1996 All-Howard County softball team

June 05, 1996|By STAN RAPPAPORT

Player of the Year

Emily Hall, Centennial, junior, pitcher: Hall transferred from California before the school year started and was the key to 15th-ranked Centennial (15-4) successfully defending its county title. She finished with a 14-3 record (including a no-hitter against Hammond), had a 1.94 ERA and struck out 143 and walked 48 in 119 innings. A scrappy leadoff hitter, Hall batted .611, the second highest in school history (Jenny Todd hit .640 in 1982). She had 43 hits, including the team's only home run, and her on-base percentage was .630 (47 out of 75). Hall made Centennial a winner with her excellent all-around play and her competitiveness. Her smart and aggressive play showed an inexperienced and untested team how to win.

Coach of the Year

Dave Vezzi, Howard: Vezzi turned the Lions from 7-11 last year to 15-5 and Class 3A East region champions this season. Howard, which won only three games two years ago, reached the state semifinals for the first time, and finished No. 10 in the final poll. Vezzi is vocal, competitive and intense. A good motivator, Vezzi would "give us incredible talks before games," said senior third baseman Sara Nunnally. She added that Vezzi, in his 10th season, "knows when to put the pressure on us and how to put it on us." He often had one-on-one talks with his players, and developed a strong rapport with his team. "He's always been a little more than a coach," Nunnally said. "We also look to him as a friend."

The first team

Jennifer Anderson, Centennial, senior, designated hitter: Batted .470, with 22 hits, four doubles and a team-high three triples. Anderson, headed to Howard Community College, also played third base. She had several key hits, including a game-winning RBI double in her team's win over Atholton.

Marni Brown, Glenelg, junior, pitcher: Brown won 13 games for Glenelg (15-7) and batted .400. An excellent defensive pitcher, Brown walked 36, struck out 83 (in 115 innings) and finished with a 2.01 ERA. At the plate, she tied for the team lead with 22 RBIs, had three triples and eight doubles and walked a team-high 14 times.

Heather Cole, Mount Hebron, senior, outfielder: fielder: Cole worked hard to become one of the county's best defensive outfielders. A center fielder, Cole batted .350, had 21 hits, 19 RBIs (as the leadoff hitter), two homers, four doubles and scored 23 runs. Cole has an excellent arm, and earned a softball scholarship to UMBC.

Sarah Eberhart, Mount Hebron, senior, infielder: Like her good friend and teammate, Heather Cole, Eberhart also received a softball scholarship from UMBC. Eberhart batted .508, with 31 hits, 24 runs, 25 RBIs, six triples, three home runs and a .852 slugging percentage. A superb shortstop with good range and a strong arm, she led the team with 55 assists.

Holly Gick, Atholton, sophomore, pitcher: Gick finished 11-7 with an ERA of 1.53, the lowest ever at Atholton. She also set the school record for shutouts in a season with four. She walked 25 batters and struck out 110 in 119 innings. At the plate, Gick batted .328 and had 12 RBIs.

Pam Goldberg, Glenelg, sophomore, infielder: fielder: She led the team in batting (.463), hits (37) and runs (28), and had 15 RBIs. She also stole 15 bases. A shortstop, Goldberg has very good range and one of the best arms in the county.

Kristin Hooker, Glenelg, sophomore, infielder: fielder: A first baseman, Hooker handled 162 chances and made only two errors. She batted .452, and had 33 hits, including 10 doubles, one shy of the school record. She tied for the team lead with 22 RBIs and scored 25 runs. Hooker will play next season at River Hill.

Kathy Kiersarsky, Mount Hebron, junior, catcher: Did an excellent job working with Mount Hebron's inexperienced pitchers. She batted .444, scored 20 runs and had 22 RBIs, four triples and a .629 slugging percentage.

Eileen McQueeney, Atholton, senior, infielder: fielder: McQueeney batted .467 and led the team with 18 RBIs, six doubles and four triples. A first baseman, McQueeney often made difficult catches look routine. She will attend the University of Maryland in the fall.

Sara Nunnally, Howard, senior, infielder: Came to Howard last year and began as a shortstop before moving to third. Has good range, a strong arm and quick reflexes. Her batting average (.393) and hits (25) were second best on the team. She also had a team-high two homers. The fastest player on the team, Nunnally, who will play soccer and softball at Catonsville Community College, also scored 23 runs and had 13 RBIs.

Mandy Robins, Atholton, senior, outfielder: er: Robins, who DH'd for most of her sophomore and junior seasons, led the team with a .509 batting average, only the second time an Atholton player has hit .500 or better. She led the team with 20 runs, and had 29 hits and walked 12 times. She struck out three times in 70 at-bats. Robins played right field and threw out three runners at first. Robins earned a soccer scholarship to UMBC.

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