Rich Pell has replaced Ashley Plaugher as the head softball coach at Millbrook, according to a news release from Frederick County Public Schools on Tuesday. Plaugher resigned after posting a 2-17 record in her one season as coach.

Pell — the father of Millbrook junior infielder/pitcher Sophie Pell — spent two years as the head softball coach at Loudoun County High School in 2003-04. Pell played baseball at Shepherd University from 1994-97 and spent two years playing minor league baseball. A 2003 inductee into Shepherd's Hall of Fame, Pell also served as an assistant baseball coach with the Rams.

"My passion to work with kids and teach them how to overcome obstacles keeps me coaching year after year," said Pell in the news release, who has also coached baseball, golf and boys' basketball at the high school level. "My coaching philosophy is that every player can improve, every moment is teachable, and every game is winnable. I’m looking forward to serving as the softball coach at Millbrook and working with the players and school community to create an atmosphere surrounding the softball team that the student body and others will be eager to support.”

Millbrook coordinator of student activities Scott Mankins said Pell's coaching background should help him.

"We would like to thank Coach Plaugher for the work she put in throughout the season and certainly wish her the best in the future," Mankins said in the release. "At the same time, I’m excited to welcome Coach Pell to the Millbrook family and our coaching staff. In addition to having a wide range of experience and knowledge, he has a good understanding of what it will take to build and improve the competitiveness of our softball program.”


Ten local players earn Region 4C honors

Five local players made the first team and five made the second team in the All-Region 4C selections that were released on Wednesday.

First-team selections are Handley junior forward Emma Ricci and freshman midfielder Julia Nerangis and James Wood senior forward Katie Padgett, senior defender Lauren Russell and sophomore goalkeeper Sadie Kerns.

Sherando had four selections on the second team — sophomore forward Kendall Lincoln, sophomore midfielder Julia Hunter, sophomore defender Lizzie Campbell and senior defender Sydney Hunter. James Wood senior midfielder Maddy Myers also made the second team. 


Romney 8, Winchester 1

WINCHESTER — Winchester Post 21 lost its season opener to Romney (W.Va.) Post 91 on Tuesday at R. Charles Hott Field. Romney scored four runs in the second, two in the sixth and one in the seventh to open up a 7-0 lead and finished with nine hits.

Leaders — Winchester: Frankie Ritter 2-2, RBI; Logan McGinnis 2-2; Eamon Juday 1-3, run; Tanner George 1-3. Romney: Zack Whitacre (complete game), 1 earned run, 6 hits, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts; Alex Hott 3-5, 4 RBIs, 2 doubles; Morgan Little 3-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs.


State championship time changed

A forecast of inclement weather has changed the start time for the Handley's match against Hanover on Saturday for the Class 4 title.

The Judges (21-0) and the Hawks will battle at 9 a.m., four hours earlier than originally scheduled, at Roanoke College's tennis courts in Salem.

Also affected by the forecast is Friday's individual doubles schedule. Handley's Nick Mueller and Jack Volinsky will take on defending state champions Frank Thompson and Ruhan Prasad at 9 a.m., with the final scheduled for 11 a.m.


SU assistant Diop takes head job at Averett

WINCHESTER — Shenandoah University head women's basketball coach Melissa Smeltzer-Kraft announced Wednesday that assistant coach Aby Diop has resigned to take the head coaching position at Averett University. 

Diop, the Hornets lead assistant for the past three years, helped Shenandoah to its first-ever ODAC championship this past season as SU, the tournament's eighth seed, upset top-seeded Guilford, No. 4 Randolph-Macon and No. 3 Washington and Lee on its way to the title.

Diop will take over an Averett team that went 18-9 and 13-3 in the USA South last year. She replaces Liz Hudy, who left to take the head job at Virginia Wesleyan. 

Smeltzer-Kraft said that she will immediately begin a national search to replace Diop with a goal of having her replacement on campus by Sept. 1. 

— Contact Robert Niedzwiecki at

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