With great team unity, Glenelg produced a really strong year with a 15-3 overall record. The team's only losses came against Howard twice and Marriotts Ridge once. In the team's other game against the Mustangs, the Gladiators earned a comeback victory. "(The girls) showed character and resilience," coach Andy Shearer said.
The team's captains were Breanne Smith, Gabby Mistichelli and Katherine Joseph. Smith finished with 52 hits and a team-high 44 runs, while also posting an average of .634 at the plate. Joseph (43 runs) and Mistichelli also hit over .500 on the season.
Paige Hoeflich finished with a team-high batting average of .750 on the strength of 54 hits. Other key players included Gina Netreba, Harly Fitterer and Jesse Thompson.
Howard completed an undefeated county season (17-0) and finished 17-1 overall. It was the JV program's fourth straight year going undefeated against league competition. The only loss came against Chesapeake early in the season.
Getting to that 17-0 mark against county foes took some close victories, including coming back against River Hill with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.
There were 12 freshmen on the roster, which bodes well for the future. "The youth on this team will only make us that much stronger for next year hopefully," coach Jennifer O'Neill said.
Kayla Devin, one of the team's captains and starter at shortstop, was pulled up to varsity for the playoffs. She led the team in hits (36), doubles (9), RBIs (29), runs (42) and batting average (.600).
Other standouts included Jamie Bahrijczuk (.452 average, 2 triples, home run), Rachel Oliver (.434 average, 20 RBIs, 18 runs, five doubles), Lydia Maruschak (.512 average, 18 RBIs, 17 runs) and Reilly Taylor (.529 average, 15 RBIs, 15 runs). Nicole Schneider and Torie Gettier also finished with batting averages above .500.
Schneider, Gettier and Bahrijczuk served as the team's pitchers.
Offense was the theme for Mt. Hebron, which finished the season 16-2 overall (15-2 in county). As a team, the Vikings averaged over 14 runs and 11 hits per game, while compiling a batting average of .365.
Sophomore catcher Caroline Smith led the team in most batting categories with a .517 batting average, 31 hits, 31 RBIs and 30 runs scored. She was followed by sophomores Emily Purnell (29 hits, 20 RBIs, 35 runs, .475 average), Anna Pallozzi (20 hits, 16 runs, .370 average) and Kamden Lloyd (22 runs, 16 hits, .365 average and no strikeouts in 63 plate appearances). Freshmen Emily Turner (14 runs and .452 average) and Rachel Veslany (22 runs and .344 average) also contributed big years.
Kelsey Albert, a sophomore, was an outstanding leadoff batter by leading the team with 35 walks, 30 runs scored and 17 stolen bases.
Pitching was also a strength, as Lloyd carried most of the load after sophomore Paige Mallin was sidelined with a knee injury. Lloyd finished with 12 wins, a 2.65 ERA and struck out almost one-third of the batters she faced. Freshman Abri Segal also contributed with four wins and a 2.58 ERA.
Behind the pitchers, the defense included strong efforts in the infield from Pallozzi, Purnell, Veslany, Alley Conde and Casey Kindall. Albert led the outfield from her center field position.
Highlights from the season included a near comeback against Glenelg after being down seven runs, along with a comeback victory in extra innings against Centennial, 9-6. "These ladies showed the kind of heart, drive and enthusiasm they have for the game," coach Bob Gibbons said in regards to the team's never-give-up attitude.
After winning only one game in 2012, Oakland Mills improved to win four games this spring. "We have a group of athletic girls who are new to the game but very eager to learn," coach Tim McCoy said.
Tekelle Evans, in only her second year of pitching, had a great season both in the circle and at the plate. De'Asia Winder was a star at shortstop, but also filled in at third and catcher when needed. Victoria Lee had a standout year in centerfield, while also filling in at third, short and first. Freshmen Emily Yarn and Ijoema Okeke also had great seasons.
Yarn played every position including pitcher, while Okeke is a budding talent at catcher. Gena Jones (third base) had two home runs and Kiara Cornelius shows great promise as a first baseman.
In the second to last game of the season, against Hammond, the Scorpions played a flawless game with no mental errors to reach its goal of four wins. "I am very proud of all the players who worked so hard to become good players," McCoy said. "The future looks bright."