The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Todd Stanford

April 14, 2011

Follow the letters

OK, so we all know that the season technically started more than two weeks ago. But we also know that, in reality, most schools have a large chunk of their seasons to play.

That's why this week's column is going to be like a second preview of the season -- in addition to the spring sports preview issue we put out last month. So here you go: The ABCs of softball in the Valley.

A is for the District 3 Class A title that Greenwood is trying to defend this year.

B is for the Blass girls (JoEllen and Kirsten) at Southern Columbia.

C is for Chad Everhart, the new Upper Dauphin coach this season.

D is for Duane Ford, the Central Columbia coach who recorded his 700th career win last week.

E is for an even record (i.e., .500), which teams in District 4 must maintain to qualify for the playoffs.

F is for forty-three feet, the new distance between the pitching rubber and the plate.

G is for Gantt, as in Troy, the new coach at Greenwood.

H is for hitting, which we should see more of since they moved the pitchers back three feet.

I is for illegal pitch, which can cost a defensive team if there's a runner or runners on base (they get to advance).

J is for Jersey Shore, which advanced all the way to the Class AAA state championship game last year before falling to Bellefonte.

K is for Keefer, as in Bill, the Milton coach who has more than 100 career wins.

L is for Loyalsock, which is one of four HAC-II schools to have won a state title (the others are Central Columbia, South Williamsport and Mifflinburg).

M is for Madison Krebs, the Milton first baseman who's The Daily Item Preseason Player of the Year.

N is for new look in the HAC-II. With Mifflinburg dropping down from the HAC-I, a rugged league got that much tougher.

O is for orange, a prominent color among HAC-I schools (Milton, Danville, Jersey Shore).

P is for Panthers, be they from Bloomsburg or Milton.

Q is for Quay, as in Jen, the fourth-year coach at Newport.

R is for regional showdown, which is what happens at the end of each year when the District 4 and District 6 All-Stars go head to head.

S is for slap hitters, who often bat lead off.

T is for Taylor Parker, the Warrior Run hurler who's The Daily Item's preseason first-team pitcher.

U is for Upper Dauphin, which has won the last four Tri-Valley League championships.

V is for victories, which no one has very many of at this point (thanks to Mother Nature).

W is for Warrior Run, which made the playoffs last year for the first time since 2001.

X is for Lewisburg infielder Amy Faux.

Y is for Yost, as in Jersey Shore's Hannah.

Z is for Zampetti, as in Sam, who plays softball and runs track for Danville.

— Sports reporter Todd Stanford covers high school softball for The Daily Item. E-mail comments to tstanford@dailyitem.com.

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