The softball highlight film finally has ended for Mount Hebron High School's Dawn Thomas, and what a movie it has been.
Thomas burst onto the high school scene as a power-hitting freshman. The hits neverstopped coming.
This year, Thomas decided to try pitching. All she did was toss three no-hitters and give the Vikings stability at their most questionable position.
Combining her prowess at the plate and on the mound, Thomas -- The Howard County Sun's Player of the Year -- led Hebron to a 14-6 season, its best spring since 1988.
The Vikings finishedin a second-place tie in the county standings before winning a regional championship and heading to the Class 2A state tournament. The Vikings lost in the semifinals to Damascus (Montgomery County), but that disappointment couldn't dim the accomplishments of Thomas.
"Dawnis probably working on her master's degree in softball," said Hebroncoach Harry Reese.
Thomas, an imposing, right-handed hitter, certainly mastered high school pitching. In her final regular season, shehit .475 with a team-high four home runs, a team-high 29 RBI and an incredible .803 slugging average. She also scored 23 runs.
Fourteen of her 29 hits went for extra bases. In addition to her homers, oneof which was a booming, two-run, seventh-inning shot that beat Glenelg 5-4 last month -- several coaches still talk about it -- Thomas belted nine doubles and a triple.
She racked up eight multiple-hit games in the regular season while going hitless in only two of 17. Shehit for the cycle in He
bron's 23-4 victory over Oakland Mills.
Thomas didn't show nearly as much pitching polish, but she still gave Hebron an excellent season. In 110 regular-season innings, she gave up 67 hits, walked 57, struck out 135 and had an ERA of 1.69. Her control improved steadily as the season progressed.
Thomas, who is headed to Catonsville Community College, wound up her four-year Hebron career with 106 RBI.
"If I was starting a team, she would be my first pick," said Howard High coach Dave Vezzi. "No doubt about it."