Five join CSM softball
Hawks looking to continue winning ways in 2018
In the weeks since the 2017 season ended, College of Southern Maryland head softball coach Jim Cleary has stayed busy recruiting local players into the mix to fill vacancies left behind by recent graduates and last week the Hawks had five players commit who should fill the void.
The CSM softball team went 25-13 in 2017, one year after the squad went 25-17 and reached the Region XX championship round. In each of the past two seasons, Cleary had a different ace in the circle.
In 2016, it was Lori Sturgill, a 2015 McDonough High School graduate who then transferred to Shepherd University in West Virginia for her sophomore season.
In 2017, Chloe Day, a 2015 Great Mills High School graduate who spent her freshman season at Chesapeake College in Caroline County, returned closer to home to handle most of the pitching chores for the Hawks. But after two seasons of junior college softball, Day has transferred to Mary Washington (Va.), to pursue her bachelor’s degree and two more seasons of softball. She was the CSM female athlete of the year for 2016-17.
So Cleary’s first mission was to fill the pitching void that Sturgill, Day and Amber Whelan, a North Point High School graduate who served as a capable No. 2 pitcher in the rotation the past two seasons, left behind.
And he has done so in securing the services of incoming freshmen Alyssa Case, a graduate of Bishop McNamara in Prince George’s County, and Lindsey Wood, who graduated from Leonardtown High School where she primarily played shortstop while senior ace Kaitlyn Beasley-Polko controlled the circle.
“It would have been great having Lori and Chloe both on the same staff,” Cleary said. “That would have given me basically two number ones and a stronger batting order because both girls could really hit. Amber did a good job for me the last two years, so now it will be up to the incoming freshmen to step up and be there for me the next two years. Lindsey did not get many chances to pitch at Leonardtown, but she pitches for her travel team.”
In addition to Case and Wood, who will share the pitching chores, Cleary also signed infielder Kailey Cannon (a Huntingtown High School graduate from Huntingtown), catcher Michaela Guy (a St. Mary’s Ryken High School graduate from Leonardtown) and catcher/infielder Haylee McClanahan (a Patuxent High School graduate from Lusby).
After having Diana Cruz behind the plate for two seasons, CSM juggled several catchers last spring, including infielder Corrine Fernald, a Chopticon High School graduate from Mechanicsville who had never played the position before her sophomore season and Samantha Summers (a Chopticon High School graduate from Mechanicsville).
“Last season we really had to keep moving players around,” Cleary said. “When Diana graduated, that left me without a catcher and we had some girls who stepped right in and did a good job. But we were also shorthanded much of the season, so none of the girls could really get any time off to heal. By the end of the season, our lack of depth really caught up to us. I’m hoping that won’t be a problem the next two years.”
While the CSM softball team graduated Day, Fernald, Whelan, Allison McLane (a Chopticon High School graduate from Mechanicsville) and several other twoyear players, the Hawks will return sophomores Cailtin Peters (a Calvert High School graduate from Prince Frederick), Summers, Savanna Pvkov, Emily Gibson (a Calvert High School graduate from Lusby), Andrea Kline (a La Plata High School graduate from Hughesville) and Megan Cunningham (a McDonough High School graduate from La Plata) next spring who, along with the first group of incoming freshmen, should give the squad plenty of stability for the 2018 season. All but Cunningham played in all 38 games last spring for the Hawks.
Peters batted .292 with 41 runs scored and 31 more driven in, Summers hit .377 with 44 runs and 21 RBIs, Pavkov batted .369 with 42 runs scored and 28 RBIs, Gibson hit .419 with one home run, 36 runs scored and 16 RBIs and Kline batted .385 with 35 runs scored and 30 RBIs and she was 1-0 in six games in the circle. Cunningham batted .182 in limited action with four runs scored and three RBIs in seven games.
“Signing these young ladies was a pure delight,” Cleary said. “They will be a great addition to our program and help replace the sophomores we are losing from last season. We have a strong recruiting class coming in for the 2018 season. We have solid players in every position, plus players that will allow us to play through tough times when key players are injured. The incoming class is also strong academically and we are looking forward to a great 2018 season.”
The College of Southern Maryland softball team had five players commit for the upcoming 201718 school year. Seated, from left, are Leonardtown High School graduate Lindsey Wood, St. Mary’s Ryken High School graduate Michaela Guy and Patuxent High School graduate Haylee McClanahan. Standing are CSM assistant softball coach Bill Hitte, left, Bishop McNamara graduate Alyssa Case, Huntingtown High School graduate Kailey Cannon and CSM head softball coach Jim Cleary.