Queen Anne’s sport­ing mix of ex­pe­ri­ence, youth

Record Observer - - SPORTS - By CHRIS KNAUSS ck­nauss@star­dem.com

St. Michaels was the big story of last year’s Mid-Shore high school soft­ball sea­son. Which team, or teams, will lead the news this year?

Nor­mally a .500 team, the Saints recorded an un­de­feated reg­u­lar sea­son last spring and cap­tured their first Bay­side Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship. They are now with­out the ser­vices of grad­u­ated play­ers, in­clud­ing catcher Melissa Richard­son, but re­turn their ace on the mound in McKenna Brown­ing and many more from last year’s squad.

In the Class 1A post­sea­son in 2016, the Saints topped Kent County, 5-1, in the East Sec­tion I semi­fi­nals and Colonel Richard­son, 7-5, in the fi­nal be­fore fall­ing to Mardela, 4-1, in the re­gion cham­pi­onship.

Kent County ad­vanced to the semis with an 8-0 win over North Dorch­ester. Colonel Richard­son, which had a first-round bye, topped Cam­bridge-SD, 6-3, in the semis.

Who won the 1A state ti­tle? Mardela fell to Boons­boro, 9-5, in the state semis, and Per­ryville won the state cham­pi­onship with a 10-9, 9-in­ning win over Boons­boro.

In the Class 2A post­sea­son, Eas­ton reached the East Sec­tion II fi­nal, fall­ing to Park­side, 7-6. The War­riors topped Queen Anne’s, 8-1, in the semi­fi­nals. Park­side de­feated North Caro­line, 3-2, in the semis and Kent Is­land, 10-0, in the open­ing round. Queen Anne’s beat Wi­comico, 13-1, in the open­ing round.

And the 2A state cham­pion was? North East won the re­gion with a 5-4 win over Park­side and fell, 6-1, in the state semis to Ca­toctin. La Plata won the state ti­tle with a 9-1 win over Ca­toctin.

Here’s a look at this year’s lo­cal teams:

Queen Anne’s The Lions re­turn five starters to their lineup and head coach Kim Betts is look­ing for four new­com­ers to fill key po­si­tions in the mid­dle of their de­fense.

“With those new faces comes speed and we look to gen­er­ate runs with speed on the basepath,” Betts said.

Ju­nior Leah Bradley is pro­jected to be the Lions’ ace. Freshman Cam­ryn Win­gate, a hard thrower, should see time as a starter and re­liever.

Ju­nior catcher Syd­ney Par­sons and sopho­more first base­man Lindsay Ray look to lead the Lions on of­fense. “We ex­pect them to con­tinue be­ing team lead­ers for us,“Betts said.

Round­ing out the Lions prob­a­ble start­ing lineup are se­niors Kelsey Graef (RF) and Katy Sigler (LF), ju­nior Al­lie Har­ris (3B), and fresh­men Tay­lor Walls (SS), Ju­lia Smith (2B), and Mad­die Tisher (CF).

Kent Is­land The Buc­ca­neers are young and try­ing to im­prove their pro­gram. Four fresh­men should see a lot of ac­tion, Alyssa Sofi­nowski (2B), Emily Blum (CF), Katie

PHOTO BY WIL­LIAM HAUFE

Chase Porter, shown here, and class­mate Pat Free­man will work at the front end of Queen Anne’s ro­ta­tion and pro­vide se­nior lead­er­ship along with catcher/out­fielder Chase Klep­per, in­fielder/ pitcher Jeremy Marvel, and out­fielder Wy­att Pin­der.

PHOTO BY DAVID INSLEY

Ju­nior Leah Bradley is pro­jected to be the Lions’ ace.

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