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NoteCalvert could not be reached for comment by press time for Wednesday's edition of The Calvert Recorder to be included into the 2013 high school softball previews. Calvert's preview is being printed in this edition.CalvertHead coach: Steve King (second season)Last year: 9-13, 4-8 (tied for seventh in SMAC with Great Mills, Leonardtown, North Point and Thomas Stone)Athletes to watch: P/2B Kayla Wood (Jr.), P Melanie Lawton (Jr.), RF/C Kayla Sickle (Sr.), SS/2B Megan Lanham (Sr.), 1B/3B Tiffany Bearns (So.)Key personnel losses: SS Danielle Watt, P/2B Jess Phelps (All-County), C Davena Moore, OF Braedyn Mims (All-County), 3B Jade Rolley Strengths: The work ethic of the Cavaliers is right on track. King is happy with the few senior returners that he has and said that once the weather allows them to get on the field more, they will be able to fine-tune some things. King was happy with the progress offensively against Patuxent in the recent scrimmage. He said this season will come down to whoever can recover quicker from mistakes and move forward.Weaknesses: With the loss of five talented seniors, some gaps will need to be filled and King is looking for leadership to rise to the top and maintain itself. The youth of the team is a slight concern for King, but he and his team are sure of the direction that they want to go. Coach's comments: “We have to be competitive to end up in a good position for playoff [seedings]. We have to put seven innings together to get past those strong [county] teams. Sometimes with county games, emotions get the best of you. We had a close 2-1 loss to Huntingtown last year and we played Patuxent in three very good games last year. It wouldn't surprise me if we see them again in the playoffs again this year.”Key games: March 25 vs. Patuxent, April 13 at Northern, April 26 vs. Huntingtown TAMMY SHOWALTER

Huntingtown

Head coach: Mike Johnson (ninth season)

Last year: 18-2, 11-1 (second in SMAC, Class 3A South Region finalist)

Athletes to watch: 2B/CF Karlie Quinn (Sr., All-County), OF Madison Fitzgerald (Jr., All-County), SS/3B Shea McFarland (Jr., All-SMAC, All-County), P Taylor Donaldson (So.)

Key personnel losses: P Ali Vendemia (All-SMAC, All-County), C Kassidy Kenney, 1B Kelsey DeGennaro (All-County), 2B Kaitlyn Seger (All-SMAC, All-County), SS Kassidy Taylor (All-SMAC, All-County), OF Chloe Fitzgerald (All-SMAC, All-County), OF Abby Posten

Strengths: Johnson has been pleased as of late with his team's work ethic, cohesiveness of some of his talented young ballplayers as well as its willingness to learn.

Weaknesses: With the loss of nine players — seven of them starters and just one player returning to her original position — the main piece of the Hurricanes' 2013 puzzle will be experience.

Coach's comments: “As always, we work towards achieving our team goal [which is to] 'Win Our Last Game.'”

Key games: April 8 vs. Chopticon, April 17 at Northern, April 19 at McDonough, April 22 vs. Patuxent

MICHAEL REID

Northern

Head coach: Robert Radford (ninth season)

Last year: 25-0, 12-0 (SMAC champion, Class 3A South Region champion, Class 3A state champion)

Athletes to watch: Radford elected not to give athletes to watch.

Key personnel losses: SS Lindsey Schmeiser (All-SMAC, All-County AOY)

Strengths: Radford is happy with the depth and experience of his team. He said that every game is a key game for them.

Senior Jessica Cummings will take command of the pitching duties for her second season and her catcher Kristina Lozupone will call her pitches. Senior outfielder Kierstie Schaefer is back as well as starting third baseman Erin Adams. Adams said she is ready to lead by example.

The seniors have all been elected as team captains. This family of Patriots are keeping the number six, in terms of looking for a sixth-straight state title, in the back of their minds, but want to take each game, step by step, learning and growing from each game.

Weaknesses: Radford said that the offensive consistency is a concern.

Coach's comments: “Should be exciting. We are going to have to work extremely hard to get better every and every practice. Every game will serve as a report card.”

Key games: March 25 at Chopticon, March 27 vs. McDonough, April 17 vs. Huntingtown, April 27 vs. O'Connell (Va.)

TAMMY SHOWALTER

Patuxent

Head coach: Jen Bruno (14th season)

Last year: 10-10, 6-5 (sixth in SMAC, Class 2A South Region finalist)

Athletes to watch: P Melissa Morlock (So.), 2B/OF Tiffany Ludke (Jr.), 3B Erika Bryant (Jr.)

Key personnel losses: C Emilee Sizemore (All-County)

Strengths: Though the Panthers are still a relatively young team, they do have the fact that they played last year together and, as such, are aware of what to expect and the level of play that is required at the varsity level.

Weaknesses: In losing Sizemore, Patuxent had to make several shifts in positioning and it could take some time to find the right formula in the outfield. Still, Bruno noted the team is working hard and gaining confidence each day.

Coach's comments: “I am very excited about this team. The girls work very hard and are willing to do whatever it takes to get better. We just need to keep focused and realize that we could be a really great team. We have all of the qualities of a great team, but need to trust in each other and play the game.”

Key games: April 8 at Northern, April 15 vs. McDonough, April 22 at Huntingtown, April 29 at La Plata

MICHAEL REID