She is the only lefty on this year's varsity softball team. The 18-year-old senior outfielder has a strong accurate arm and can run under most pop flies hit her way. She is sure-handed and has a quick release that has resulted in several putouts at first when a ball gets through the infield and the batter doesn't hustle down the line.

Coach Brett Miller has moved her up the No. 2 position in the batting order where she has banged out some key hits and laid down some effective sacrifice bunts. This week's Sun Ledger Female Athlete of the Week is Ali Marano. Ali is the daughter of Daniel and Susan Marano and resides in Colerain Township, near Kirkwood. She has a brother, Ben, 27, and a sister, Rachel, 20.

Name some of your other hobbies. "I like to go to the beach, paint, ride horses, and just staying active."

What is it about softball that appeals to you? "Softball is a sport I grew up playing, so everything is appealing about it. I like the support the team members give to one another, and mostly love the competition, because I'm very competitive."

Is softball your favorite sport? "Yes"

If you could have dinner with any one living or dead, who would it be and what would you discuss? "Ace Young from American Idol. He would discuss our future marriage plans... Just kidding, but not really."

Who has influenced you most in life and why? "My parents. They are great role models and I find myself more and more like them each day."

Is there a particular teacher (coach) who has influenced you most and why? "Mr. Miller, my high school softball coach, because I learned from him not to show emotion when I make an error, but only correct it the next time. He also taught me that I have to work hard and prove myself to earn something."

What do you hope to accomplish after Solanco? "I plan to attend James Madison University and someday pursue a career in dentistry."

Our congratulations to Ali Marano this week's Sun Ledger Female Athlete of the Week.

This 16-year-old sophomore has excelled in every sport he's undertaken. An outstanding elementary soccer player, he applied those skills and talent to football with the same degree of success. This year he is one of the top sprinters in the Lancaster-Lebanon League. This week's Sun Ledger Male Athlete of the Week is Mike Brooks. Mike is the son of Shannon Warfel and Michael Brooks, Sr. and resides in Fulton Township. He has a brother, Brandon, 14, and two sisters, Brittany, 18 and Brooke, 2.

Besides track what other hobbies do you enjoy? "I love to play football, basketball, hang out with my friends and spend time with my girlfriend."

You're also a decent football player. Is that one of your favorite sports? "Yes. Football is my favorite sport and during football season it becomes my life."

Do you have a favorite football team or player? "LaDamian Tomlinson, running back for the San Diego Chargers."

If you could have dinner with any one living or deceased who would it be and what would you discuss? "Emmitt Smith (former Dallas Cowboy running back). We'd talk about what he went through to become the NFL's all-time leading rusher."

Who has influenced you most in life? "My mom and dad for showing me that hard work never hurts anyone."

Is there a teacher who has had a positive influence on you? "Yes. Mr. Gladfelter. He has always believed in me and pushed me to do more when he knew I could even though I wasn't so sure myself."

What do hope to accomplish after Solanco? "I want to play college football."

Our congratulations to Mike Brooks this week's Sun Ledger Male Athlete of the Week.

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