Marshall High Statesmen
Coach: Laura Campbell (1st year)
2007 Record: Sixth in the Liberty District
Key Players: First baseman Samantha Sulser, SR; Pitcher Lauren Sanata, SO; Pitcher Christine Grilliot, SO; SS E.P. Stonehill, JR; C Michelle Tilson, SO.
The Marshall High girls’ softball team will look to improve on last year’s sixth place finish in the always- tough Liberty District standings. And leading the way for the young Statesmen will be new head coach Laura Campbell.
Throughout the preseason, Campbell, a former women’s softball player at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, has been impressed with her new squad.
"I think after seeing tryouts we’ll definitely be a hitting team," said Campbell, a graduate of Slippery Rock who was hired as the Marshall coach in January. "Our solid pitching will help us and our fielding has looked good."
Two sophomores, Lauren Sanata and Christine Grilliot, will likely share the pitching duties.
"They both have different pitches they can throw that can be effective," said Campbell. "Lauren’s a power pitcher. She throws everything real fast and has lots of different pitches that will work. Christine hits her spots and her corners well."
Marshall has just one senior on its roster, that being first baseman Samantha Sulser. Campbell said Sulser has good power at the plate and is a team leader.
"She has really great leadership qualities," said Campbell.
Other key position players for Marshall will be junior shortstop E.P. Stonehill and sophomore catcher Michelle Tilson.
Marshall will be competing at the Northern Virginia Spring Break Tournament, beginning this weekend at Hayfield High School. On Friday night at 5:45, the Statesmen will open up their season with a game at Falls Church High School.
Coach Campbell has heard about the highly talented field of teams across the Northern Region and in the Liberty District.
"I haven’t had a chance to see Northern Virginia softball," said Campbell, who only recently moved to the area from Pennsylvania. "I’ve heard of [teams like] Madison and Langley, but I’ve also heard that we can be competitive."