All-harford County

June 08, 2008

SOFTBALL

Player of the Year Nicole Lowenstein John Carroll

The senior catcher was one of the most feared hitters in the metro area, hitting .472 with 20 runs and eight RBIs to lead the Patriots to an 11-8 season in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference. Perhaps most telling of the respect she earned from opposing teams was the 32 times she was walked this season, many intentionally.

A four-year starter and captain, Lowenstein was sturdy behind the plate and also provided leadership to the Patriots' inexperienced pitchers. Lowenstein will play softball at Seton Hall next year.

Coach of the Year Spike Updegrove Fallston

Updegrove, who guided county rival C. Milton Wright to four state championships in the early 1980s, led the Cougars to a third straight winning season since returning to coaching in 2006. One thing that has stood out for the veteran coach since his return has been the improvement of pitching with nearly every team. He leaned on his two throwers -- junior Val Strawbridge and senior Megan Gravell - to help produce a 14-7 record.

Updegrove has compiled a record of 39-23 record in his three seasons at Fallston, and with a solid group returning next year, the winning ways should continue.

The team

Name School CL P

Mariah Ripken H. de Grace So. P

Val Strawbridge Fallston Jr. P

Brittany Walter C.M. Wright Jr. P

Nicole Lowenstein John Carroll Sr. C

Angelica Appold C.M. Wright Sr. IF

Lisa Bilski Fallston Sr. IF

Sarah Crumley Edgewood Sr. IF

Kaela Mason Harford Tech Sr. IF

Sam Stiles North Harford So. IF

Brittany Favazza C.M. Wright Jr. OF

Mary Kate Smith John Carroll Jr. OF

Megan Gravell Fallston Sr. U

Note: Team selected by Glenn Graham after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.

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