Softball Notebook: Retrievers Complete Recruiting Class, Announce Fall Clinic

Head coach Joe French
Head coach Joe French

BALTIMORE—UMBC softball coach Joe French announced today that three more players have committed to join the Retrievers this fall.


Taylor Hall is a four-time all-state catcher from Richmond, Va.She was the 2011 Dominion District and Central Region Player of the Year after batting .635 with 13 RBIs and 30 runs scored at Cosby High School. Of her 33 hits, 20 were for extra bases, including 12 doubles and five home runs. She also walked 21 times and struck out just once. Hall led Cosby to the 2011 Dominion District title, going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.


"Taylor is a terrific power hitter and a true conventional catcher," French said. "She strengthens our team right away and will be an impact player in the America East. She is an outstanding leader behind the plate and comes to play every game. Taylor will provide another big bat in our lineup."


Miranda Clark is an All-State pitcher from H.B. Plant High School in Tampa, Fla. She led the Panthers to a district title with a 1.81 ERA, 145 strikeouts and an 11-5 record, and she also batted .310 at the plate. Clark played travel ball for the Clearwater Bombers.


"Miranda is a top-level pitcher with wicked movement, good speed and an array of pitches," French said. "She will enhance our pitching staff right away and contribute quality innings as a freshman."


Mary Hartman is a versatile utility player from Eldersburg, Md., who can play middle infield and the outfield and can also pitch. Hartman was a three-time all-conference and two-time all-county selection at Century High School, where she is the all-time hits, runs and RBI leader. In addition, Hartman played travel ball for Riveria Beach Spirit Gold.


"Mary runs the bases extremely well," French said. "She is a line drive hitter with good hands and a very solid glove."


Hall, Clark and Hartman join newcomers Kaila BalatgekEmily ForstKayla Margentino,Courtney Paone and Courtney Reinfeld, who committed to UMBC in the fall.


"These three young ladies combined with the five players we signed in the fall give us our strongest recruiting class in years," French said. "We wanted to replace our graduating seniors with a big talented class, and we feel we did this. On top of that, we feel the best part of this class is all eight of these players wanted to be UMBC Retrievers. We feel that we brought in eight quality student-athletes who will help lead us to a future America East Conference championship."


2011 Fall and Winter Clinics: French and the Retrievers will run three clinics this fall and winter for girls ages 7-18. The outdoor clinics will be held Sunday, Sept. 18, and Sunday, Oct. 16, at UMBC Softball Stadium from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., while the indoor clinic will be Saturday, Feb. 11, at the RAC from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Sessions will cover hitting, fielding, throwing and pitching, and the outdoor clinics will also include afternoon scrimmages. The cost of one clinic is $55, but multi-clinic discounts are available. Group rates are available for five or more campers who sign up together. For more information, contact Coach French at 410-455-1325 or, or assistant coach Jill Dorsch at 410-455-5556


Click here to download the application form.


UMBC Scholastic Classic: French and the Retrievers will also host the Third Annual UMBC Scholastic Classic Oct. 22-23 at UMBC Softball Stadium. The entry fee is $300 per team, plus $25 per game for umpires. Due to limited space, the showcase will accommodate the first 10 teams that register. Each team will play four six-inning or 60-minute games, with each batter starting with a 1-1 count. The tournament is open to all 16U and 18U travel ball teams. Local collegiate coaches will be invited. For more information, contact Coach French at 410-455-1325 or, or Coach Dorsch at 410-455-5556 or


Click here to download the application form.


Pronobis Among National Leaders: Senior center fielder Lynn Pronobis (Waldorf,Md./McDonough) ranked 18th in the final NCAA statistics with 0.6 stolen bases per game. Pronobis led the America East with 30 steals, tied for the seventh-most ever by a Retriever and the most since Kali Shirk stole 41 bases in 2006. Pronobis finished her career ranked seventh all-time at UMBC with 49 career steals.


In addition, senior left fielder Julia Culotta (Street, Md./North Harford/Tennessee) finished the season ranked 41st in the nation with a .506 on-base percentage, the fourth-best ever by a Retriever. Culotta reached base in 42 out of 50 games on the season, collecting 53 hits and 32 walks – the third-highest single-season total in UMBC history. An all-conference second-team selection, Culotta, who is now an assistant coach for the Retrievers, ranked second in the America East in walks and fourth in on-base percentage.

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