Player of the Year: Kaila Jenkins, Severna Park, pitcher
Whether it was her overpowering rise ball on the mound or her dangerous bat at the plate, Jenkins constantly made a positive impact to lead the No. 3 Falcons to the Anne Arundel County championship and a 17-4 mark this season.
The standout junior, a first-team All-Metro selection each of her three years and a two-time Anne Arundel County Player of the Year, went 15-4 this season to give her a 48-9 career mark.
Jenkins posted a 0.36 ERA this spring with 229 strikeouts in 136 innings to raise her career strikeout total to 659.
Her timely work at the plate was just as impressive and vital in the Falcons' success, as she hit .552 with 33 RBIs and 20 runs. Jenkins enjoyed multi-hit performances in 11 games, had six game-winning RBIs and drove in two or more runs in nine games
"I've been talking about her now for three years and it's like 'What new can I say?' " said Severna Park coach Jeff Shepherd. "You can see it in her eyes before a game - that she's absolutely ready to do her best. She works harder than anybody I've ever had in the program to be prepared, and she's a dominating presence."
Among Jenkins' season highlights were a 1-0 nine-inning win over Class 4A state champ North County in which she finished with 14 strikeouts, and a 3-for-3, four-RBI performance in a 5-1 win over Broadneck to avenge an upset loss to the Bruins.
Coach of the Year: Joe Dunch, C. Milton Wright
The roster was dominated by underclassmen and the entire infield was retooled, but the Mustangs bypassed a rebuilding season for an improbable trip to the Class 3A state championship game.
Dunch, who is 191-60 in 12 seasons, quickly found cohesion and convinced his group that they were never out of a game. Proof came often - the Mustangs (21-5) played in five extra-inning games, winning four of them - and it played a big part in the team's successful postseason.
He cited a late regular-season win over Cecil County's North East - 7-6 in eight innings - that best typified the team's resilient ways. After tying the game at two to send it to extra innings, North East scored four times in the top of the eighth inning before the Mustangs answered with five in the bottom.
"Having an opportunity to win those kind of games were confidence-builders for the team," Dunch said.
The Mustangs - with two freshmen, four sophomores, six juniors and one senior - were down to their final out against Mount Hebron in the state semifinals, but came back to win, 3-2, when freshman Allison Kuchar hit a run-scoring triple to tie the game and then came across with the game-winner.
Huntingtown, a first-year program from Calvert County, ended the Mustangs' run with a 6-1 win in the championship game.
Julia Culotta, North Harford, outfield
The junior center fielder posted some of the best offensive numbers in the metro area, hitting for average and power in leading North Harford to a 14-8 mark.
In her second season of varsity competition, Culotta finished with a .561 batting average that featured 32 hits. Included were eight doubles, six homers and four triples. With 28 RBIs and 19 runs scored, she contributed to more than half of the team's 87 runs.
Extra-base hits often came in bunches for Culotta. In North Harford's biggest win of the season, a 5-3 upset over then-defending Class 3A state champ Fallston, she was 2-for-3 with a homer, double and three RBIs.
Amanda Fefel, Catonsville, pitcher
Overpowering best describes the junior pitcher's work on the mound, as she earned Baltimore County Player of the Year honors after leading the Comets to the county title.
In going 14-2, Fefel had a 0.47 ERA with eight shutouts, including a perfect game against Bel Air and a no-hitter against Perry Hall. She finished with 185 strikeouts in 103 innings.
Fefel was just as valuable at the plate with a .444 batting average, 23 RBIs and a .978 slugging percentage.
In the Baltimore County title game, Fefel tossed a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts in a 2-1 win over Western Tech.
Allison Kuchar, C.M. Wright, second base
The freshman second baseman burst onto the scene and saved her best for the biggest moments throughout the Mustangs' run to the Class 3A state final. Hitting leadoff, she collected 31 hits - including five doubles, four homers and one triple - walked 12 times, scored 21 runs and drove in 15.
In helping the Mustangs win the Class 3A North region, Kuchar went 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs in an 8-7 quarterfinal win over defending state champ Fallston, and then hit a two-run homer in a 2-1 win over Catonsville in the final. In the 3-2 state semifinal win over Mount Hebron, she tripled in the tying run with two outs in the seventh.
Brittany Lounge, Arch. Spalding, outfield
While posting quality offensive numbers and playing an impressive left field, the standout junior outfielder also brought an overwhelming desire to succeed, which helped lead the No. 2 Cavaliers to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference crown.
Lounge collected 28 hits for a .412 batting average, and with the help of 10 stolen bases, she scored a team-high 28 runs.
Spalding coach Nicki Trumpler said the intangibles brought by Lounge - such as working hard in practice and supporting teammates during games - were invaluable. Lounge was given the team's Unsung Hero Award
Lindsey Mueller, Fallston, catcher
Mueller again displayed her versatility, leadership and strong all-around play as she closed out a strong four-year career.
Mueller, who served as the catcher during her freshman year before playing third base the next two seasons, went back behind the plate and didn't miss a beat.
With a strong and accurate arm, she threw out 16 of 19 would-be base stealers.
Offensively, she consistently hit the ball hard, finishing with a .540 batting average, 23 RBIs and 11 runs scored. With five triples, three doubles and one homer, Mueller had an .820 slugging percentage.
Beth Mullins, North County, pitcher
Earning the win in the No. 1 Knights' 4-2 victory over Damascus in the Class 4A state championship, Mullins became the fifth pitcher in history to win three state title games.
With the metro area's finest changeup effectively mixed in with an array of power pitches, the senior standout went 14-3 with a 0.36 ERA and 150 strikeouts.
Mullins, a regular on the All-Metro teams beginning in her freshman year, also made an impression at the plate by hitting .364 with 12 RBIs.
Her 61 career wins is second all-time in Anne Arundel County, trailing only the 64 posted by 1989 Northeast graduate Jennifer Grinath.
Courtney O'Hara, IND, outfield
The senior center fielder, a four-year starter, was the top-of-the-order catalyst for the No. 5 Indians.
A left-handed slap hitter, O'Hara continually found ways to get on base and then wreaked havoc once there to provide steady run production.
She hit .444 - stealing 26 bases and scoring 24 runs. Five doubles and two triples were among her 36 hits.
Covering ground in center, O'Hara was fast to the ball and finished with 23 putouts, three assists and just one error.
She will play softball at UMBC next year.
Lauren O'Malley, Arch. Spalding, outfield
The junior outfielder made the most of each at-bat, hitting third in the lineup for the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference champion Cavaliers.
Selective at the plate with a level swing and batting from the left side, O'Malley led the team with a .462 average and 23 RBIs.
The repeat first-team selection scored 18 runs and had six doubles, four triples and two homers among her 30 hits.
A transfer from Mount de Sales, where she played a big role in helping the Sailors to the league championship last year, O'Malley did not strikeout this season.
Jessica Vetock, IND, shortstop
In her third season starting at shortstop, the junior standout impacted games with her glove as much as her bat for the Interscholastic Athletic Associaton of Maryland A Conference runner-up Indians.
Quick to react, Vetock was able to get balls deep in the hole as well as the short taps past the mound.
She also had strong and accurate throws to first. She finished the season committing just two errors in 90 chances.
Offensively, Vetock was a constant threat and tough out, batting third in the No. 5 Indians' lineup and hitting .407 with 15 RBIs and 12 runs scored.
Brittany Woods, Dulaney, first base
A regular on the All-Metro first team since her sophomore year, the senior first baseman closed out a stellar four-year career with another fine season at the plate and in the field.
Woods hit .485 with five doubles, a triple and homer among her 33 hits. She led the Lions (16-2) with 24 RBIs and 21 runs scored.
At first, she had 92 putouts and 10 assists with three errors.
One of her season highlights came in the opening round of the regional playoffs against Thomas Johnson when she went 3-for-4 with three RBIs in a 6-4 win.
Amanda Yanulevich, Glenelg, third base
A three-year starter for the Gladiators, Yanulevich made a smooth transition from second base to third this season and also saw time at shortstop to help solidify an otherwise young infield.
Her .559 batting average was the second highest in program history, and with it came 22 RBIs and 21 runs scored. Yanulevich showed a knack for driving the ball hard to the gaps, banging out nine doubles, five triples and one homer to finish with a .932 slugging percentage.
She also enjoyed a solid season with the glove, recording 53 assists and 13 putouts while making six errors. She will play field hockey at UMBC.
Stacy Davis, Westminster, senior, pitcher
Colleen Matthes, IND, sophomore, pitcher
Stephanie Weigman, Arch. Spalding, soph., pitcher
Stephanie Gerber, Westminster, senior, catcher
Erin Brady, Mount de Sales, junior, first base
Michelle Bosserman, Centennial, senior, second base
Kristin Wojtowycz, Severna Park, senior, third base
Jamie Buchheit, North County, soph., shortstop
Kelly Smith, Pallotti, sophomore, shortstop
Michelle Davis, Glen Burnie, senior, outfield
Shannon Thornton, Mount de Sales, junior, outfield
Sloane Van Meter, Arch. Spalding, soph., outfield
Note: Teams selected by Glenn P. Graham after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun