1995 All-Howard County Softball Team

June 02, 1995|By Katherine Dunn

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

* Kim May, Centennial, Sr., pitcher -- Against Howard County competition, May had the kind of senior season players dream about.

Her pitching was the main factor behind a 13-1 county record that sealed the county title. She also pitched a five-inning no-hitter in the regional semifinal before falling to Mount Hebron, the only team to beat the Eagles during the county season, in the regional championship.

Overall, she pitched four no-hitters, four one-hitters and two two-hitters. With great speed and good placement, May posted a 0.64 ERA, allowing only 14 earned runs in a 19-3 season. May set a school record for strikeouts in a season with 217 in 153 innings. She struck out 21 in an early-season 15-inning win over Mount Hebron.

"She just did an outstanding job of pitching consistently," said Centennial coach Dale Huting. "Even with 200 and some strikeouts, there were another 400 putouts total. She did a good job of targeting the ball, so the ones hit against her were fieldable balls."

A second-team pick last year, May also could provide some offense, hitting .320 with 14 RBIs and four doubles. Defensively, she had 48 assists, more than anyone else on the team, and she only made one error.

May will go to Maryland next year, but she does not plan to play softball.

COACH OF THE YEAR

* Chuck Struhar, Glenelg -- Early on, Struhar thought he would have a good team, but he never expected to end up second in Howard County after graduating seven starters from the 1994 county champions.

"I thought we would go gingerly through this and move slowly," said Struhar, who started three freshmen infielders and a sophomore pitcher.

He changed his mind after the Gladiators beat eventual state finalist North Carroll, 4-2, early in the season.

"The key was watching these kids develop in pressure situations like the first time we faced Atholton and Mount Hebron. We handled them easily and I thought this team could be pretty good," he said.

They were -- finishing 16-4 overall. As usual, Struhar drilled his players over and over on the basics. That paid off defensively with only 35 errors and offensively with 194 runs scored.

"I didn't expect a losing season, but everyone said wait until next year. Then, we came within one game of winning the county championship, within one run of winning the county championship. That's a feather in their cap, because they worked hard to get to that level," said Struhar, who was also Coach of the Year last year.

THE FIRST TEAM AT A GLANCE

* Terri Bickerton, Centennial, sr., infield -- The Eagles' lead-off batter led her team in runs scored (33), steals (19) and on-base percentage (.580). Bickerton also hit .430 with seven doubles and nine RBIs. Defensively, she made nine errors at second base to finish with an .850 fielding average. The first-team designated hitter last year, Bickerton will play for Catonsville Community College next year.

* Kim Brown, Glenelg, sr., outfield -- In center field, Brown did not make an error. She had 15 putouts and two assists. A repeat first-teamer and an All-Metro second-team pick last year, Brown batted .388 and led the Gladiators with 33 stolen bases, bettering last year's performance by four steals. She also had 13 RBIs. Next year, Brown will play at St. Mary's.

* Heather Cole, Mount Hebron, jr., outfield -- Cole could run down anything in center field and made just one error. With a strong arm, she had seven assists. She preserved a perfect game against Seneca Valley in the state semifinals with a tremendous running catch on a sinking fly ball behind second base. The Vikings' leadoff hitter, she batted .310 and had an on-base percentage of .406. Tough to catch on the base paths, she led the Vikings with 26 steals.

* Sarah Eberhart, Mount Hebron, jr., infield -- Eberhart hit .447 with six home runs, three triples and two doubles. With an .823 slugging percentage, she led the Vikings with 34 RBIs batting in the No. 3 position. At shortstop, Eberhart proved equally reliable with a .937 fielding average. A second-teamer last year, she batted .500 in the state tournament with three RBIs.

* Chrissy Gavin, Atholton, sr., infield -- A polished all-around player, Gavin was the biggest threat in the county once she got on base. She stole 41 bases this season alone and holds all of the school records for steals. A repeat first-teamer and second-team All-Metro pick last year, Gavin improved her extra-base hitting, smacking eight doubles and four triples. She batted .530 and scored 39 runs. At shortstop, she fielded .869 with seven errors although she did not make an error in the last 11 games. She is headed to Furman on scholarship.

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