Bohemia Manor has top spot in first VSN’s Softball Top 20 of 2019; defending IAAM A champ McDonogh is 6th


by Nelson Coffin

Bohemia Manor High begins the 2019 softball season the way it ended the 2018 campaign — atop the VSN Top 20 rankings. 
 
The Chesapeake City school with just 685 students continues to loom large on the diamond, just ahead of No. 2 Severna Park and third-ranked Chesapeake-Anne Arundel, both of which will contend for Anne Arundel County laurels with No. 18 Glen Burnie.
 
Bohemia Manor could be tested in the UCBAC Chesapeake by No. 7 C. Milton Wright and 14th-ranked Rising Sun.
 
The IAAM A Conference is shaping up as a close battle as well, with No. 4 John Carroll attempting to unseat sixth-ranked and defending champion McDonogh while holding off No. 9 Archbishop Spalding. No. 20 Chapelgate Christian Academy is the clear favorite in the B Conference.
 
Baltimore County looks like a struggle between No. 5 Sparrows Point, No. 10 Eastern Tech, No. 13 Dulaney, 17th-ranked Catonsville and No. 19 Towson. Marriotts Ridge (8th), No. 11 Howard and  No. 16 Reservoir figure to have a kerfuffle in Howard County, similar to the struggle between No. 12 Westminster and 15th-ranked Century in Carroll County.

Pictured above: With University of Auburn commit Maddie Penta back on the mound, Bohemia Manor is the overwhelming favorite for a third consecutive Class 1A state title. The Cecil County school is No. 1 in the first VSN Softball Top 20 of the spring. 

Editor’s note: VSN ranks the top teams in the Baltimore region which covers public and private schools in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Cecil County, Harford County and Howard County.

 
Here is the entire 2019 VSN Softball Top 20 for week 1:

VSN SOFTBALL TOP 20 POLL – WEEK 1

1. BOHEMIA MANOR EAGLES

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking: #1

Final 2018 record: 18-0 (Class 1A state champions)

Players to watch: Maddie Penta, sophomore. pitcher; Carlee Ferguson, sophomore, designated player

Around the horn: With the talented Penta back in the circle, the reigning Class 1A state champs are a heavy favorites to repeat. 

2. SEVERNA PARK FALCONS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking: #2

Final 2018 record: 25-2 (Class 4A state champions)

Players to watch: Campbell Kline, senior, SS; ,Kylie Dingess, senior, P/1B

Around the horn: Dingess takes over pitching chores for a team that boasts slugging shortstop Kline, a Maryland commit and 2018 VSN Player of the Year from last spring.

3. CHESAPEAKE-ANNE ARUNDEL COUGARS

Final 2018 VSN Top ranking: #3

Final 2018 record: 21-2 (Class 3A East Region semifinalist)

Players to watch: Haley Downin, senior, P; Brittany Ledson, senior, 3B

Around the horn: Cougars will go as far as Downin’s strong arm takes them. 

4. JOHN CARROLL SCHOOL PATRIOTS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking: Not ranked

Final 2018 record: 10-7 (IAAM A Conference semifinalist)

Players to watch: Emma Ritter, junior, CF; Emma Kropkowski, senior, P

Around the horn: With Kropkowski returning to toe the rubber after missing the 2018 campaign and Ritter raking at the plate, 2017 champ Patriots become instant IAAM A championship contenders in 2019.

5. SPARROWS POINT POINTERS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking #4

Final 2018 record: 19-3 (Class 1A state semifinalist & Baltimore County champions)

Players to watch: Karen Fitzges, sophomore, P; Megan Hamp, junior, 3B 

Around the horn: Although Fitzges replaces the graduated Jessica Miller in the circle, the Pointers have enough talent to contend again in Baltimore County.

6. MCDONOGH SCHOOL EAGLES

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking: #7

Final 2018 record: 10-5 (IAAM A Conference champion)

Players to watch: Madison Gemmill, senior, C; Kearstyn Champman, sophomore, P

Around the horn: Eagles return a full lineup of starters for repeat bid in IAAM A.

7. C. MILTON WRIGHT MUSTANGS 

Final 2018 VSN Top ranking: #9

Final 2018 record: 16-5 (Class 3A state semifinalist)

Players to watch: Lauren Meyers, senior, 1B; Meghan Reed, junior, IF

Around the horn: The Mustangs will again challenge Bohemia Manor in the UCBAC Chesapeake and contend for the 3A state crown.

8. MARRIOTTS RIDGE MUSTANGS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking: #6

Final 2018 record: 16-4 (Class 2A South Region finalist)

Players to watch: Molly Nies, senior, P; Madi Costigan, junior, P

Around the horn: Nies and Costigan return to help with big bats and strong arms for the Howard County champs.

9. ARCHBISHOP SPALDING CAVALIERS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking: #16

Final 2018 record: 10-5 (IAAM A Conference finalist)

Players to watch: Jordan Johnson, senior, CF; Mary Sena, senior, C

Around the horn: New coach Delaney Bell takes over for team that will feature talented freshman Amaya Carroll and junior Jordan Moore in the circle.

10. EASTERN TECH MAVERICKS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking: #10

Final 2018 record: 14-4 (Class 2A state finalist)

Players to watch: Abbie Heagy senior, 1B; Savannah Bucalo senior, 2B

Around the horn: Mavericks will again be in the hunt for Baltimore County championship and 2A state title.

 

11.  HOWARD LIONS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking: #5

Final 2018 record: 18-5 (Class 4A state semifinalist)

Players to watch: Julia Colton, senior, OF; Paige Eakes, junior, C

Around the horn: With sophomore hurler Samantha Hobert expected to take another step, Lions have enough talent to contend again in Howard County.

12. WESTMINSTER OWLS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking: #8

Final 2018 record: 13-7 (Class 3A state finalist)

Players to watch: Jackie Coyle, junior, SS; Emily Sicinski, junior, P

Around the horn: Owls look to make another run at Carroll County Athletic League title and 3A state crown.

13. DULANEY LIONS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking: Not ranked

Final 2018 record: 10-9 (Class 4A state quarterfinalist)

Players to watch: Kristen Dasch, sophomore, 3B; Isabella Hodiste, junior, C; Jenna Isaacson, senior, SS 

Around the horn: Power-hitting Dasch, sure-handed Modiste and fluid-fielding Isaacson give Lions a strong core as they look to challenge Sparrows Point and Eastern Tech in Baltimore County.

14. RISING SUN TIGERS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking: Not ranked

Final 2018 record: 10-6 (Class 2A state semifinalist)

Player to watch: Molly Dill, senior, P 

Around the horn: Dill will look to carry Tigers back to 2A state semifinals.

15. CENTURY KNIGHTS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking: #18

Final 2018 record: 13-5 (Class 2A West Region semifinalist & Carroll County Athletic League champions)

Players to watch: Emily Kain, junior, OF; Brianna Kessler, sophomore, P/SS

Around the horn: Young and talented Knights have sights on repeat in Carroll County.

16. RESERVOIR GATORS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking: #13

Final 2018 record: 17-7 (Class 3A state semifinalist)

Players to watch: Desi Hatzakos, senior, C; Maddy Jones, senior, SS

Around the horn: Strong hitting should propel Gators back into Howard County race.

17. CATONSVILLE COMETS

Final 2018 VSN Top 2o ranking: #15

Final 2018 record: 14-5 (Class 4A North Region semifinalist)

Players to watch: Don’ya Truesdale, junior, OF; Erin Kreis, junior, P/OF 

Around the horn: Comets primed for big spring with nearly their entire roster back.

 

 

 

18. GLEN BURNIE GOPHERS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking: #17

Final 2018 record: 17-7 (Class 4A East Region semifinalist)

Players to watch: Brooke McCormick, senior, C;  Jordan Fangman, senior, OF

Around the horn: Gophers will be determined to have say in Anne Arundel County race.

19. TOWSON GENERALS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking: Not ranked

Final 2018 record: 12-6 (Class 3A North Region finalist)

Players to watch: Jessie Leatherwood, senior, P; Taylor Brumagin,  junior, IF

Around the horn: The Generals will be motivated this spring after 1-0 loss to C. Milton Wright in last year’s state playoffs.

20. CHAPELGATE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY YELLOWJACKETS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 ranking: #20

Final 2018 record: 13-0 (IAAM B Conference champions)

Players to watch: Emily Ventkatesan senior, P; Grace Edwards, senior, SS

Around the horn: Yellowjackets will be strong up the middle with junior trio Ellie Henneberg (C), Olivia Sunde (2B) and Jess Lucas (CF) complementing Ventkatesan and Edwards for IAAM B title defense.