Player of the Year
Katie Zitnay, Atholton: A junior pitcher, Zitnay earns this award for the second time in three seasons. She is the main reason the Raiders have won three straight county titles and reached the Class 2A state championship game the past two seasons. Zitnay finished the season 22-2 and recorded 12 shutouts and four one-hitters. In 146 innings, the right-hander allowed 81 hits, seven earned runs, walked 15, struck out 117 and finished with a ERA of 0.34. "She's the best pitcher in the county," said Atholton coach John Zitko. Zitnay is not overpowering, but her control, location and attitude make her hard to beat. "She has an unbelievable drive to win," Zitko said. Zitnay also benefits from "a really special bond," said Zitko, with senior catcher Sarah Costa, who calls the pitches. Zitnay was as effective at the plate, where she led the Raiders in almost every category -- hits (42), doubles (13), home runs (five), RBIs (43), batting average (.494), on-base average (.533) and slugging percentage (.847). An eye injury kept her from playing in the state final against North Caroline.
Coach of the Year
Scott Farrow: In his third year as coach -- and after back-to-back one-win seasons -- Farrow directed Hammond to a 9-14 record and its most victories since the 1989 season. Farrow, a 1990 Hammond graduate who played football and baseball, and wrestled, said this year's team had the athletes and talent to be competitive. It was a matter of getting the players to believe it, and slowly but surely, they did. Hammond had three victories in its last at-bat, including a 6-5 win over Glenelg, a team it hadn't beaten since 1993. The Golden Bears ended the regular season with an 8-2 victory over three-time county champion Atholton, and defeated top-seeded Gwynn Park in the second round of the playoffs. "The girls have really worked hard," said Farrow, who said the addition of freshman starters Lauren Record and Whitney Schrader along with the pitching of Cara Prather made a big impact. "They all got along and just wanted to play hard," he said. The Golden Bears lose only two starters -- catcher Laura Erdman and center fielder Abby Keller -- and Farrow is hoping the program continues to improve next season. For the first time, some of his players will play in summer leagues. "We had a great season and some fun times," Farrow said. "I am looking for bigger things next season." First team
Laura Angle, Centennial: A four-year varsity player and a repeat first-team selection, Angle led the Eagles in hits (25), RBIs (12), triples (two), stolen bases (13), batting average (.400) and on-base percentage (.510). She played left field for two seasons before moving to center this year. Angle, who was a first-team All-County field hockey player, will play softball next season at the University of Maryland.
Aubrey Barrett, Atholton: A junior, Barrett moved from right field to center this season and used her excellent speed and experience to lead a young outfield that includes her freshman sister, Chelsey, in right field. Barrett led the Raiders in steals (14), and had 29 runs, 29 hits, three triples, one double and nine RBIs. She batted .326.
Sarah Costa, Atholton: A three-time first-team selection, Costa is an outstanding defensive catcher with an arm that few teams challenged. The only senior on the Raiders, Costa again this season called the pitches for Katie Zitnay. "She's developed a real skill for reading the batters and calling the correct pitches," Zitko said. Costa batted .325 and had 25 hits, 23 runs, 29 RBIs, three doubles, four triples and three home runs. A three-sport athlete and inspirational leader, Costa will play softball next season at Shippensburg University.
Danielle Devereux, Glenelg: A sophomore center fielder, Devereux "has great speed and, at the crack of the bat, she knows where the ball is going," said Glenelg coach Dean Sheridan. Devereux, who threw two runners out at the plate in the playoffs, finished with a .411 batting average. She had 30 hits, one double, scored 18 runs and was second on the team with 18 stolen bases.
Tee Dronenburg, Howard: A junior third baseman, Dronenburg was the only player on her team hitting over .300. She led Howard in hits (22), doubles (six), RBIs (nine), batting average (.373), on-base percentage (.453) and slugging percentage (.525). "She was one of the best hitters in the county," said Howard coach Dave Vezzi. Dronenburg was solid in the field and consistently played at a high level.
Crystal Griner, Mount Hebron: A junior center fielder, Griner led the Vikings in batting average (.400), on-base percentage (.516), slugging percentage (.520) and walks (12). She also was second on the team in runs (18), hits (20) and doubles (four). Griner started the season at first base, but volunteered to move to center field early on when the Vikings needed help in the outfield. "She kept us in a lot of games," Mount Hebron coach Don Cook said.