Softball Top 10

Theresa Haug of Central Bucks East pitches against Neshaminy last season. (Charles Fox/Staff Photographer)

The Inquirer TOP 10

SOFTBALL

Records are from last season.

1. North Penn (18-10). A game away from the PIAA Class AAAA state final last year, the experience-laden Maidens have a good pitcher in junior Jackie Bilotti, a solid outfielder in Erin Maher, and Vicky Tumasz in the infield.

2. Central Bucks East (19-5). The defending District 1 Class AAAA champs return two excellent sophomore pitchers: Theresa Haug and Kayla Ventura. With them on the mound and solid hitters returning, the Patriots will be tough again this season.

3. Nazareth Academy (21-2). Seeking a third District 1 Class AAA championship since 2010, the Pandas are poised to capture another Catholic Academies title behind senior infielders Jill Bovitt and Brittany Colombo, both Division I recruits.

4. Neshaminy (23-3). The Redskins return many of the bats from a team that made it to the District 1 and PIAA finals in Class AAAA last season. The only question for this stellar program is in the pitching circle, with former star Lauren Quense now at Fordham.

5. Cardinal O'Hara (13-6). The Lions made some noise last season, and with Molly Rafferty returning in the pitching circle and with Lauren Del Romano at second base, O'Hara should contend for Catholic League and District 12 titles.

6. Springfield, Delco (13-5). A good pick to win the Central League this season, the Cougars return Tori DePietro at second base, Lauren Scarpato at shortstop, and Courtney Scarpato in the circle. That's a lot of firepower.

7. Episcopal Academy (15-6). Another Inter-Ac League title and a return to the late rounds of the Independent Schools state tournament are within reach for the Churchwomen, especially with Alex Viscusi pitching for the third straight season.

8. Lansdale Catholic (14-7). Watch out for the Crusaders - they lost only one starter from last year's squad. A year older, with more experience, they should be one of the best in the Catholic League.

9. Hatboro-Horsham (17-4). Third baseman Daria Edwards will be a key for the very young Hatters if they want to return to the top of the Suburban One League's Continental Conference. The reigning champs return six starters.

10. West Chester Henderson (19-3). Ousted in the District 1 Class AAAA quarterfinals last season, the Warriors might need a couple of games to get some of last year's chemistry back. They have only four returning starters, but one of them is catcher Heidi McCollester.

Under consideration (listed alphabetically): Central Bucks South (13-7), Downingtown East (17-4), Haverford High (17-4), Spring-Ford (18-5).

- Kate Harman

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