Softball: First team

Sun staff

Lisa Bilski, Fallston

An outfielder in her firsttwo seasons on varsity, Bilskimoved to shortstop out of necessityin her senior year andlooked right at home.

Batting third, Bilski hit .492with 26 runs and 20 RBIs,compiling 11 extra-base hits--including five homers.

Bilski, who will play at VillaJulie, had a banner week latein the regular season whenshe went 9-for-16 and cleanlyfielded all 16 chances in thefield as the Cougars (14-7)went 4-0 in Upper ChesapeakeBay Athletic Conferenceplay.

Kelly Hickman, Chesapeake-AA

The junior second basemancame through in a bigway during the No. 1 Cougars'playoff run to their secondstraight Class 4A statechampionship.

Hickman hit homers in twostraight East regional playoffgames -- a two-run shot in a3-0 semifinal win over Arundeland a three-run shot toopen the scoring in a 10-6win over Broadneck in the final.

In her third varsity season,Hickman batted .453 with 28runs and 20 RBIs in thecleanup position.

She finished with five doubles,four homers and threetriples, and was versatile inthe field, also playing thirdbase and first base.

Nicole Lowenstein, John Carroll

The senior catcher was in aclass by herself behind theplate, closing out a stellarfour-year career with All-Metro first-team honors forthe second straight year.

Lowenstein, who will playat Seton Hall next year, batted.473 with 20 runs scored.Perhaps her most tellingstatistic was a .743 on-basepercentage; it came with thehelp of 32 walks, most ofwhich were intentional.

A captain and a fine defensivecatcher, Lowenstein wastough to steal on, allowedjust three passed balls, andworked well with first-yearstarting pitcher Katie O'Hara.

Elaine Nescio, Archbishop Spalding

Replacing four-year standoutStephanie Weigman, thejunior pitcher proved shewas more than up to the taskin leading the No. 2 Cavaliersto the Interscholastic AthleticAssociation of Maryland AConference championship.

Nescio tossed a one-hitterin a 6-0 win over Institute ofNotre Dame in the titlegame, highlighting a 15-1 seasonthat included a 0.70 ERAwith 176 strikeouts in 110 innings.Nescio batted .314 with 11RBIs and committed one error.

Jennifer Rindone, Archbishop Spalding

One of the major concernsgoing into the season for theCavaliers was replacing thegraduated talent that comprisedthe middle of theirlineup last season. EnterRindone.

In her first season as astarter, the junior left fielderwas inserted into the cleanupspot and thrived.

She finished second on theteam in batting with a .489average and led the team inRBIs with 17, while also scoring10 runs.

Rindone also was steady inthe field, making two errorsin 113 innings.

Kourtney Salvarola, Broadneck

A repeat first-team selection,the sophomore pitcherwas again one of the mostfeared hitters in the metroarea.

Salvarola batted .556 with41 runs, 25 RBIs and 17 extra-basehits that included ninehome runs.

On the mound, she went12-3 with a 1.28 ERA and had130 strikeouts in 93 innings.Salvarola handed Class 4Astate champion Chesapeakeits only two losses of the season,recording a 2-0 shutoutin the regular season andthen recording a 4-2 win inthe Anne Arundel countychampionship game thatwas highlighted by her two-runhomer.

Corie Seitler, Broadneck

The Chesapeake-AnneArundel transfer was a welcomeaddition to the Bruins'lineup, finding an immediatehome at the cleanup spotand playing flawless defensein right field.

The senior batted .435with 24 RBIs and 12 runsscored.

Seitler , who had sixhomers, three doubles andtwo triples, made teams paywhen she came up with thebases loaded, as she hitgrand slams against AnneArundel County rivalsNortheast, Severna Park andChesapeake.

She also drove in thegame-winning run with adouble in the Bruins' 2-0 regular-season win over her formerteam.

Stephanie Speierman, Hammond

A three-time All-Metrofirst-team selection, the juniorpitcher was once againthe most dominant player inHoward County, going 18-4and batting .418 to lead the Bears to the county championshipgame.

Speierman, who has madean oral commitment to playat Michigan, was overpoweringon the mound. She hadan 0.48 ERA and 354 strikeoutsin 159 innings.

With opponents oftenpitching around her, she batted.418 with 23 runs andeight RBIs -- walking 26times.

Speierman threw nine no-hittersthis season, includingone perfect game.

Erika Stasch, Chesapeake-AA

The senior center fielderclosed out a fine season in remarkablefashion by going3-for-4 with two triples andfive RBIs in the No. 1 Cougars'7-0 win over Sherwoodin the Class 4A state championshipgame.

She provided the game'sbiggest hit in the second inningwith a bases-loaded tripledeep to right field to givethe Cougars a 3-0 lead.

An All-Metro second-teamselection last season, Staschfinished the season batting.387 with 28 runs scored and23 RBIs.

She was exceptional coveringcenter field and possessedone of the metroarea's strongest arms.

Ashley Thomas, Broadneck

The Bruins' shortstop builton a solid freshman yearwith a dominating sophomoreseason that was a bigfactor in the team's secondstraight Anne Arundel Countychampionship.

With a good eye, quick batand power to all fields,Thomas batted .397 with 38RBIs and 31 runs scored. Shehit three doubles, fivehomers and a state record-tyingeight triples.

Thomas also found successon the mound as the Bruins'No. 2 starter, going 8-1 with a1.32 ERA for the season.

Meghan Van Meter, Archbishop Spalding

She stepped up in her senioryear to set a positivetone.

Van Meter collected ninehits in her first 10 plate appearances,proving to be avaluable leader and catalystin the No. 2 Cavaliers' IAAMA Conference championshiprun.

The second baseman andteam captain batted a team-best.509 with 20 runs and 12RBIs.

The three-year starter alsoplayed solid defense, withjust two errors in 128 innings.

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