last two weeks be­cause we just could not get any of our play­ers any rest.”

CSM made quick work of Hager­stown in the open­ing round of the Re­gion XX tour­na­ment on April 29 with 12-2 and 9-1 vic­to­ries, but the Hawks dropped a tough, 3-2 set­back to Ch­e­sa­peake and then were trounced 12-2 by CCBC-Ca­tonsville in the sub­se­quent two rounds on May 7 and were promptly elim­i­nated from the dou­ble-elim­i­na­tion tour­na­ment.

“Next year, I am hop­ing to carry 14 to 16 play­ers on the roster so that we have a lit­tle more depth and have the chance to give some girls a rest,” Cleary said.

Sopho­more pitcher Chloe Day, a Great Mills High School grad­u­ate from Lex­ing­ton Park who is headed to the Uni­ver­sity of Mary Washington (Va.) this fall was named as a first-team se­lec­tion on the All-MDJUCO team as was sopho­more first base­man Al­li­son McLane, a Chop­ti­con High School grad­u­ate from Mechanicsville who is head­ing to Alder­son Broad­dus Uni­ver­sity (W.Va.) this fall. Fresh­man out­fielder Emily Gib­son, a Calvert High School grad­u­ate from Lusby, was tabbed for sec­ond team hon­ors.

The CSM base­ball team (12-27, 6-20) suf­fered through sev­eral peaks and val­leys this season, but won five more games in 2017 than it did in 2016. The Hawks won their first two games of the season on Feb. 25 against Cen­tral Penn — the first of four two-game win streaks dur­ing the cam­paign — be­fore los­ing its next 12. The cam­paign closed May 6 with a split of CCBC-Es­sex in a dou­ble­header to make up an April 22 post­pone­ment, fall­ing 3-1 in the opener then win­ning 3-2 in Game 2.

“I was proud of how the team con­tin­ued to de­velop as the season pro­gressed,” CSM firstyear head coach Aaron Michael said. “We played ver y well down the stretch run of the season and beat a lot of qual­ity teams. Our sopho­mores this year will be missed go­ing for­ward, but they have helped our fresh­man class de­velop over the course of the season and we look for­ward to next year’s cam­paign.”

Like the base­ball team, the CSM men’s lacrosse team (5-8, 0-5) trav­eled through a roller coaster at times dur­ing the season.

Over­all, the Hawks were outscored 228-136 dur­ing their 13 con­tests, which in­cluded a 21-3 vic­tory over CCBC-Ca­tonsville on April 5 when CSM sprinted to a 17-0 lead and a 23-12 on April 14 for the team’s only two wins of the month. They also were blanked twice dur­ing the season — 26-0 by Har­ford on March 16 and 34-0 by Howard on April 1 — and ended it with a 24-7 loss to Monroe (N.Y.) on April 20.

“This season was a great build­ing block for fu­ture suc­cess,” CSM first-year head coach Steven Foote said. “Our team has come a long way since day one and we are get­ting bet­ter each day. The number of re­turn­ers has dou­bled from the pre­vi­ous season and we are bring­ing in qual­ity re­cruits. We have the op­por­tu­nity to grow into a re­gional force and then a na­tional power. I am glad I had the op­por­tu­nity to coach this team and I’m proud to be a Hawk.”

The CSM women’s lacrosse team (0-6) played a club sched­ule this spring due to a shortage of ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers.

“Women’s lacrosse had a chal­leng­ing year go­ing club,” CSM first-year head coach Doug Ot­ten said. “We had many new play­ers with no ex­pe­ri­ence and some ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers. The team played well to­gether and got bet­ter with each game we played. We look for­ward to build­ing upon this for next year.”

De­spite only hav­ing only four play­ers on the roster, sopho­mores Mark Es­canilla (a North Point High School from Wal­dorf) and Bryan Bowser (a North­ern High School grad­u­ate from Dunkirk) and fresh­men Alex O’Neil (a St. Mary’s Ryken High School grad­u­ate from New­burg) and Ryan Stearns (a Leonard­town High School grad­u­ate from Leonard­town), the CSM golf team recorded one match vic­tory dur­ing the spring and com­peted in the MDJUCO tour­na­ment on April 26.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF COL­LEGE OF SOUTH­ERN MARYLAND

Col­lege of South­ern Maryland sopho­more pitcher Am­ber Whe­lan, a Thomas Stone High School grad­u­ate from Wal­dorf, played a key role for the Hawks the past two sea­sons, in­clud­ing 2017 where the Hawks went 25-13 over­all.

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