OUTLOOK: Dracut, which moves from Division 2 to Division 1 in the MVC, may be the team to beat with the return of Laura Ramirez as their top pitcher but no one is discounting Central Catholic because of ace pitcher Olivia Antczak. Chelmsford lost a lot to graduation but still should be formidable and Methuen is a legitimate darkhorse.
In Division 2, newcomer North Andover may rate a slight edge in a wide-open field that includes Lowell, which moved down from Division 1.
2012 season: 13-10, lost Division 1 North quarterfinals
Returning starters (5): Meaghan Leary, Sr., SS; Jordan Day, Sr., 3B; Allison Conway, Sr., 2B; Nicole Ericson, Jr., CF; Mimi Olney, Jr., C
Returning lettermen: Lizzie Kaufman, Sr., C/OF; Eugenie Moffitt, Sr., INF/OF; Lea Giacchetto, Sr., OF; Laura McNaughton, Jr., P/INF; Meghan Vogel, Jr., OF; Erin Nastari, Jr., OF; Paige Hartnett, Soph., INF/OF; Brooke Kabriel, Soph., 3B; Amy Stankiewicz, Soph., P; Paige Hartnett, Soph., 2B/OF
Promising newcomers: Eri Kobayashi, Sr., OF; Laura Ippolito, Jr., OF; Victoria Roche, Frosh., C; Eri Kobayashi, Sr., OF; Abby Day, Frosh., P
Captains: Nicole Ericson, Meaghan Leary, Allison Conway
Returning honorees: Nicole Ericson, MVC All-Star; Jordan Day and Mimi Olney, honorable mention All-MVC
Fast facts: Last year Andover posted its most wins since going 13-5 in 2005 and reached the North quarters for the first time since 2003. The No. 15 Golden Warriors toppled No. 2 Masconomet in the first round. ... Andover has suffered ill fortune since last year. Pitcher Cassandra Hunt transferred to Brooks, MVC All-Star Nicole Ericson suffered a torn ACL and MCL skiing and is out for the year, Meaghan Leary separated her shoulder but is expected back and five players from last year’s team, including at least two potential starters, did not come out. ... Laura Ippolito is a transfer from Phillips Academy. ... Due to low numbers, the Warriors will not field a freshman team.
Assistants: Betty Iannuccilli, JV; Ben Gibson
Coach Steve Tisbert (4th year, 27-37): “We haven’t had a lot of luck and we have some big holes to fill. But it’s a great group of kids and I think we could still make the tournament. I would put Jordan Day up against any third baseman in the league.”
2012 season: 19-5, lost in Division 1 North semifinals
Returning starters (4): Leslie Moore, Sr., 1B ; Krista Maloney, Jr., CF; Karoline Leavitt, Soph., INF, Olivia Antczak, Soph., P
Returning lettermen: Meg Sears, Sr., P; Mackenzie Williams Sr., OF; Corin Swarbrick, Sr., C/OF. Meg Hanley, Jr., P; Devlin Frost, Jr., C; Ally Cavanaugh, Jr., INF/OF
Promising newcomers: Olivia Ciccarelli, Jr., INF/OF; Hannah Gillis, Jr., OF; Dylan Parsons, Jr., INF; Vanessa Weymouth, Jr., OF; Madison Borrelli, Frosh, 2B
Captains: TBA; Candidates: 65
Returning honorees: Olivia Antczak, Eagle-Tribune All-Star; Leslie Moore, MVC All-Star
Returning leaders: Olivia Antczak 16 wins, 1.26 ERA, 195 Ks, 14 walks, 127 innings
Fast facts: Central has made at least the North semifinals six straight years. ... Madison Borrelli is the younger sister of graduated Alex Borrelli, who is starting as a freshman at Bentley College.
Assistants: Josselyn Wilson; Liz Day; Kevin Niceforo JV; Laura Beth Solomon
Coach Stacy Ciccolo (10th year, 149-51): “We have solid pitching and stable corners, but we need to find good defensive replacements up the middle (we graduated our catcher, second baseman, shortstop and centerfielder). The league will be as tough as ever, especially with Dracut moving up. We will be inexperienced but we are full of kids who work hard and want to improve.”
2012 season: 8-12, didn’t make state tourney
Returning starters (7): Caitlyn McHugh, Sr., SS; Kailey Suplinskas, Sr., P/1B; Morgan Arsenault, Sr., LF; Meaghan Blanchard, Sr., RF: Theresa Ross, Jr., C; Susan Murphy, Jr., 2B; Brett Johnson, Soph., P/1B
Returning lettermen: Amanda Roy, Soph., 1B/OF
Promising newcomers: Jocelyn DuBois, Soph., SS; Alyssa Mazza, Soph., OF;/P Allison Meserve, Soph., 1B/OF; Shelby Rowe, Soph., INF; Michaela Kane, Frosh., 3B; Elizabeth Duchemin, Frosh., CF; Julia McLaughlin, Frosh., P; Jill Petkewich, Frosh., C
Captains: Game captains; Candidates: 31
Returning honorees: Caitlyn McHugh, Eagle-Tribune All-Star; Hayley DeRoche and Brett Johnson, MVC All-Stars;
Returning leaders: Caitlyn McHugh .500 average (32 of 64), 25 runs; Hayley DeRoche .438, 25 RBIs
Fast facts: Last year’s club won eight games, a big improvement from back-to-back 3-win seasons. ... Hayley DeRoche. the team’s second leading hitter last year and an MVC All-Star, did not come out so that she could concentrate on volleyball. Four other players also didn’t return. ... Four freshmen made the varsity, including Michaela Kane, who was the goalie for the JV boys hockey team.
Assistants: Mike Mansour, varsity assistant; Ernie Andrews, JV; Natalie Willwerth, Frosh.
Coach Andy Reusch (4th year, 14-44): “A lot depends on if we can throw strikes. I think we’ll be pretty good defensively. Losing Hayley was tough but we’re making good contact and we have good speed. Our goal is to make the tournament.”
2012 season: 1-18, didn’t make state tourney
Returning starters (4): Karisha Jimenez, Jr., CF; Randi Batista, Sr., 3B; Yosiris Vasquez, Jr, SS; Madilyn Mazara, Sr., OF
Newcomers: Paola Mazara, Sr., 2B; Angelique Rodriguez, Sr., P; Jazmyn Ortiz, Sr., 1B; Thalia Garcia, Sr., OF; Sonia Feliciano, Sr., C; Aracelis Andino, Sr., OF; Pamela Acosta, Sr., SS; Jelenyce Vasquez, Jr., P; Zuleika Pimentel, Jr., OF; RosMarlin Morrobel, Jr., 3B; Mia Lauredant, Jr., 1B; Stephanie Garcia, Jr., OF; Ashley Garcia, Jr., 1B; Masiel Reyes, Soph., C; Emelin Alicea, Soph., OF
Captains: TBA; Candidates: 103
Returning honorees: Randi Batista and Madelyn Mazara, MVC All-Stars
Fast facts: New head coach Chris Boardman replaces Jenn Arrajj, who had a 31-69 record in five years. Boardman is a longtime baseball and football coach for the Lancers. ... Junior Jelenyce Vasquez has no high school experience but has been impressive in the preseason and will likely start on the mound. ... Senior Sonia Feliciano has taken a leadership role and will be the starting catcher.. ... Karisha Jiminez is switching from catcher to centerfield. ... Of the 103 girls who tried out, 58 are left after cuts.
Assistants: Euclides Pichardo; Christian Guzman, JV; Lorimar Roman, JV; Heather Lawrence, Frosh.; McKenzie Faulkner, Frosh.
Coach Chris Boardman (1st year): “The kids are learning a new system and they’re eager to learn. I don’t know how many games we’ll win. We’re using the motto that we try to be better today than yesterday and tomorrow we want to be better than today.”
2012 season: 13-9, lost in Division 1 North first round
Returning starters (8): Christina Scionti, Sr., P; Jessica Rader, Sr., DH/OF; Sydney Littlefield, Jr., CF; Amanda Lemire, Jr., LF; Angelina Correia, Soph. SS; Kayla Potter, Jr., 1B; Heather McLaughlin, Soph., C; Kelly Blackwell, Soph., 3B
Returning lettermen: Meghan Murphy, Soph., RF; Kayleigh Forgetta, Soph., 2B
Promising newcomers: Samantha Petrow, Jr., 3B; Erica Sackrison, Sr., OF; Kelleigh Dunn, Jr., OF; Alyssa Kellerman, Jr., 2B; Renee Cormier, Soph., 1B; Kathleen LeFebre, Frosh., C;
Captains: Christina Scionti, Jessica Radar
Returning honorees: Christina Scionti, All-MVC; Sydney Littlefield, MVC All-Star; Angelina Correia, honorable mention All-MVC
Fast facts: Methuen has posted 10 straight winning seasons. ... MVC All-Star Nicole Perusse transferred to Chelmsford. Kelly Blackwell, who played second base last year, will replace her at third base and Kayleigh Forgetta will move to second. ... Last year’s catcher, Heather McLaughlin, is recovering from an ankle sprain and may move to first base with promising freshman Kathleen LeFebre moving behind the plate. ... Lisa Castillo, a four-year player at Methuen who played at Assumption College is a new assistant as is pitching coach Brittany Kannan, who moves over from Central Catholic.
Assistants: Deb Green; Jackie Rubino, Brittany Kannan (pitching); Lisa Castillo, JV; Kelly and Mary Sicard, freshmen
Coach Jason Smith (8th year, 96-55): “I like our team a lot. Chrissy (Scionti) has done a great job for us (pitching) for three years and I think she’ll be stronger this year. She’ll keep us in games. It’ll be tough to replace Nicole but Kathleen will do a good job at catcher and I think our other players have gotten better. We’re looking forward to the season.”
2012 season: 10-11, lost in Division 1 North first round
Returning starters (6): Courtney Green, Sr., C; Kim Crucioli, Sr., P; Haley Kosheff, Sr., 1B; Paige Ahlholm, Jr., 3B/LF; Jess Bramanti, Jr., 3B; Danielle Wilson, Soph., 2B
Returning lettermen: Sarah Lemerise, Sr., OF; Morgan Coakley, Sr., OF; Chrissy Crucioli, Sr., 3B/OF; Kyra Brown, Soph., INF/OF; Dahlia DeCologero, Soph., INF
Promising newcomers: Susan Mathers, Frosh., INF
Captains: Kim Crucioli, Courtney Green
Returning honorees: Courtney Green, All-CAL; Kim Crucioli, CAL All-Star
Fast facts: Kristen Thomas stepped down after just one year to take an assistant principal job in Methuen. ... Three-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star Sara McCarthy, who hit .493 last year and had 99 career hits and 71 career runs, decided not to come out this spring. ... Senior Dahlia DeCologero has the inside track on the starting shortstop job. ... Kim Crucioli will likely pitch every game because there is no experienced backup.
Assistants: Katie Hebert; Joe Ratte, JV; Steve Long, freshman
Coach Caitlin Flanagan (1st year): “It’s going to be tough competition (in the MVC) but I expect to be .500 or better. We’re anchored by Kim (Crucioli) and Courtney (Green) and offensively I think we have strength one through nine. I was encouraged by our first scrimmage. Our one problem is that we don’t have a deep roster.”