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CYANMAGENTAYELLOWBLACK

B4 – Saturday, March 28, 2009

SPORTS

www.thedailyjournal.com/sports

The Daily Journal

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Dana Parks
Vineland
YEAR: Senior THE SKINNY: The speedy center fielder is the reigning Daily Journal Player of the Year.

Vineland, Millville, Sacred Heart and Delsea among best
shouldn’t experience any drop off in 2009. In fact, Buena could surpass last year’s 14-win plateau. The Chiefs are blessed with a deep Here’s a look at the soft- pitching rotation with Goeller, Lawson and Scott. Look for Colon to ball teams from the continue to blossom into one of the greater Cumberland Coun- area’s most feared hitters and. ty area: Watch for Buena to use its speed to create havoc for opponents and rely on solid fundamentals to VINELAND make a difference in the win colCoach: Alex Gomez (1st season) umn. Conference: CAL American I Prediction: There might not be a Group: IV South championship in line for Buena Last year: 17-6, playoff qualifier this spring, but the Chiefs are Returning starters: 8 always a lock for a winning season Key players: Dana Parks (Sr., CF), and a playoff berth. If Buena can Maritza Jimenez (Sr., SS), continue to show the ability to LeAnne Miller (Sr., P), Rachel master the fundamentals, the Forte (Jr., Util.), Elle Rivera (Sr., Chiefs could make some noise OF), Alysa Romero (So., 3B), with a relatively young team. Hillary Rodriguez (Jr., C), Liane Drastal (Jr., P/1B), Rebecca YearSACRED HEART by (Sr., P/1B). Top newcomers: Amanda Gille- Coach: Les Olson (6th season, spie (So., IF/OF), Omarie Quiles 91-49) (Jr., OF), Desiree Rivera (Sr., 2B). Conference: CAL National II Outlook: The sky appears to be Group: Non-Public B South the limit for the Fighting Clan. All Last year: 18-10, playoff qualifier the ingredients — pitching, hitting Returning starters: 7 and defense — are there to com- Key players: Arielle Bruno (Jr., plete a championship recipe. With SS); Kylie Kristovich (Jr., P); Parks, Jimenez and Romero, Janelle Rodriguez (Jr., C), NicVineland has the ability to outslug hole Rouse (Sr., 1B/P); Allie its opponents. However, with the Schmepp (Sr., CF); Ann Stringari hard-throwing, 17-game-winner (Jr., OF); Vanessa Caulford (So., Miller on the mound, three runs 2B); Clarissa Hayes (So., OF/P). might be enough to win most Top newcomers: Rachel Gavigames. Vineland also has shown gan (Fr., 3B); Nicole Chillari (Fr., the ability to do the little things it OF/C); Angela Pustizzi (Jr., OF). takes to squeak out wins in tight Outlook: Expectations are running games. Don’t expect a dropoff with high at Sacred Heart and with Gomez taking over the controls. good reason. The Lions return a Gomez has been an assistant with solid lineup led by Bruno, one of the Clan for the last six years. the best hitters in South Jersey. Prediction: Twenty wins? A CAL I The junior owns 83 hits, including title? A South Jersey Group 4 title? 30 for extra bases, and is quickly Vineland appears to have the right approaching the school record for combination to check all three off career hits at 126. Bruno will move its season to-do list. Anything less from her normal leadoff spot to the than one of those three would be a No. 3 slot to give the heart of the huge disappointment for this tal- Lions’ order some major punch. ented group. Sacred Heart also boasts a talented and deep pitching staff with Kristovich, Rouse and Hayes. KrisMILLVILLE tovich is regarded as one of the Coach: Brooke Ewan-Dixon (6th area’s top aces. Rouse and season, 83-46) Rodriguez add punch to a potent Conference: CAL American I lineup. Rodriguez is a hard-nosed Group: IV South player who thrives behind the dish. Last year: 15-11, playoff qualifier After off-season knee surgery, Returning starters: 6 Rouse will likely shift from the hot Key players: Steph Labas (Sr., corner to first base. Players to 3B); Jess Atkinson (Sr., Util.), watch will be Stringari, who takes McKenzie Shannon (Sr., C); Kel- over in the leadoff spot, along with lye DuVilla (Sr., OF), Katie Cox heavy-hitters Hayes and Gavigan. (Jr., P), Lauren Elbeuf (Jr., C/Util). Prediction: Many people believe Top newcomers: Carol Hender- that Sacred Heart is the cream of son (Jr., P/Util.), Laura Lokey (Fr., the crop in area softball. However, 1B/OF); Kristin Trout (Fr., OF), do the Lions believe it? If Sacred Michelle Baker (Jr., IF), Angela Heart can generate some confiJackson (Fr., IF). dence in its play, the team will Outlook: With a solid nucleus and make a serious run at the confera steady presence inside the circle ence and sectional titles. returning, the Thunderbolts could be ready for a title run. Labas (.427 CUMBERLAND average, 35 hits, 24 RBIs) provides the sock in the middle of the line- Coach: Judy McCullough up. Last season, Cox emerged as Conference: Tri-County Royal one of the top young hurlers in the Group: III South area en route to 11 wins and 79 Last year: 7-11 strikeouts in 104 innings. She’ll Returning starters: 7 get the majority of the starts in Key players: Laura Tomasetti 2009 and her durability will be (So., P), Amy Homan (Sr., CF), tested. She’ll definitely benefit Nicolette Pizzo (Jr., OF/IF), Shayfrom Millville’s defense. The Thun- na Perella (Jr., 3B), Alana Homan derbolts thrive on their work with (Sr., 1B), Katelyn Whitesall (So., the leather. One big change will be OF), Kasey Lesher (So., C). at catcher where Elbeuf will put Top newcomers: Annmarie the gear on in place of Shannon, McPherson (Jr., OF), Megan who will play first base as she Moore (So., SS), April Figueroa recovers from offseason surgery (Jr., 2B), Alyssa Mitchell (So., 2B), on her thumb. Keep an eye on a Kaitlyn Burlingame (Jr., 1B/P), bumper crop of freshmen, includ- Courtney West (Sr., OF). ing Jackson and Trout, a duo that Outlook: If there’s a spoiler team could spark the top of the order. in the area, it’s Cumberland. The Henderson looks to be the backup Colts possess some nice talent in behind Cox in the circle. their lineup, but competing in the Prediction: If Millville develops rough-and-tough Royal Division is any consistency with its hitting (a a tough chore. Tomasetti, a hardweakness in 2008), the Thunder- throwing southpaw, should continbolts will definitely be a team to ue to progress with experience watch. Twenty wins isn’t out of the and will benefit from a strong question and if that mark is defense especially with Lesher achieved, a major run in the tour- behind the dish. The Homan sisnament usually follows. ters along with Pizzo and Perella should put up gaudy offensive numbers for the Colts. BUENA Prediction: Double-digit wins and Coach: Pam Pickett (21st season, a potential playoff berth are legiti416-126-1) mate goals for the Colts. Don’t be Conference: CAL National I surprised if the team knocks off Group: II South one of the big-time teams. Last year: 14-10-1, playoff qualifier Returning starters: 6 SCHALICK Key players: Gab Colon (Jr., C), Christina Lawson (Sr., P/IF); Coach: Jami Musey-Lau (8th Maria Goeller (Sr., P/CF); Nico- season, 91-73) lette Hensel (Sr., OF), Alexis Gal- Conference: Tri-County Diamond lagher (Sr., (1B/OF), Lindsay Hen- Group: I South dricks (Sr., 1B/3B), Maria Last year: 8-12 Santiago (So., 2B), Karlie Gruccio Returning starters: 6 (So., OF), Gina Rios (So., OF), Brit- Key players: Katie Gheysens (Sr., tany Goeller (So., OF). OF), Leah Benson (Jr., OF); AmanTop newcomers: Brittany Scott da Matias (Jr., P/Ut.), Shana (Frosh, P/IF), Brittany Cooper (Fr., IF). Urban (Sr., SS), Mandy Dowd (Jr., Outlook: Rebuilding is never a 3B), Taylor Baker (Jr., C). term associated with the Buena Top newcomers: Lindsey Van softball program. While the team Ehen (Fr., 1B). will need some younger players to Outlook: The Cougars return a solid step up in key spots, the Chiefs nucleus especially in the outfield By TOM McGURK Staff Writer tmcgurk@thedailyjournal.com where Gheysens and Benson roam, Baker behind the plate and Urban and Dowd on the left side of the infield. Gheysens is the table setter in the lineup after compiling a .312 batting average and a .400 on-base percentage last season. Benson, Baker and Matias will be counted on to clean up in the heart of the order. Pitching depth could be a problem as well as inexperience at certain spots through the lineup. Prediction: Look for Schalick to hover around the .500 mark again this season. If some of the younger players thrive in their new surroundings, the team could make a push for the playoffs. If that doesn’t happen, the Cougars should begin to construct a solid base for 2010.

2009 SOFTBALL SCHEDULES
Vineland
April 3 Millville 4pm 6 at Mainland 4pm 7 at Atlantic City 4pm 9 Absegami 4pm 11 at Red Devil Tourn. TBA 15 at Hammonton 4pm 17 Oakcrest 4pm 18 at Red Devil Tourn. TBA 20 at Ocean City 4pm 23 at Egg Harbor Twp. 4pm 25 Hammonton Invitational Bordentown 10:30 a.m. 26 at Hammonton Inv. TBA 27 at Millville 4pm 29 Mainland 4pm 30 at West Deptford 4pm May 1 Atlantic City 4pm 4 at Absegami 4pm 6 Egg Harbor Twp. 4pm 7 Hammonton 4pm 11 at Oakcrest 4pm 12 at Kingsway 4pm 13 Ocean City 4pm 16 Wildwood Catholic 11am 16 Sacred Heart 1pm 30 May 4 6 8 11 13 14 18 20 22 at Kingsway 4pm Highland 4pm Schalick 4pm Clearview 4pm at Deptford 4pm Cumberland Reg. 4pm at Glassboro 4pm Gloucester City 4pm at Clearview 3:45pm Oakcrest 4pm

Cumberland Regional
April 1 3 8 13 14 16 17 23 25 25 27 29 May 1 6 7 8 11 13 14 18 20 22 Kingsway 4pm at Highland 4pm at Williamstown 4pm Salem 11am Clearview 4pm Delsea 4pm at Schalick 4pm at Deptford 4pm Colt Classic 10:30am Colt Classic 12:45pm at Kingsway 4pm Highland 4pm at Camden Wildwood Woodrow Wilson Deptford at Clearview at Delsea at GCIT Woodstown Williamstown Pennsville 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm

Maritza Jimenez
Vineland
YEAR: Senior THE SKINNY: The third baseman won the area’s triple crown including a .591 average

Millville
April 1 3 4 6 8 15 17 18 20 21 22 24 25 27 29 May 1 4 8 11 13 18 21 Ocean City at Vineland Ron Vinick Tourn. at Atlantic City Egg Harbor Twp. at Oakcrest at Absegami at Overbrook Tourn. Hammonton at Cherokee Mainland at Ocean City at Overbrook Tourn. Vineland Atlantic City at Egg Harbor Twp. Oakcrest at Mainland Absegami at Hammonton at Lenape Buena 4pm 4pm 10am 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm TBA 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm TBA 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm

Arielle Bruno
Sacred Heart
YEAR: Junior THE SKINNY: The junior set a school record for hits in a season with 45; owns 83 career hits.

DELSEA
Coach: Scott Gutelius (2nd season, 10-8) Conference: Tri-County Royal Group: III South Last year: 10-8, playoff qualifier Returning starters: 9 Key players: Allison Pfrommer (Sr., P/1B); Lauren O’Rourke (Sr., 3B), Kait Weichmann (Sr., 2B); Demi Little (Sr., LF); Annie Zeilman (Sr., CF); Amanda Schwegel (Jr., RF); Jessica Zeilman (Jr., SS); Tiffany Schemeley (So., 1B), Kristen Knorr (So. C). Outlook: The Crusaders advanced to the postseason for the first time in 13 years last year. With nine starters returning, Delsea doesn’t appear it will have to wait long for a return appearance. The team is loaded with experience and talent, starting in the circle with Pfrommer, who is the epitome of a crafty lefthander. Knorr burst onto the season with her bat and glove in 2008, hitting .482 and didn’t commit a single error at catcher. If Delsea can pick up the pace offensively, the Crusaders could definitely extend their season into June. Prediction: With perennial favorites Williamstown and Kingsway still among the best in South Jersey, a Royal Division title could be tougher to achieve than a sectional championship. However, Delsea appears to have all talent to make a run at both titles this spring.

Kylie Kristovich
Sacred Heart
YEAR: Junior THE SKINNY: The fireballer fanned 171 in 126 innings en route to 14 wins and a 1.11 ERA.

Buena
April 1 3 4 6 7 8 11 15 18 22 23 24 25 29 30 May 4 6 7 8 9 13 14 15 18 20 21 22 at St. Joseph Middle Twp. at Ron Vinick Tourn. at Cape May Tech Wildwood Catholic Bridgeton at Red Devil Tourn. Absegami at Red Devil Tourn. at Lower Cape May OLMA at Sacred Heart Highland St. Joseph at Middle Twp. at Cape May Tech at Bridgeton at Shawnee Holy Spirit Woodstown at OLMA Oakcrest at Wildwood Catholic Lower Cape May Sacred Heart at Millville at Holy Spirit 4pm 4pm TBA 4pm 4pm 4pm noon 4pm TBA 4pm 4pm 4pm 11am 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 11am 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm

Steph Labas
Millville
YEAR: Senior THE SKINNY: Compiled a .427 batting average and provides stellar work at the hot corner.

Schalick April 1 Gloucester City 4pm 3 at Clayton 4pm 6 Pitman 4pm 8 at Wildwood 4:30pm 9 at Salem 4pm 14 Gloucester Catholic 4pm 16 at Penns Grove 4pm 17 Cumberland Reg. 4pm 20 at Pitman 4pm 22 Pennsville 4pm 24 at Gloucester City 4pm 29 Clayton 4pm May 1 Woodstown 6:30pm 2 at Sacred Heart 6pm 6 at Delsea 4pm 8 Salem 4pm 11 at GCIT 4pm 13 Glassboro 4pm 15 Kingsway 4pm 18 Wildwood 4:30pm 20 at Woodstown 4pm

Bridgeton
April 1 2 6 8 17 20 22 24 27 28 29 May 4 6 8 9 13 14 18 20 21 Sacred Heart Holy Spirit Wildwood Catholic at Buena at St. Joseph at Middle Twp. Cape May Tech Lower Cape May at Holy Spirit St. Joseph Mainland at Wildwood Catholic Buena at Sacred Heart at OLMA at Clayton Middle Twp. at Cape May Tech at Lower Cape May OLMA 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 11am 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm

Maria Goeller
Buena
YEAR: Senior THE SKINNY: Four-year starter has great arm; plays pitcher and centerfield for Chiefs.

OUR LADY OF MERCY
Coach: Don Mills (8th season) Conference: CAL National II Group: Non-Public B South Last year: 8-11 Returning starters: 7 Key players: Shannon Catts (Sr., CF), Nikki Curcione (Sr., P); Caitlyn Repa (So., 2B), Kaci Gummoe (Jr., C), Lauren Ricciuti (Sr., LF), Julie Connor (Jr., Util.), Caitlin McIntyre (Jr., OF). Top newcomers: Tatum Nejmah (Fr., Inf.), Caitlyn Cummins (Sr., 3B), Colleen Fogarty (Jr., 3B). Outlook: After suffering through some growing pains last season, the Villagers hope bruises have turned into muscle. The squad possesses a potent battery with Curcione and Gummoe, a big time bat in Catts and a pepper pot at second base in Repa. If the team can generate consistency at the other positions, the team could open some eyes this spring. Nejmah has drawn some major attention in the preseason and could be the top freshman in the area. According to Mills, the biggest battle for a position is at third base where five players were vying for the starting role. Prediction: With Sacred Heart and St. Joseph battling for the penthouse in the division, look for OLMA to land somewhere in the next tier of teams.A playoff spot and doubledigit wins aren’t out of the question, especially if some of the younger players develop quickly and the team can remain healthy. One potential pitfall? The team will play just one game before April 21.

Sacred Heart
April 1 at Bridgeton 4pm 2 at Lower Cape May 4pm 3 St. Joseph 4pm 6 at Middle Twp. 4pm 8 Cape May Tech 4pm 9 Holy Spirit 4pm 13 at Myrtle Beach Tour. TBA 21 at OLMA 4pm 22 at Wildwood Catholic 4pm 24 Buena 4pm 25 Hammonton Invitational Williamstown 12:30 May 1 at St. Joseph 4pm 2 Schalick 6pm 4 Middle Twp. 4pm 6 at Cape May Tech 4pm 8 Bridgeton 4pm 9 at Palmyra Tourn. TBA 11 at Holy Spirit 4pm 13 at Oakcrest 4pm 15 OLMA 6pm 16 at Vineland 1pm 18 Wildwood Catholic 4pm 20 at Buena 4pm 22 Lower Cape May 4pm

Our Lady of Mercy Ac.
April 7 21 22 23 24 25 28 29 30 May 5 6 7 9 12 13 14 15 19 20 21 Holy Spirit 4pm Sacred Heart 4pm at Oakcrest 4pm at Buena 4pm St. Joseph 4pm OLMA Tournament 8:30am Cape May Tech 4pm at Cape May Tech 4pm Lower Cape May 4pm at Holy Spirit at Middle Twp. at Wildwood Catholic Bridgeton Wildwood Catholic Buena at Lower Cape May at Sacred Heart Middle Twp. at St. Joseph at Bridgeton 4pm 4pm 4pm 10am 4pm 4pm 4pm 6pm 4pm 4pm 4pm

KEY GAMES
■ Millville at Vineland, Friday, 4 p.m. The rivalry expects to be even more intense this spring since a conference title could be at stake for both teams. The rematch will be April 27 at Millville. ■ St. Joseph at Sacred Heart, Friday, 4 p.m. Tough to find a better pitching matchup than Kristovich vs. Pagano. The two teams will likely battle for conference and sectional titles this spring. Rematch will be May 1 at St. Joseph. ■ Buena at Sacred Heart, April 24, 4 p.m. The Chiefs will look to regain the upperhand against their rival after being swept last season. The rematch will be May 20 at Buena. ■ Hammonton Invitational, April 25-26. Vineland and Sacred Heart both earned invitations to this prestigious event. Vineland will play Bordentown at 10:30 while Sacred Heart tangles with Williamstown at 12:30. Semifinals and finals will be on Sunday. All games will be at Hammonton High School. ■ Williamstown at Delsea, April 29. How far has the Delsea program progressed? This meeting could go a long way in answering the question. Williamstown will host the first game of the series on April 3.

Cumberland Christian
March 31 April 3 7 9 17 18 21 23 May 2 11 12 18 19 21 26 at Christian Academy 4pm Gloucester Christian 4pm at Atlantic Christian 4pm Calvary Christian 3:30pm Christian Academy 4pm at Glou. Christian 11am Atlantic Christian 4pm at Baptist 4pm Pilgrim Academy 1pm at Kings Christian 4:15pm TCHS 4:15pm Baptist 4:15pm at Pilgrim Ac. 4:15pm at Calvary Christian 4pm Kings Christian 4:15pm

Delsea
April 1 Burlington City 3 at Williamstown 6 Kingsway 8 at Highland 9 Paulsboro 14 Deptford 16 at Cumberland Reg. 17 GCIT 20 Wildwood 23 at Middle Twp. 24 at Salem 25 Penns Grove at OLMA Tournament 29 Williamstown 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 11am 4pm

BRIDGETON
Coach: Andrew Bagley (1st season) Conference: CAL National I Group: II South Last year: 1-18 Returning starters: 5 Key players: Salan Chapman (Sr., Inf.), Sha’dasia Farrell (Jr., OF), Meredith Wuzzardo (Jr., C), Meghan Peachey (Jr., OF), Casey Crispo (Sr., OF), Paige Burich (So., Inf.), Leanne Boswell (So., Inf.). Top newcomers: Shawnee Suttle (Sr., Inf.), Magli Reyes (Sr., OF), Kenly Soto (Sr., IF), Katrina McCullough (Jr., OF), Kelsea Holton (So., Inf.), Jackie Winrow (Fr., P). Outlook: Bridgeton will have to deal with the growing pains that come with inexperience. While the number of athletes in the program has risen, the experience level has not. Winrow has been a bright sur-

PLAYOFF INFO
All teams with a .500 record or better after action on Friday, May 8 qualify for the state tournament. Preliminary round games begin May 19. Public sectional finals are slated for Friday, May 29. Public state semifinals and Non-Public sectional finals will be June 2. State finals are June 6.

prise in the preseason. The hardnosed hurler will handle the pitching chores and hit No. 2 in the order. Farrell brings speed to the top of the lineup while Chapman and Wuzzardo provide the pop in the heart of the order. Prediction: In a difficult league, Bridgeton will take its lumps against the premier teams. However, the Bulldogs should be competitive in the remaining games. Definitely look for an increase in the win column.

CUMBERLAND CHRISTIAN
Coach: Christine Bennett (1st season) Conference: Tri-State Christian Returning starters: 7 Key players: Robin Previti (Sr., SS), Ashley Haney (Sr., 3B), Jessica Parks (Sr., 2B), Emily May-

hew (So., C), Leana Phillips (Jr., P), Jessica Bradway (Jr., LF), Amaris Watson (Jr., CF), Ashley Pinckney (Sr., RF). Top newcomers: Jessica Casmer (So., Inf.), Alyssa Stortz (So., Inf/P). Outlook: The Crusaders return a solid nucleus especially in the infield with Previti, Haney and Parks and in the circle with Phillips. While the core has playing experience, many of the other positions will have to be filled with inexperienced players. Bennett, who also coached the girls’ basketball program, takes over at the helm. Prediction: Cumberland Christian looks to be competitive in the Tri-State Christian Athletic Conference and appears to have the ability to crack the .500 mark this season.