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Softball Senior Leadership Looking to Capture Title
02/20/2006

FROSTBURG, Md. - The 2006 Frostburg State softball team will have plenty of experience on its side as it looks to improve on a 17-19 overall record last year. Six seniors guide a Bobcat lineup that will attempt to capture just the second Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference title in the programs history.

The Bobcats posted solid numbers finishing the 2005 campaign ranked first in the AMCC in walks (113) and fourth in batting average (.297), runs (193), hits (294) and doubles (50). In pitching, FSU was third in strikeouts (141) and fewest runs allowed (141), fourth in ERA (3.18) and earned runs (101) and fifth in fewest hits allowed (261).

FSU returns the entire infield from a year ago led by senior Trish Brown (Manchester, Md./North Carroll). She holds almost every offensive record for her career after three seasons here at Frostburg State and looks to improve on those numbers this season. She was a First Team All-AMCC selection last spring after hitting .425 with 48 hits, 38 RBIs and 25 runs.

She finished the season ranked 37th in NCAA Division III in RBIs per game (1.06) and 82nd in batting average (.425).

"Trish is a dominant offensive player that can carry a team," said Head Coach Wes Landrum.

Junior Amanda Griswold (Rockville, Md./Magruder) returns at second base after starting there most of last season. She is expected to have a better season after hitting .214 with 21 hits, 22 runs and five RBIs a year ago. She is the returning stolen base leader (2) and the coaching staff looks to utilize her speed more effectively.

Senior Bethany Seyler (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) will likely start at shortstop again this year after earning Second Team All-AMCC honors a year ago. She has the best hands of anyone on the team and she was a nice surprise at the plate last season. She had a .366 batting average after hitting from the bottom of the order and she will be looked upon to produce again this year.

"Having Griswold and Seyler back in the middle of the field is a luxury because they know each other and where each will be," stated Landrum.

Senior Sarah Savoye (Davidsonville, Md./South River) will start at third base after doing a nice job at that position in 2005. She earned All-Conference honorable mention honors last year. She is a very good defender and is also solid at the plate. She hit .283 in 31 games while recording 26 hits, 15 RBIs and scored 13 runs. However, Savoye enters the season playing catch up after missing the fall season due to studying abroad.

"Sarah is a solid all-around ball player," added Landrum.

Freshman Kaitlyn Wagner (Leesburg, Va./Loudoun County) comes from a good high school program and should see time in both the infield and outfield. She has a strong arm and a solid bat and will play a few positions to get some time at the plate.

"Kaitlyn is doing a nice job this spring and she is pushing for more time every day," added Landrum.

Freshman Molly Bryden (Rock Hall, Md./Kent County) will see time at second and third base. She has raw talent and is refining her skills and will see more time as the year goes on.

"Molly works hard everyday and continues to improve," said Landrum.

FSU returns two starters in the outfield this season. Junior Lori Potts (Purcellville, Va./Loudoun Valley) was 46th in the country in batting average last season (.448). She was selected to All-AMCC first team and finished second in on-base percentage (.531). She started in centerfield last year but could possibly start in left this spring. Last year she scored 27 runs, had 43 hits, 10 doubles and 14 RBIs.

"Lori is tough to defend offensively because she can reach base in multiple ways," added Landrum.

Senior Jessica Smith (LaVale, Md./Allegany) will likely see most of her time in right field. She has a strong, accurate arm and is a good communicator with the other outfielders. She will look to improve on a .162 batting average and 11 hits from a year ago.

"Jessica is finding her groove again and I look for her to improve on last year," stated Landrum.

Senior Megan Burner (Oakland, Md./Southern Garrett) is the hardest worker on the team and is willing to go the extra mile to help. She has matured since last season and she will also see time behind the plate. She hit .172 with five hits and five runs.

"Megan continues to improve and I believe that she will get more at bats this season," said Landrum.

Sophomore Meghan Dabkowski (Eastnorthport, N.Y./Commack) should see time in outpfield as well as catcher. She has a nice swing and will be more productive as she improves. In 28 games last season, she hit .210 with 13 hits, five RBIs and scored seven runs.

"Meghan works hard to get better everyday and should see more playing time this season," added Landrum.

Freshman Lydia Ratliff (Brandywine, Md. Grace Brethern) has a very good swing and should see time at the plate as the season wears on. She has a strong arm and works hard to improve her ability.

"Lydia will battle for some at-bats this year and her swing has improved greatly," stated Landrum.

The Bobcats return their top two starting pitchers from a year ago, senior Jen Cook (Cresaptown, Md./Allegany) and Potts. Cook should continue to improve on last seasons numbers. In conference action, she had a 0.83 ERA with 52 strikeouts. She led the team with eight wins and 87 strikeouts.

"Jen can dominate teams with her stuff and we will need her to do it for the entire season," added Landrum.

Potts will be counted on to throw more innings this season. She will be the number two pitcher after posting four wins and a 3.32 ERA. She appeared in 16 games and struckout 23 batters.

"Lori has gotten stronger every year and I think this year will show it," said Landrum.

Frostburg State returns all three catchers from the 2005 season. Sophomore Amanda Baldwin (Baltimore, Md./North County) will see a majority of the time behind the plate. She has strong arm and has the tools to be a good hitter. She hit .217 last spring with 20 hits, 11 runs and six RBIs.

"Amanda is solid behind the plate and will be looked upon this year for more offensive," stated Landrum.

Dabkowski will see time behind the plate as well. She has improved her arm strength and is a technically sound player. Burner will also battle for time behind the plate as she is more comfortable with catching.

"It's nice to have three strong catchers who you can count on. We don't skip a beat with any of them," said Landrum.

This season, FSU softball welcomes a new addition to the coaching staff. Stacie Reichert joins the softball program as its graduate assistant coach after a record-setting playing career at Division I Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C. She set GWU marks for wins (45), shutouts (14), complete games (63), earned run average (2.07), innings (702.2) and strikeouts (538). She also established six single-season records and holds the top four spots in single-season strikeouts.

"Stacie will bring a lot to the table," said Head Coach Wes Landrum. "She will be very instrumental in our success and is a great addition to the program."

The FSU schedule will again be tough this season as the Bobcats have early tournaments that are filled with ranked teams such as Bridgewater, Lynchburg, Christopher Newport, Salisbury.

Again this season, the winner of the AMCC will receive an automatic bid for to the NCAA Tournament. FSU will host 2005 tournament champion and NCAA Tournament participant Pitt-Bradford as well as regular-season champion La Roche.

"We have a very tough non-conference schedule that should prepare us for the conference season, added Landrum. "We want to play well and improve as the season goes along, but ultimately we want to be prepared to make a run at the conference title."

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