All-Metro softball team

June 05, 2000|By Glenn P. Graham

Player of the Year

Jessica Saunders, Spalding

Saunders made quite a splash when she went 7-2 with a 0.10 ERA last season as a freshman. This spring, she went off the charts. The sophomore right-hander picked up where she left off last season, leading the top-ranked Cavaliers to the inaugural Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference crown and a perfect 27-0 mark. Pitching one gem after another, Saunders saved her best for last with an 11-inning, one-hit shutout in a 1-0 win over Pallotti that gave the Cavaliers the Maryland Independent Schools' state championship. Mostly relying on the fastball and always able to find the corners, Saunders finished the season 17-0 with a stingy 0.27 ERA, allowing just 41 hits and five earned runs in 131 innings. Overpowering? Saunders struck out 200. "Jessica matured a great deal this season," said Spalding coach Linda Taylor. "No. 1, she has a lot of confidence in herself and, No. 2, she also has a lot of confidence in the people behind her. That really put her at ease." Much like her 2-0 shutout win in last season's Catholic League final against Seton Keough, Saunders tossed a one-hit, 3-0 shutout against Mount de Sales in the IAAM A tournament championship game, taking a perfect-game bid into the last inning.One of Saunders' biggest all-around efforts came in the championship game at the Chambersburg (Pa.) Tournament, which Spalding won for the first time in five tries. Against Chambersburg, she tossed a complete game two-hit shutout and also went 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs in a 3-0 win that ended a three-year winning streak for the host team.

Christina Bounelis,

Glen Burnie

The versatile junior was the No. 3-ranked Gophers' fill-in-the-blanks player. Primarily their third baseman, Bounelis also played behind the plate as well as in the outfield, providing reliable defense at each position along with lineup options. There was no question where Bounelis hit in the batting order -- third -- and she constantly hit the ball hard. Bounelis batted .424 for the season with 15 runs, 14 RBIs and seven doubles in her second full varsity season. Also a strong leader, she was always able to pick up teammates after a tough loss to get them ready for the next time out. It's the second straight strong offensive season for Bounelis, who hit .558 as a sophomore last spring.

Brittany Boyd,

North County

Every state championship team needs a pitcher it can rally behind. For the 4A state champion Knights, Boyd was the one. The hard-throwing sophomore won her last nine decisions -- capped by the No. 2 Knights 12-0 victory over Roosevelt in the final -- to finish the season 13-2 with a 0.85 ERA. Boyd matured on the mound in her second season on varsity, working the corners and mixing her pitches, while still relying on her fastball to register 135 strikeouts in 99 innings. Boyd also was equally imposing at the plate, hitting .284 with 17 RBIs and 11 runs scored.

Heather Frye,

North County

One of the key additions that proved vital in the Knights' state championship run, Frye played more like a senior than a sophomore newcomer. One clutch at-bat really says it all -- a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh to tie the score in the Knights' 2-1 state semifinal victory over Springbrook. But the sophomore brought one of the area's purest swings to the plate all season, hitting .442 with 12 RBIs and 17 runs scored in her first varsity season. Frye played every outfield position, first base and third, also going 5-0 on the mound with a 1.24 ERA.

Rachel Herrick,

Northeast

After excelling in a limited role on the mound last year as a sophomore, Herrick became the ace for the No. 4 Eagles and responded well, going 11-5 with a 0.89 ERA. With a good mix of pitches that were always around the plate, she finished with 86 strikeouts in 110 innings worked. She tossed seven shutouts, including regular-season two-hitters against state champ North County and No. 3 Glen Burnie. In the region opener against Douglass, she threw a no-hitter in a 9-0 victory. At the plate, Herrick hit .362 with 13 runs scored and, defensively on the mound, she had no errors in 131 chances.

Megan Hube,

C. Milton Wright

While the Mustangs standout catcher was having her photo taken for the All-Metro team on Memorial Day, the school she will attend next year on a full softball scholarship, Oklahoma, was in the midst of capturing their first-ever NCAA Division I championship. With hard work and dedication, Hube posted staggering numbers to help lead the Mustangs to their 18-1 season. She hit .509 for the year, driving in 15 runs with 11 extra-base hits that helped produce an impressive .807 slugging percentage. Defensively, few base runners considered stealing on Hube, who picked off two runners from second base.

Linda Parks,

North County

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