1998 All-Metro softball teams

June 02, 1998|By Stan Rappaport

Player of the Year

Michelle Whelan, Glen Burnie, senior, pitcher: Whatever was necessary for the Gophers to reach their ultimate goal, Whelan ++ was there to do her best. It turned out to be a lot of this and a lot of that and by season's end, which for the Gophers meant the Class 4A state championship, Whelan had indeed done everything. On the mound, she finished 7-1 with a 1.09 ERA. At bat, she hit .387 as leadoff hitter, stole 15 bases in 15 tries, scored 20 runs and drove in nine more. She was an unselfish leader, and her team-first approach was contagious and vital in the championship run. When it counted most in the playoffs, Whelan was at her versatile best. In three of five playoff wins, Whelan, who will attend Anne Arundel Community College, scored the game's first run. In the other two, she drove in important runs -- two with a bases-loaded single in the last of the seventh to provide a 4-3 win over Chesapeake in the region opener and another in the 3-1 state final win over Roosevelt with a two-out bunt. In 13 postseason chances at either shortstop, center field or on the mound, Whelan was without error. She also won two playoff games, one a 4-0 shutout against county rival Severna Park in the region final.

Coach of the Year

Bob Broccolino, Glen Burnie: About a half-hour is all it took. His Gophers had just won the school's Class 4A state title, the awards were handed out and, shortly after, there was Broccolino, gladly shaving off the mustache he has had since 1971. "Remember this day, and remember the special group this is," he told his players afterward, dabbing for a mustache that was no longer there. Broccolino is quick to say he has been blessed with much talent that has come through the Glen Burnie system in his 12 years. But to go 181-52 without a losing season is a clear indication he's doing plenty right. That was particularly apparent this season, as his Gophers showed the confidence, poise and unity needed to claim the Class 4A state title, his second as coach and the school's third. The Gophers had every situation covered in a difficult road to the final, winning one close game after another, always able to get the big out or big hit. Their unselfish play was a direct reflection of Broccolino's leadership. "This was a dream season," said Broccolino. "When we won it in 1989, we were just so much better than most teams. This year was hard work and togetherness. We weren't as superior but always found a way to win."

The first team

Amanda Donaldson, Severna Park, junior, pitcher: A repeat first-team All-Metro performer, Donaldson was the tough luck thrower in pitching-rich Anne Arundel County this season. Despite a lack of offense most of the way, the Falcons were always in a game with this talented junior pitching. She went 11-7 on the season with a 0.48 ERA and struck out 138 batters in 117 innings. She was a catalyst offensively as well, hitting .433 with 19 RBIs, 18 runs and 12 hits for extra bases.

Kellie Evans, North County, junior, pitcher: er: The most dominant and complete player in Anne Arundel County for much of the season, Evans was able to carry the Knights during long stretches. A three-year starter and two-time team MVP, she hit .481 with 25 RBIs and 18 runs scored, finishing with eight extra base-hits and seven stolen bases. On the mound, Evans went 8-3 with an 0.89 ERA and struck out 68 in 71 innings.

Melanie Siler, C. Milton Wright, senior, pitcher: Everything expected of Siler from the day she arrived at C.M. Wright in 1995, she has delivered in impressive fashion. Siler was the driving force behind the Mustangs' first trip to the state tournament in 10 years, finishing with a 19-4 record, 133 strikeouts in 144 1/3 innings and a 1.21 ERA. She threw six shutouts and four two-hitters and held opponents to a .193 batting average. An All-Metro second team selection a year ago, Siler also set school records for career strikeouts (488), innings pitched (503 1/3 ) and fewest walks (115). Her 61 career wins tied a school record. At the plate, Siler batted .357 with 12 RBIs, five doubles and two home runs. "Her impact over four seasons has given us our reputation back," said coach Joe Dunch.

Stacy Smith, Northeast, junior, pitcher: Whenever Smith was on the mound for the No. 2 Eagles, success was guaranteed. From a pure pitching standpoint, Smith accomplished more than any other Anne Arundel thrower. She was 9-0 with an 0.43 ERA and won against North County's Kellie Evans, Glen Burnie's Michelle Whelan and Severna Park's Amanda Donaldson, all fellow first-teamers. She also came up with a big effort in the Eagles' region playoff opener, knocking off state power Northern-Calvert and their senior ace Candice Rice, 2-1.

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