Coach of the Year
Kelly Storr, Wilde Lake: "It was a fantastic way to go out," said Storr, who is stepping down after her fifth and most successful season. The Wildecats tied for fourth (12-6) in the county and were 15-8 overall, their first winning record since 1980. They advanced to the Class 2A South region final -- the school's first region final -- before losing to Lackey. When Storr began coaching softball at Wilde Lake, she had 10 players and no JV team. During that season, Wilde Lake had to forfeit three games because it didn't have enough players. This season she had to make cuts. Storr's teams improved every year. "Our expectations changed every year," said shortstop Mai Tran. "We wanted more." Storr made it a point this season to improve
offensively. "She concentrated more on batting -- a lot more," Tran said. "She told us to be more aggressive at the plate." Storr said the team gained confidence and approached games with a positive attitude, something they had lacked in past years. Added Tran about Storr: "She's a coach you could really love." Storr, who teaches at Harper's Choice Middle School, was named Coach of the Year in girls basketball in the 1994-95 season when her team won the Class 1A state title. She will continue to coach basketball.
Player of the Year
Stacey Swiney, Howard, sophomore, catcher: Swiney has it all. "She has the all-around game," said Howard coach Dave Vezzi. Swiney is as feared at the plate as she is behind it. She hits hard, throws hard and plays hard. "That's the only way she knows how," Vezzi said. "She's a very aggressive player. She plays all out." Swiney led the Lions in runs scored (28), hits (34), doubles (6), triples (3), home runs (4), RBIs (36), average (.531), slugging percentage (.906) and on-base percentage (.552). Possibly the county's best defensive catcher, very few try to run on her. And runners at first base can't nap, because she doesn't hesitate to pick them off. A first-team selection last year, Swiney understands the game and plays it with a passion. "She hasn't reached her peak yet," Vezzi said. "There's no doubt she can do better next year."
The first team
Marni Brown, Glenelg, senior, pitcher: A four-year varsity player and three-year starter, Brown went 16-6 with a 1.63 ERA. She finished with 142 strikeouts and allowed 81 hits and 33 walks. "She stepped up as the season went on," said Glenelg coach Dean Sheridan. "She gave up only three walks in the last 10 games." Brown, going to the University of Maryland-College Park, finished her career with 48 wins and 345 strikeouts. This season, she batted .406 and finished second on the team in doubles (7) and RBIs (26) and third in hits (26). She had a .641 slugging percentage.
Holly Gick, River Hill, junior, pitcher: Gick ended the season strong, finishing with a 13-7 record and 1.75 ERA. In 128 innings, she gave up 105 hits, struck out 138 and allowed 29 walks. Gick had four shutouts, including two against Centennial. She was effective at keeping the ball away from the middle of the plate and had an off-speed pitch "as good as anybody in the county," said River Hill coach Dave Vitagliano. Gick batted .400 and had a 26 hits, 12 RBIs and a team-high eight doubles.
Emily Hall, Centennial, senior, pitcher: "She led by example," said Centennial coach Dale Huting. And what an example Hall was. The Eagles' leadoff hitter, she led them in at-bats (85), runs scored (24), hits (43), stolen bases (22), average (.510) and on-base average (.570). Last year's county Player of the Year and a first-team All-Metro selection, Hall was 12-5 on the mound with a 2.49 ERA. In 121 innings, the left-hander allowed 69 hits, walked 23 and struck out 133. Hall transferred to Centennial before her junior year. "What we thought would be two rebuilding years turned out to be two successful years with a county championship and a second place. She helped make that possible," said Huting. Hall will attend Elon College in the fall.
Kelly O'Neill, Howard, sophomore, pitcher: er: She threw against the better teams this season, going 8-4 with a 2.17 ERA. In 87 innings, O'Neill gave up 68 hits, struck out 99 and walked 37. "Last year [on the JV], she just threw the ball hard," Howard coach Dave Vezzi said. "This year, she developed into a good pitcher." O'Neill threw the change-up with confidence and hit the corners with her fastball. "She had a good year and has the potential to be even better," said Vezzi. O'Neill batted .236.
Meghan Goetz, River Hill, junior, infielder: With good range and a strong arm, Goetz can make even difficult plays look routine. A smart player with a good feel for the game, Goetz batted .323 and led the team in home runs (2) and RBIs (21). She had four doubles and two triples and scored 14 runs.