1996 All-Carroll County softball team

June 05, 1996|By GLENN P. GRAHAM

Player of the Year

Jacie Mathias, Westminster: A big question going into the season for Westminster coach Scott Tobias was whether Mathias would be able to replace the graduated Beth Lister at third base. Next year, Tobias has a bigger question: Who will replace Mathias? After earning first-team all-county honors as a designated hitter last season, Mathias answered any questions about her defense with her steady glove at third and had a better year at the plate to lead the Owls (14-5) to the county championship. Batting fourth for the Owls, Mathias hit .386 on the season with 13 RBIs and 11 runs scored. Included in her 22 hits were four doubles and three triples and she also walked 10 times. The first-team All-Central Maryland Conference selection did a fine job at third with 36 assists and 21 putouts for an .864 fielding percentage and she was the team leader for the young Owls, who surpassed all expectations after winning only five games last season. Mathias will be playing at Western Maryland College next spring.

Coach of the Year

Scott Tobias, Westminster: Last season was an eye-opener for Tobias, who trudged through his first year as Owls coach with five wins. This season, it was Tobias and his Owls who were opening eyes, finishing the season 14-5 with a county championship, a second-place showing in the Central Maryland Conference and a solid playoff run. It was May 4 when the Owls went up against perennial power Thomas Johnson for the CMC crown in the second-to-last game of the regular season. Earlier in the week, the Owls had cruised past North Carroll, 12-1, to win their first county championship since 1993 with a 6-0 mark. They wouldn't come up with the same effort against Thomas Johnson, which went on to win its fourth straight CMC crown with a 6-0 win, but Tobias was still pleased to be in that situation. Solid defense, reliable pitching and an opportunistic offense carried the Owls throughout the season. After last season, Tobias learned he couldn't assume anything and had his team reviewing the fundamentals. By the start of the season, every player had a good understanding of what was expected from them. Sophomore pitcher Carli Harris was asked to throw strikes and the teammates around her made the plays. On offense, hitters moved over runners, who were always ready to take the extra base when given. After a 2-1 extra-inning win over Gaithersburg in their region opener, the Owls lost a tough 3-1 decision to Class 4A runner-up Watkins Mills in the region semifinals.

The first team

Brigit Becker, Liberty, Jr., infield: Steady is the best word to describe Becker's play the last two seasons and that's exactly what a coach looks for in a shortstop. After earning honorable mention status last season, she made the jump to the first team this season with her .319 batting average and .859 fielding percentage. Becker finished with 11 RBIs, scored seven times and stole 10 bases while showing a lot of range at short for the Lions.

Becky Bosley, North Carroll, Jr., catcher: In a season of fine catching in the county, Bosley clearly stood out. She finished the season with a .500 batting average, driving in 15 runs and scoring seven times, and that was only half of what Bosley brought to the field. Her play behind the plate was stellar, with few opponents even considering running on her after they reached base. She also did a fine job of handling North Carroll's two first-year pitchers.

Jocelyn Bredenburg, North Carroll, Sr., outfield: With the Panthers' two senior co-captains -- Kathleen Tunney and Christina Crouse -- out of the lineup late in the season, it was Bredenburg who picked up her game to provide the team with the necessary lift. She finished the season hitting .319 with nine RBIs and seven runs scored and played a solid outfield all season.

Jen Bromwell, North Carroll, Jr., infield: Hitting second, Bromwell did a good job getting on base to allow the middle of the Panthers' lineup to drive in runs. She finished hitting .310, scoring 20 runs and driving in eight more. She also did a fine job in her first varsity season at first base and had the versatility to fill in at second when Kathleen Tunney was out of the lineup.

Katie Curtin, Westminster, Jr., infield: Teams looking to pitch around the Owls' cleanup hitter, Jacie Mathias, often paid the price with Curtin hitting behind her in the lineup. Of her 16 hits, seven went for extra bases, including four triples and two homers. She finished the season hitting .271 with a .477 on-base percentage, scored 17 runs and drove in 11 more. In her play at shortstop she showed great range and a strong arm, finishing with 36 assists and 21 putouts.

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