Bull­dogs seek an­other big splash

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The highly com­pet­i­tive North Bay­side pro­duced a state cham­pion last sea­son in un­de­feated North Caro­line. With tal­ented play­ers con­tin­u­ing to evolve and ex­pe­ri­enced coaching through­out the di­vi­sion, an­other state cham­pi­onship is pos­si­ble, but stay­ing un­beaten through­out the up­com­ing sea­son doesn’t seem likely for any team.

By CHRIS KNAUSS ck­nauss@stardem.com

The highly com­pet­i­tive North Bay­side pro­duced a state cham­pion last sea­son in un­de­feated North Caro­line. With tal­ented play­ers con­tin­u­ing to evolve and ex­pe­ri­enced coaching through­out the di­vi­sion, an­other state cham­pi­onship is pos­si­ble, but stay­ing un­beaten through­out the up­com­ing sea­son doesn’t seem likely for any team.

The de­fend­ing Bay­side Con­fer­ence and Class 2A state cham­pion Bull­dogs will have to find a way to re­place their top pitcher from last sea­son Brea Bishop (17-0), now play­ing for Sal­is­bur y Univer­sity. Last year, the Bull­dogs topped Queen Anne’s and Eas­ton in the 2A East Re­gion Sec­tion II play­offs be­fore nip­ping Ris­ing Sun, 9-8, in the re­gion fi­nal. The Bull­dogs also edged North Re­gion cham­pion Eastern Tech, 3-2, in the state semi­fi­nal be­fore a con­vinc­ing 8-1 vic­tory over South champ South Car­roll in the state fi­nal.

Mardela reigned as the 1A East cham­pion, top­ping St. Michaels, 7-2, in the re­gion fi­nal. The War­riors’ sea­son ended with a 5-0 set­back in the state semis to even­tual state cham­pion Bo­hemia Manor. The Saints reached the re­gion fi­nal with an 8-5 vic­tory over Colonel Richard­son and a 10-1 win over North Dorch­ester.

Colonel Richard­son reached the 1A East Sec­tion I fi­nal with a 15-0 vic­tory over Kent County af­ter the Tro­jans opened their post­sea­son with a 9-7 win over Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester.

Will any team dom­i­nate the Bay­side Con­fer­ence sea­son like North Caro­line last year or St. Michaels the year be­fore that? We’re go­ing to find out.

Here’s a look at this year’s teams:

Cam­bridge-SD

The Vik­ings in­tro­duce ninth-grader Mad­die Pleas­ants on the mound. Pleas­ants has ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing travel ball for the Delaware Di­a­monds.

“Although we are still very young, these girls have a lot of heart and work very hard to­gether,” Vik­ings head coach Ka­reem Otey said. “I’m look­ing for­ward to them grow­ing to­gether through­out the sea­son and see­ing the great things they ac­com­plish.”

Sopho­more Ariah Matos starts at catcher. Brooke Wind­sor, a ju­nior, is at first base. Sopho­more De­lanie Henr y plays se­cond, ninth-grader Chloe War­rel third, and ju­nior Mad­die Led­num short­stop.

The Vik­ings’ out­field­ers are left fielder Adri­enne Kane (Jr)., center fielder Abby Robin­son (Jr.), and right fielder Natalie Kerr (Fr.).

Colonel Richard­son

The Colonels, who went 16-4 last sea­son, lost the ser­vices of Mor­gan Wil­loughby, Cam­ryn Plugge, and Gabby Galante to grad­u­a­tion, but re­turn plenty of skill.

Top re­turn­ers are Kaylie Moore (Sr., short­stop), Jen Lar­ri­more (Jr., pitcher/in­field), Me­gan Stubbs (So., catcher), Cas­sidy Stubbs (So., 3B), and Rea­gan Tull (Jr., out­field). Tal­ented new­com­ers in­clude Madi­son Covey (Fr., in­field) and Marissa Hy-

MACKEN­ZIE WERNER

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