Athletics News

Softball

Three Skipjacks named all-East Region
Ricks, English, Lowenberger are 3 of 5 Maryland selections

Three Chesapeake College women’s softball players were selected for the 2011 Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association all-East Region squad.

Sophomores Tiffeny Ricks (catcher/Colonel Richardson High), Becca English (shortstop) and Janean Lowenberger (second base) made the 16-player squad. The only other Maryland players named to the squad was CCBC-Catonsville’s Cassey Rogers and Megan Smith.

Ricks hit .445 and finished with a team-high 41 RBI and 33 runs scored. Lowenberger hit .418 and scored 32 runs, batting a torrid .494 over the last two-thirds of the season after starting 8-for-33 (.242). English hit .400 with 28 RBI and 35 runs scored, finishing second on the team in runs and fourth in RBI in addition to being one of the state’s top defensive shortstops.

"Durrie texted me this morning about making the all-East team," said Ricks, who was also selected to the all-NJCAA Division II Region XX first team. "I was excited to hear about it. Everyone who made the team from Chesapeake deserved it."

The Skipjacks (24-19) finished third in Region XX and grabbed critical NFCA exposure by playing in the association’s Leadoff Classic in March, according to Chesapeake head coach Durrie Hayes.

"NFCA is by far the biggest softball coaches’ association, other than ASA (Amateur Softball Association)," said Hayes. "There are maybe 2,000 coaches in the association. It’s a big deal."

Hayes said all three players "were tickled to death. I texted them all this morning."

Hayes noted that last year’s Chesapeake squad – which set a school record with 26 wins, shared the state title, and reached the Region XX title game – had no NFCA selections.

"It’s not easy to be selected," said Hayes. "Having three players on the team is a real achievement."

Hayes discussed earlier in the year how the program "sacrificed some potential wins" – the Skipjacks went 0-5 at the Leadoff Classic – in order to give the players some NFCA exposure.

"They (coaches voting for the teams) have to know something about you," said Hayes. "People won’t know our score against Chipola, but they’ll know we were in the most prestigious – and the hardest – tournament in the country."

Hayes said there were other reasons to play in not one but two high-powered Florida tournaments, as his team did this spring.

"You have to play good teams to get better," said Hayes.

NFCA breaks down the nation into three regions, so the three Chesapeake players were among the top 48 junior college players in the country as judged by NFCA. The NFCA’s all-American squad will be released in mid-June.

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