Softball: Players to watch

Heather BrownNortheast, pitcher // The junior, who led the Eagles to the Class 3A state title game last spring, has good velocity, an array of pitches and pinpoint command.

Jessica ButlerTowson Catholic, pitcher // The hard-throwing sophomore, who has made an oral commitment on a full softball scholarship to Maryland, went 13-1 last season and struck out 216 in 93 innings.

Lauren GibsonChesapeake-AA, pitcher // The do-everything junior led the No. 1 Cougars to the Class 4A state title last season, earning Metro Player of the Year honors after going 18-3 on the mound and batting .471. She tossed a no-hitter in the title game, a 2-0 win over Damascus.

Jessica GrimshawCentennial, second base // The senior All-Metro selection brings versatility, leadership and gifted skills to the Eagles' lineup. Last season, she hit .491 with 11 RBIs and five extra-base hits.

Allison KucharC. Milton Wright, shortstop // The four-year starter, who is set to play at Hofstra University, hit a team-high .431 for the Mustangs last spring and is equally valuable with the glove.

Nicole Lowenstein John Carroll, catcher // Feared at the plate and sturdy behind it, Lowenstein is a four-year starter who helped lead the Patriots to their first IAAM A Conference title game last season. The first-team All-Metro selection hit .432 last spring.

Kourtney SalvarolaBroadneck, pitcher // In leading the Bruins to their first Anne Arundel County title last season, Salvarola's freshman numbers tell the story: a 13-3 record and .698 batting average, with a state-record 12 homers to earn first-team All-Metro honors.

Stephanie SpeiermanHammond, pitcher // Her perfect game in the Class 2A state title game - a 4-0 win over North East of Cecil County - provided an exclamation point to a stellar sophomore season. The two-time All-Metro pick went 23-1 with a state-record 426 strikeouts, and batted .649.

Anna StruharCentury, pitcher // The savvy senior relied on an array of pitches, leading the Knights to the Class 2A state semifinals last spring. The four-year starter hit .434 with 23 runs.

Angela YannoneChesapeake-AA, shortstop // The four-year starter earned first-team All-Metro honors last spring after hitting .391 with 21 RBIs and 17 runs.

Other notables // Robin Abernathy, Long Reach; Lauren Ahrens, Chapelgate; Sarah Alpaugh, Liberty; Katie Blackston, Western Tech; Shannon Bonnet, Southwestern; Jessica Butler, Towson Catholic; Meghan Clements, Century; Shanice Crowder, Poly; Jordan Eades, Franklin; Kelley Farley, F. Scott Key; Brittany Favazza, C. Milton Wright; Kelsey Fuller, Marriotts Ridge; Michelle Gravdahl, Long Reach; Megan Gravell, Fallston; Jen Haag, Severna Park; Mary Harshman, South Carroll; Autumn Herrin, Northeast; Katie Hobson, Centennial; Maria Infussi, Mercy; Brianna Jones, Institute of Notre Dame; Courtney Kane, Seton Keough; Felicia Knill, Winters Mill; Kara Malvaso, Sparrows Point; Jackie Markel, Mount de Sales; Kaela Mason, Harford Tech; Emilie McFarland, Century; Amy Metcalfe, Westminster; Elaine Nescio, Spalding; Kerri O'Malley, Seton Keough; Caitlin Remus, Bel Air; Akeema Richards, Western; Brittani Rynkowski, North Carroll; Stephanie Schell, Maryvale; Casey Schmidt, Glenelg; Alex Schovee, River Hill; Lauren Scrivener, Eastern Tech; Lauren Singer, Loch Raven; Emma Smith, Howard; Erika Stasch, Chesapeake-AA; Ashley Thomas, Broadneck; Kelly Trimble, Pallotti; Mandlea Uebel, Institute of Notre Dame; Meghan Van Meter, Spalding; Katie Wall, North Harford; Lizzie Wedell, Northeast; Brittany Willingham, Glen Burnie; Abby Wilson, Catonsville; Brandie Wright, Digital Harbor; Kelsea Zeglin, Perry Hall.

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