All - Metro Softball

June 10, 2005|By Glenn P. Graham

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Kaila Jenkins

Severna Park, pitcher

Whether it was her overpowering rise ball on the mound or her dangerous bat at the plate, Jenkins constantly made a positive impact to lead the No. 3 Falcons to the Anne Arundel County championship and a 17-4 mark this season.

The standout junior, a first-team All-Metro selection each of her three years and a two-time Anne Arundel County Player of the Year, went 15-4 this season to give her a 48-9 career mark.

Jenkins posted a 0.36 ERA this spring with 229 strikeouts in 136 innings to raise her career strikeout total to 659.

Her timely work at the plate was just as impressive and vital in the Falcons' success, as she hit .552 with 33 RBIs and 20 runs. Jenkins enjoyed multi-hit performances in 11 games, had six game-winning RBIs and drove in two or more runs in nine games

"I've been talking about her now for three years and it's like `What new can I say?' " said Severna Park coach Jeff Shepherd. "You can see it in her eyes before a game - that she's absolutely ready to do her best. She works harder than anybody I've ever had in the program to be prepared, and she's a dominating presence."

Among Jenkins' season highlights were a 1-0 nine-inning win over Class 4A state champ North County in which she finished with 14 strikeouts, and a 3-for-3, four-RBI performance in a 5-1 win over Broadneck to avenge an upset loss to the Bruins.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Joe Dunch

C. Milton Wright

The roster was dominated by underclassmen and the entire infield was retooled, but the Mustangs bypassed a rebuilding season for an improbable trip to the Class 3A state championship game.

Dunch, who is 191-60 in 12 seasons, quickly found cohesion and convinced his group that they were never out of a game. Proof came often - the Mustangs (21-5) played in five extra-inning games, winning four of them - and it played a big part in the team's successful postseason.

He cited a late regular-season win over Cecil County's North East - 7-6 in eight innings - that best typified the team's resilient ways. After tying the game at two to send it to extra innings, North East scored four times in the top of the eighth inning before the Mustangs answered with five in the bottom.

"Having an opportunity to win those kind of games were confidence-builders for the team," Dunch said.

The Mustangs - with two freshmen, four sophomores, six juniors and one senior - were down to their final out against Mount Hebron in the state semifinals, but came back to win, 3-2, when freshman Allison Kuchar hit a run-scoring triple to tie the game and then came across with the game-winner.

Huntingtown, a first-year program from Calvert County, ended the Mustangs' run with a 6-1 win in the championship game.

FIRST TEAM

Julia Culotta

North Harford, outfield

The junior center fielder posted some of the best offensive numbers in the metro area, hitting for average and power in leading North Harford to a 14-8 mark.

In her second season of varsity competition, Culotta finished with a .561 batting average that featured 32 hits. Included were eight doubles, six homers and four triples. With 28 RBIs and 19 runs scored, she contributed to more than half of the team's 87 runs.

Extra-base hits often came in bunches for Culotta. In North Harford's biggest win of the season, a 5-3 upset over then-defending Class 3A state champ Fallston, she was 2-for-3 with a homer, double and three RBIs.

Amanda Fefel

Catonsville, pitcher

Overpowering best describes the junior pitcher's work on the mound, as she earned Baltimore County Player of the Year honors after leading the Comets to the county title.

In going 14-2, Fefel had a 0.47 ERA with eight shutouts, including a perfect game against Bel Air and a no-hitter against Perry Hall. She finished with 185 strikeouts in 103 innings.

Fefel was just as valuable at the plate with a .444 batting average, 23 RBIs and a .978 slugging percentage.

In the Baltimore County title game, Fefel tossed a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts in a 2-1 win over Western Tech.

Allison Kuchar

C.M. Wright, second base

The freshman second baseman burst onto the scene and saved her best for the biggest moments throughout the Mustangs' run to the Class 3A state final. Hitting leadoff, she collected 31 hits - including five doubles, four homers and one triple - walked 12 times, scored 21 runs and drove in 15.

In helping the Mustangs win the Class 3A North region, Kuchar went 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs in an 8-7 quarterfinal win over defending state champ Fallston, and then hit a two-run homer in a 2-1 win over Catonsville in the final. In the 3-2 state semifinal win over Mount Hebron, she tripled in the tying run with two outs in the seventh.

Brittany Lounge

Arch. Spalding, outfield

While posting quality offensive numbers and playing an impressive left field, the standout junior outfielder also brought an overwhelming desire to succeed, which helped lead the No. 2 Cavaliers to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference crown.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.