HAGERSTOWN —The Hagerstown Community College softball team opens its 2013 season today looking to improve on a 20-21 record and third-place finish in the Region XX Tournament last season.
“I think we’re going to be successful and finish in the top four in the conference,” said coach Thomas Burge, who will begin his first season at the helm for the Hawks. “I am looking forward to opening the season. I believe the fall season and spring pre-season have put together a strong foundation for the upcoming season.”
The Hawks return four sophomores from last year, led by catcher and shortstop Kayla Ewing of Williamsport.
Ewing led the Hawks last year with a .429 batting average, 51 hits, a .473 on-base percentage and seven triples. She tied for the team lead with three home runs and was second with 41 RBIs, 33 runs scored and nine doubles.
Also returning this season are pitcher and utility player Sarah Mullin (Martinsburg, W.Va.), third baseman Candace Horchner (Williamsport) and rightfielder and second baseman Tylisa Green (North Hagerstown).
Mullin was fourth on the team last year with a .347 batting average and won six games on the mound.
The 10 incoming freshmen are shortstop Shayla Murray (Smithsburg), pitcher and first baseman Morgan Purdham (Clear Spring), left fielder Hayley Thorn (Clear Spring), center fielder Jenna Crunkelton (Greencastle, Pa.), first baseman Michelle Voigt (Berkeley Springs, W.Va.), pitcher and utility player Rosemarie Spracklin (Virginia Beach, Va.), utility player Corie Anderson (North Hagerstown), outfielder Devan Elliott (North Hagerstown), utility player Alexis Viera (North Hagerstown) and catcher and first baseman Terri Lee Bell (Oklahoma City).
“Our team will be strong defensively and in hitting the ball,” Burge said. “We have three very good pitchers that will grow into leaders and ultimately determine the success that we will have.”
Burge said Catonsville, Chesapeake and College of Southern Maryland will be the top opponents for HCC. Last year, Catonsville was first in the country with a .470 team batting average.
The Hawks open their season with three home dates, hosting Alfred State (N.Y.) in noon doubleheaders today and Sunday and Frederick in another doubleheader Thursday at 3:30 p.m.