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Softball Looks to Take Next Step in 2005
03/02/2005

FROSTBURG, Md. -After a 13-12 record and a fourth-place finish in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference in 2003, the Frostburg State softball team took a huge step forward last season, going 26-14 overall and 11-1 in the AMCC.

The Bobcats captured their first AMCC regular-season title and finished second at the AMCC Tournament. FSU also advanced to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Tournament, its first post-season berth in the program’s nine-year history.

As they celebrate their 10th year, the Bobcats would like nothing better than to win their second AMCC title (FSU won its only title in 1998) and secure the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

“We accomplished a great deal last year, but we fell short in reaching our ultimate goal, which was winning the conference title,” said Head Coach Chris Starke. “I hope seeing Pitt-Bradford celebrate on our home field has left a bad taste in our mouths and gives us motivation to work hard throughout the year.”

Junior Trish Brown (Manchester, Md./North Carroll) leads a veteran group of eight returning players.

The first baseman earned AMCC Co-Player of the Year and first-team All-AMCC honors last season after hitting .468, setting single-season school records with 51 hits and 85 total bases and tying single-season school records with six home runs and 35 RBIs.

She finished the year ranked 25th in NCAA Division III in slugging percentage (.780) and 32nd in batting average.

Senior Amanda Boswell (Marbury, Md./Lackey) and sophomore Amanda Griswold (Rockville, Md./Magruder) will battle for the second base job throughout the season.

Boswell earned first-team All-AMCC honors last year after finishing third on the team in batting average (.338) and second in both runs (26) and on-base percentage (.427). She was also a perfect 7-for-7 in stolen bases. Boswell may also see time in the outfield and as the designated player.

Griswold, who may also push for time at shortstop, played in 37 of FSU’s 40 games as a freshman last season and hit .252 with 12 runs scored and 11 RBIs. She drew 10 walks and was also second on the squad with seven sacrifice bunts.

Junior Sarah Savoye (Davidsonville, Md./South River) returns at third base for the third straight season. The sure-handed fielder started 39 games last season and hit .277 with four doubles and 14 RBIs.

Sophomore Lori Potts (Purcellville, Va./Loudoun Valley) was a first-team All-AMCC selection in the outfield last year after hitting .343 with 37 hits, including seven doubles, 20 RBIs and 18 runs scored.

She was also impressive in the circle where she went 14-6 with five shutouts and a 3.07 earned run average. She set school records for both victories and shutouts in a single season.

Junior Jessica Smith (La Vale, Md./Allegany) started 30 games in the outfield last season and hit .284 with two doubles and 13 RBIs. She also scored 13 runs and added a team-high eight sacrifice bunts.

Junior Krystal Dixon (Westminster, Md./Westminster) earned honorable mention All-AMCC honors as a designated player last season after hitting .267 with six doubles, two triples and 19 RBIs. She gives the Bobcats several options with her ability to play the outfield as well as first, second and third base.

Junior Megan Burner (Oakland, Md./Southern Garrett) started 39 games behind the plate last year and hit .253 with three doubles and 10 RBIs. She tied for third on the team with 12 walks and led the team with a .985 fielding percentage. She will battle for time behind the plate and in the outfield this season.

Seven newcomers will look to make an immediate impact for the Bobcats this year.

Junior Bethany Seyler (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) joins the program after transferring from Olivet Nazarene in Illinois, where she did not play softball. Seyler did play for Division II Columbia Union as a freshman in 2003 and was named the team’s Rookie of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year.

Junior transfers Jennifer Cook (Cresaptown, Md./Allegany/Allegany College of Maryland) and Shannon Sturtz (Middletown, Md./Middletown/Frederick Community College) will be important additions in the circle as well as the corner infield spots.

Both players earned All-Maryland JUCO honors last year and may also see action at first base and as the designated player.

Junior Meredith Remus (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air) is the fourth transfer to join the program and brings club-level experience from West Virginia University. A goalkeeper on FSU’s AMCC championship and NCAA Tournament team last fall, she has worked extremely hard to improve and could be a solid contributor in the outfield this season.

A trio of freshmen – Amanda Baldwin (Baltimore, Md./North County), Meghan Dabkowski (Eastnorth Port, N.Y./Commack) and Katie Rowley (Hanover, Md./Meade) – will also compete for immediate playing time.

Baldwin, who won a pair of state championships in high school, will challenge for action both behind the plate and at third base and should add power to the heart of the batting order.

Dabkowski will also compete for time at catcher as well as in the outfield, while Rowley will push for innings in the circle as well as in the outfield.

With a near-even split of returning and new players, one of the keys to FSU’s success this year will be its team chemistry.

The Bobcats will face their toughest schedule in school history, with a non-conference slate that includes 2004 national runner-up Moravian, 2003 national runner-up Salisbury, Bridgewater, Christopher Newport, Lynchburg and McDaniel.

Several changes in the AMCC will also bring new challenges. The conference expanded to 10 teams with the addition of Hilbert, Medaille and Mount Aloysius, and the AMCC Tournament format has been revamped to include six teams, as opposed to the four-team format in past years.

The top two finishers in the regular-season standings receive byes into the double-elimination round, while the remaining four will square off in single-elimination play-in games.

The league appears to be wide open this year. Preseason favorite Pitt-Bradford has won the last two tournament titles and returns several of its top players from a season ago, La Roche has reloaded with a host of newcomers and Penn State Altoona and Penn State Behrend are always dangerous.

Lake Erie showed great improvement last season, and Pitt-Greensburg should be revitalized with a new coach. The three AMCC newcomers should also be tough as well.

“It’s definitely going to be an exciting season,” said Starke. “It’ll take some time for our team to gel and for us to find the right combinations both offensively and defensively. We certainly expect to be playing for the AMCC title and that NCAA automatic bid at the end of the year.”

FSU opens its season this weekend at the Atlantic vs. East Challenge in Virginia Beach. The Bobcats take on Lynchburg and Christopher Newport Friday before facing Moravian and Salisbury Saturday.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-4371
Fax: 301-687-4780
E-mail: sportsinfo@frostburg.edu