1996 All-Metro softball teams

June 07, 1996|By Bill Free

Player of the Year

Crystal Henderson, Spalding, senior, shortstop: No one who has followed softball in the Baltimore metro area the past three seasons is surprised to see Henderson being cel ebrated as the top player in the area. She has been a first-team All-Metro selection the past two years and went out in a blaze of glory in her senior season, hitting .627 from the leadoff position, driving in 34 runs, slamming seven home runs, seven doubles and five triples and stealing 20 bases. Those numbers helped lead Spalding (24-2) to a third straight No. 1 ranking in the final Baltimore Sun metro softball poll. A slick-fielding shortstop with power and speed, Henderson has patterned her game after her two favorite major-league players, Cal Ripken and Ricky Henderson. Her happiest moment this season came in a 10-1 victory over Northeast when she completed hitting for the cycle for the first time in her high school career with a grand slam. She also slammed a 200-foot homer over the left-field fence in a 5-2 victory over Conwell (Pa.) Egan in the Chambersburg tournament. With her power numbers up, Henderson didn't get a chance to steal bases as much as last season (32 steals) but she still often put opponents in a hole in the first inning by leading off with a bunt single, stealing second and moving to third on a Kathleen O'Hara bunt. She has received a full softball scholarship to the University of North Carolina.

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