Scouting report: softball state finals

North Carroll vs. Easton

C. Milton Wright vs. Northern-Calvert

Broadneck vs. Sherwood

May 27, 2010|By Todd Karpovich, Special to The Baltimore Sun

CLASS 2A

NO. 14 NORTH CARROLL (17-7)

VS EASTON (25-0)

WHEN: Friday, 8:30 p.m.

OUTLOOK: North Carroll earned a return trip to the state final and with a 7-1 victory over No. 6 Glenelg. The Panthers, looking for the program's seventh state title, were led by junior pitcher Samantha Stitely, who limited the Gladiators to four hits and improved to 13-7 on the season. Catcher Holly Buckel led the offense this season with a .403 batting average with two home runs and 24 RBIs entering the state tournament. North Carroll, however, has the daunting challenge of facing Easton's Shelby Taylor, perhaps the top pitcher in the state. Taylor, who is headed to Drexel, improved to 21-0 on the season in the Warriors' 8-0 victory over No. 15 Eastern Tech in the semifinals. Taylor limited the Mavericks to one hit with 13 strikeouts and no walks. All but two of her wins this season have been shutouts. Offensively, Easton is led by Maggie Hawkins, who batted .587 with six home runs and 45 RBIs.

CLASS 3A

NO. 5 C. MILTON WRIGHT (23-2)

VS. NORTHERN-CALVERT (23-1)

WHEN: Friday, 6 p.m.

OUTLOOK: C. Milton Wright has managed to out-hit, out-pitch or simply make more plays than all but two opponents this season. The Mustangs are going for their sixth state championship and first since 2006 in Class 4A. C. Milton Wright is led by sophomore pitcher Brittany Stein, who is 22-2 on the season with an ERA of 1.62. Senior Lindsay Kuczak, who will play at Stevenson next season, leads the team in extra-base hits (11), RBIs (26) and hits (30). A pair of sophomores, Jessica Lucas (.412 batting average, one home run and 20 RBIs) and Jessica Canami (.380 avg.) also help boost the offense. The Mustangs are riding the momentum of Tuesday's 3-2, extra-inning win over No. 7 Howard in semifinals. Northern, the two-time defending state champion, is paced by Kaitlyn Schmeiser, who is batting .565 with two home runs and 25 RBIs.

CLASS 4A

NO. 2 BROADNECK (21-2)

VS. SHERWOOD (18-2)

WHEN: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

OUTLOOK: Broadneck is looking to defend its Class 4A state championship. The Bruins might have an emotional edge because the game will be the last for coach Reese Kiple, who is stepping down at the end of the season. Broadneck is on a 17-game winning streak and has allowed three runs in the past 15 games — all in the state semifinals against Urbana. The Bruins are led by Kourtney Salvarola, The Baltimore Sun's 2009 Player of the Year who will play at South Florida next season. Salvarola improved to 13-2 on the season in Broadneck's victory over Urbana. She also leads the offense with a .519 average and three home runs. Catcher Adrienne Gebele, a first-team All-Metro pick last season, is another dangerous hitter, batting .440 with three home runs and 14 RBIs. Sherwood, from Montgomery County, advanced to the title game with a 17-0 win over Bowie. Pitcher Stephanie Rawlings is 8-0 with a .97 ERA.

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