Varsity Spring All-metro

Softball

June 06, 2007

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Lauren Gibson

Chesapeake-AA

The sophomore standout combined poise and determination with a consistently high level of play to carry the No. 1 Cougars through the challenging Class 4A East region and on to the state championship. While her no-hitter in a 2-0 win over Damascus in the title game was the highlight, some of her work leading up to that point played big in the Cougars' getting there. Gibson hit a two-run homer to bring the Cougars back from a 3-0 deficit against North County in a 5-3 win in the regional semifinals. She avenged two losses to Broadneck in earning a 2-1 win that clinched the East region. In making a 3-2 lead against Sherwood stand for a spot in the state championship game, she worked her way out of a sixth-inning jam with a key strikeout and then struck out the side in the seventh to cap the win. Motivated by last year's state championship runner-up finish, Gibson was not to be denied. "Last year left a bad taste in her mouth. She didn't feel we got it done as a team. This year, she came in and said, `We're going to do it and nobody is stopping us.' She really put us on her back when needed," Chesapeake coach Don Ellenberger said. For the season, the repeat first-team All-Metro selection went 18-3 with an 0.51 ERA. Batting third, she hit a team-high .471 with 24 RBIs and 24 runs.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Seton Keough

After his Gators fell short to Archbishop Spalding in last year's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference title game, Bowyer knew he had plenty of experienced talent returning to take the next step this spring. The key? "It was really getting them to believe in each other and that it could really happen," the second-year coach said. Playing sound fundamental softball with consistently fine pitching from senior Carly Martin and putting together a big inning here and there, the No. 2 Gators (15-3) came away with the program's second conference title in four years. They defeated John Carroll, 2-0, in the championship game. Bowyer, who first came to the program as an assistant in 2001, said the biggest hurdle was getting past a Spalding team that proved to be a nemesis in recent years. The Gators did just that with two decisive 3-0 wins during the regular season as part of a 13-game winning streak.

Brittany Falls

Dulaney

In her second season as a starter, Falls made a major impact at the plate and at first base to help the No. 14 Lions win the Baltimore County championship.

Batting fifth in the lineup, Falls hit .411 with 23 RBIs, 19 runs and six doubles. The senior had four hits in early-season wins against Hereford and Catonsville, and went 2-for-2 with four RBIs in a win against Perry Hall.

Falls, who was given the team's Unsung Hero Award, committed only one error at first base and her long stretch and knack for digging throws out of the dirt saved runs.

Mary Beth Herrick

Archbishop Spalding

Resourceful at the plate and sure-handed at second base, Herrick had a fine all-around senior season to help the No. 4 Cavaliers to a 15-5 mark.

Herrick batted a team-high .426 with seven RBIs and nine runs. She had a flawless season defensively, finishing with 32 putouts and 25 assists without an error.

A four-year starter for the Cavaliers, Herrick will play at Towson University next year.

Nicole Lowenstein

John Carroll

In a season loaded with talented catchers throughout the area, Lowenstein brought a complete package to top the list. The junior teamed with pitcher Angela DiBeneditto to make up one of the best batteries, leading the Patriots to their first Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference title game.

The three-year starter hit .432 with 14 RBIs and seven runs. She also walked 11 times with six intentional passes.

Behind the plate, Lowenstein was in total control, enabling DiBeneditto to throw any of her array of pitches at any time in the count.

Carly Martin

Seton Keough

The repeat Baltimore City Player of the Year made the most of her senior year, leading the No. 2 Gators (15-3) to the IAAM A Conference championship.

Crafty and precise with her pitch selection and location, Martin was 14-2 with a 1.16 ERA and 152 strikeouts in 106 innings. Her poise in the Gators' 2-0 win over John Carroll in the championship game proved to be the difference, as she allowed five hits and struck out 14.

Martin also was a key contributor in the Gators' lineup, hitting .296 with 13 RBIs and 11 runs. She drove in the game-winning run in the title game on a first-inning sacrifice fly.

Jill Mullan

Northeast

The senior center fielder set a single-season state record with 51 hits, and then used her speed to wreak havoc on the bases. The three-year starter and team captain stole 18 bases and scored 26 runs to help lead the No. 8 Eagles to the Class 3A state championship game.

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