Outlook: With All-Metro first-team selection Katie Wilkinson leading the team, the Lions should remain competitive in Howard County. Despite a relatively young squad, Rice said his team has "a few girls that might carry us through this year."

9. Broadneck

Coach: Deanna Romeo-Hamilton


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Last season: 17-9, No. 7

Postseason: Class 4A East regional finalist

Outlook: The Bruins remain one of the most dominant teams in the state. They return a core group of seniors, including All-Metro first-team pick Kristina Dillard, third baseman Jordan Thompson, outfielder Maja Henson and first baseman Brianna Dennis.

10. Glen Burnie

Coach: Doug Schreiber

Last season: 17-6, No. 12

Postseason: Class 4A East regional semifinalist

Outlook: With seven returning starters, including junior ace Ali Moos, the Gophers will compete again this season. Senior Caitlyn Kirby, who batted .468 with 20 RBIs last year, and junior Jessica Robinson, who hit .410 with 23 RBIs, lead the offense.

11. C. Milton Wright

Coach: Russ Kovach

Last season: Class 3A North regional semifinalist

Postseason: 13-7, No. 14

Outlook: Seniors MacKenzie Fitzgerald, Jordan Pross and Holli Rutkowski should help the Mustangs compete with two-time Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference champion Rising Sun. Making the state final four is their ultimate goal, Kovach said.

12. North County

Coach: Linda Parks

Last season: 13-9, No. 13

Postseason: Class 4A East regional quarterfinalist