Focus on Sports
'Jacks Garey, Morris named first-team all-state

Posted on Monday, May 07, 2007

Chesapeake College freshman Jen Garey and Skipjack sophomore Beth Morris were named to the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference all-conference softball first team, which was selected Wednesday night.

Garey and Morris play third base and shortstop, respectively, for a Chesapeake team that finished the regular season 15-13 overall and 12-6 in the league. Sophomore pitcher/outfielder Heather Lawrence and freshman second baseman/outfielder Kim Towers were selected to the all-conference second team.

"I think the selection of four of our players is recognition that we´re competitive against the other top teams in the conference," said Chesapeake head coach Melissa Thompson, whose fourth-seeded team opens the NJCAA Region XX Division II championship tournament Saturday at Hagerstown Community College with a 9 a.m. single-elimination game against fifth-seeded Harford Community College (10-14, 8-8).

Garey, a Colonel Richardson High graduate, finished the regular season with a .379 batting average and was second in the state in home runs (five) and fourth in RBI (33) while scoring 29 runs.

"Jen was our cleanup hitter every game," said Thompson. "She gave us a reliable bat and a solid glove at third base. She was also one of those hitters who was thinking every single at bat about what she was trying to accomplish at the plate."

Morris (St. Michaels High) hit .349 and finished tied with teammate Heather Duncan for third in the state with three home runs. She also drove in 30 runs and scored 20.

"Beth is team captain and a very vocal leader," said Thompson. "She´s also a very mature ball player."

Lawrence (St. Michaels High) hit .337 with two homers and 12 RBI while scoring 26 runs from the leadoff position.

"Heather Lawrence over the last two years has been what I´d call a silently dominant player," said Thompson. "Nobody appeared to be afraid of her as a hitter, but they should have been. All of her hits seemed to be big hits that came at important times."

Lawrence finished the regular season with a 7-6 pitching record, 4.60 earned-run average, and 82 strikeouts against just 26 walks.

Towers (North Caroline High) hit .259 with 17 RBI, 15 runs and one home run. The flexible Towers played both second base and left field for the Skipjacks.

"Kim has great speed and the skill to play any position," said Thompson. "She was willing to do anything I asked her to do."

The Skipjacks, who just completed their second consecutive winning season, will spend this weekend attempting to improve on last year´s third-place finish in the regional tournament. The Chesapeake-Harford winner advances to the double-elimination portion of the regional tournament, starting with an 11 a.m. contest Saturday against top-seeded Hagerstown Community College (28-4-1, 16-2).

"We just have to go into the tournament with the confidence that we can win it," said Thompson, whose team has won 12 of its last 16 games after a 3-9 start.

The Skipjacks will continue to be without first baseman Laura Foster, whose injured ankle has not healed as quickly as the team originally hoped it would.

"We´re going to miss Laura´s contributions, but Liz Kinsey has been playing well for us at first base in Laura´s absence," said Thompson.

The tournament, which also includes second-seeded CCBC-Catonsville (21-3, 11-3) and third-seeded Frederick Community College (16-12, 12-4) among the seven-team field, concludes Sunday.


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