PLAYER OF THE YEAR
* Kristan Ehrman, IND, senior, infielder -- It makes perfect sense that Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken is one of Ehrman's idols. Like Ripken, Ehrman is described by coaches as a cerebral player with terrific instincts and a strong work ethic. Also, like her idol, she is not considered to have outstanding range at shortstop, but she always seems to be positioned perfectly and rarely makes an error. Moreover, Ehrman is a quiet leader who has earned the respect of her peers. And she played in every inning of every game during her four-year career. "The ability is there. There's no question about it," IND coach Sandy Altadonna said. "But just her presence made a big difference because the girls respect her so much and they have so much faith in her ability and leadership." This season, Ehrman (who batted fourth) hit .435 with six home runs and she led the metro area with 36 RBIs. She had an .812 slugging percentage and three triples and scored 24 runs. Ehrman helped IND win a share of the Catholic League regular-season title and advance to the Catholic League Tournament championship game for the seventh consecutive season. She completed her career with a .430 average, 12 home runs, 15 triples and 100 RBIs, and led the Indians in average, home runs and RBIs each of the past three seasons. Ehrman, who carries a 3.9 grade-point average, will attend Notre Dame next fall, where she hopes to make the Fighting Irish softball team as a walk-on.
COACH OF THE YEAR
* Elaine Lindsay, Dulaney -- Even though the Lions had lost pitcher Julie Green, The Baltimore Sun's 1994 Baltimore City/County Player of the Year, to graduation, Lindsay believed her team could repeat as county champions. Without an overpowering pitcher, however, the ever-optimistic Lindsay knew winning another title would not be easy. But she alternated three pitchers (senior Laura Ausy, junior Leeann Huber and sophomore Kim Curran) and stressed defense and aggressive hitting to lead the Lions to a 13-4 record and their second straight county championship (3A-4A champion Dulaney beat 1A-2A champion Towson, 3-2, in 10 innings in the title game). "All three pitchers were competent, although none were the caliber of Green," Lindsay said. "So we had to play really good defense and make sure we scored enough runs. Normally, I start every game telling the players to take at least one strike, but this year I told them to just start moving the bat right away." It took a while for Dulaney to make the adjustment. The Lions split their first four games and were 4-3 before winning nine of their last 10. The one setback in that 10-game stretch (a one-run loss to Dundalk ace Katie Marsheck) cost Dulaney a berth in the state playoffs. "It was still one of my most gratifying seasons," said Lindsay, who has spent 25 years at Dulaney. "Not a whole lot was expected of us, but we took things one step at a time and made tremendous strides."
THE FIRST TEAM AT A GLANCE
* Brandi Anselmi, Eastern Tech, senior, outfielder -- During her first three years at Eastern Tech, Anselmi was known more for her outstanding defense than her batting. That changed this season. Anselmi continued to be a standout in center field, but she also became one of the area's most productive hitters. She led the surprising Mavericks -- who went 15-4 and advanced to the state semifinals after an 8-8 finish last season -- in batting (.476), doubles (eight), home runs (seven) and RBIs (31). Anselmi also had three triples, a .600 on-base percentage and 33 stolen bases.
* Kim Aviles, Western, senior, catcher -- Aviles capped a brilliant four-year career at Western with her best season. She was among the area's leaders in batting (.596), doubles (eight) and RBIs (33). Aviles also had two triples and two home runs and was above-average defensively. Apart from her impressive statistics, Aviles provided leadership on a team laden with underclassmen, and for the second straight season she helped an inexperienced pitcher develop into a solid performer. Aviles will play at Susquehanna next season.
* Katherine Bevans, Towson, senior, utility -- Bevans' versatility helped to lead the Generals to the Baltimore County 1A-2A Division championship. As a pitcher, she went 9-2 with a 1.76 ERA, allowing 43 hits and striking out 111 in 71 2/3 innings. Bevans, who pitched against all of Towson's toughest opponents, split two decisions against Owings Mills standout Alison Kleiner. She also played shortstop, committing just one error in 32 chances. Bevans batted .322 with a .417 on-base percentage.