North

Base hits

BASE HITS

MacInnis’s Top 10

girls’ softball programs

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(Listed with final 2011 record)

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1. Chelmsford (21-2): With 11 seniors, the Lions have some experienced hitters in the lineup, and Meghan Rich and Kaela DeAngelis are a dominating 1-2 punch in the circle.

2. Central Catholic (18-4): Freshman slinger Olivia Antczak has been a force, whether she starts the game or comes on in relief.

3. Burlington (23-3): The defending Division 2 North champions have a star in senior shortstop Christina Raso.

4. Reading (20-4): With the departure of standout Meg Kelly to the University of Rhode Island, the Rockets will lean on their steady senior class.

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5. Malden (15-6): The Golden Tornadoes are eyeing a deep tourney run behind the arm of senior pitcher Kiara Amos.

6. St. Mary’s of Lynn (22-3): The Spartans feature a big bat in Kaleigh Finigan, a transfer from Austin Prep who also made her mark on the ice last winter.

7. North Reading (14-9): The Hornets surprised many with their run to the Division 2 North semifinals as an 11-seed.

8. Tewksbury (17-7): Sheri Liggiero leads off for a talented Redmen squad that lost to Reading in the Division 2 North tourney, 9-6.

9. Lynn Classical (21-3): The Northeast Conference champs have a talented receiver in senior Chelsey Bartlett, who is headed to Franklin Pierce.

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10. Dracut (15-6): The Middies welcome five promising freshmen into the lineup.

Players to watch

Kiara Amos, Malden: With 500-plus strikeouts in her career, the Providence recruit returns after bringing the heat with an 18-4, 216-strikeout campaign as a junior.

Kaleigh Finigan, St. Mary’s of Lynn: The junior catcher will be an x-factor for the Spartans after hitting over .500 with six homers and 45 RBIs for Austin Prep over the last two years.

Sheri Liggiero, Tewksbury: The senior captain/center fielder hit .888 in the postseason last spring, including an inside-the-park homer.

Christina Raso, Burlington: The senior shortstop belted a home run and knocked in two runs in the Red Devils’ opener.

Meghan Rich, Chelmsford: Known for her craftiness on the mound, the senior captain allowed two runs in the Lions’ first three games, fanning 11.

Compiled by Ryan MacInnis