Marvin Ridge

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Marvin Ridge
Conference: Southern Carolina Conference
Coach: Jeff Stovall
2016 Record: 21-6, lost in third round at Class 3A State Softball Championships
Between the Lines: Stovall is in his third year and the Mavericks were 7-3 in conference play last season. … Freshmen and sophomores comprise the Mavericks starting infield. .. Marvin Ridge is 4-2 after a 9-1 victory over South Mecklenburg on March 9. …

Marvin Ridge may be one of the youngest teams in the area but the Mavericks are not playing like it as they are off to a solid start to the season.

Marvin Ridge head coach Jeff Stovall is in his third season at the school.
[/media-credit] Marvin Ridge head coach Jeff Stovall is in his third season at the school.

Marvin Ridge only has one senior in the infield and the Mavericks only other two seniors start in the outfield.
“We are young,” Stovall said. “Even though we are young, we are strong defensively.”

Sophomore Gabby Baylog is the Mavericks top pitcher after seeing time in the circle as a freshman. Baylog has already committed to Coastal Carolina. Senior Madison Kopitsch (5-foot-4) is behind the plate. Madeleine Walker will also see time in the circle.

“Gabby is going to get most of the mound time,” Stovall said. “”Kopitsch is a tiny little thing but she holds her own back there. I’m looking for Madeleine to fill some good innings for us. Madeleine is already getting some college looks as a pitcher.”

Freshman Ally Bigham is at shortstop and the 5-foot-6 infielder has already committed to Charlotte. Classmate Abbey Pierotti is at third base.
Sophomores Kelly Dobos and Jessica Davis are at second and first base, respectively. “We are strong in the infield,” Stovall said.
Nicole Peiczarka anchors the outfield in left field after hitting .512 as a sophomore. Senior Celina Lombardo is in centerfield while classmate Emma Hennessey is in right field.

“Nicole can run like the wind,” Stovall said. “Celina is back healthy and she is hitting the ball so well.”

Hennessey logged limited time last season as a junior but the 5-foot-4 senior has impressed Stovall.

“She has come in and earned a spot,” Stovall said. “Marvin Ridge is off to a hot start at the plate as the Mavericks are averaging eight runs a game and their two losses are by one and two runs, respectively. “We are hitting the ball like crazy right now, Stovall said. “I’m impressed with the young group that we have. Davis is hitting lights out right now with four home runs. Gabby can hit. Gabby is a good all-around player and she is only going to get better.”

Marvin Ridge opens conference play March 21 at Anson and Stovall said the league race will be competitive.

“This is alway a strong conference,” Stovall said. “I think our biggest challenge is going to be Cuthbertson. They are strong. They have some good pitchers. It’s going to be a battle all the way to the end.”

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at