Lord, Towers, Dodd commit to Skipjack softball
Trio part of impressive class of local incoming freshmen
WYE MILLS Coaches Melissa Thompson and Bill Faust laid a solid foundation for Chesapeake College’s softball program last year. It became clear Monday that they will be adding an impressive incoming freshman class to their strong returning nucleus.
Pitcher Amanda Lord and catcher Samantha Towers the starting battery on North Caroline High School’s 2005 state championship team and former Cambridge-South Dorchester High shortstop Angela Dodd committed to the Skipjacks in a ceremony that was also attended by seven returning sophomores.
"I always knew I was coming to Chesapeake," said Lord. "Bill and Melissa came to our games and told us about the program. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun."
Lord and Towers said they are pleased about the opportunity to continue as teammates.
"We’re a whole lot more comfortable together," said Towers.
Dodd said she couldn’t envision going to college and not playing softball.
"I didn’t want to come to school without playing softball," she said. "I’ve been playing more than half my life."
The Skipjacks have also received commitments from pitcher Heather Lawrence and third baseman Danielle Bentz, who both played for St. Michaels High School. Lord and Lawrence will provide strength at a position where the Skipjacks were extremely inexperienced last year when Karen George gamely stepped in as the team’s top starter.
"This will let us move Karen back into the field at either shortstop or in the outfielder," said Thompson, who is excited by that prospect. "She’s got a cannon for an arm."
Courtney Jackson, a valuable infielder/outfielder for Easton High School last season, and North Caroline High outfielder Amanda Parks have also committed to the Skipjacks. The Skipjacks will also have an international flair with Colombian-born Cande McElhinny, a soccer player/mountain biker, joining the team.
"I’ve never played softball before, but I wanted to continue in sports," said McElhinny, who will be an outfielder.
The newcomers will join returners George, Katie Connolly, Kelly Henckel, Katie LaNeve, Hannah Kelley, Alissa Quinton, and Brandi Yanez as the Skipjacks attempt to build on a three-win season.
"I think we have a great nucleus and a good group of incoming players," said Thompson.
Thompson said the Skipjacks will have a very limited fall schedule.
"Our players were concerned about getting a good start academically, and I want them to concentrate on academics in the fall. We had the highest QPA of all the college’s athletic teams last year and that’s important to me," said Thompson, who teaches economics and history in the Baltimore City Public Schools.
Photo: Incoming freshmen Samantha Towers, Angela Dodd, and Amanda Lord (front row, left to right) committed to attending Chesapeake College and playing for the Skipjacks’ softball program Monday afternoon. Also pictured, back row left to right, are head coach Melissa Thompson and returning sophomores Katie LaNeve, Hannah Kelley, Alissa Quinton, Kelly Henckel, Katie Connolly, Brandi Yanez, and Karen George.
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