Coach of the Year
Bob Broccolino, Glen Burnie: He's quick to say he has been blessed with much talent that has come through the Glen Burnie system in his 12 years. But to go 181-52 without a losing season is a clear indication he's doing plenty right. That was particularly apparent this season, as his Gophers showed the confidence, poise and unity needed to claim the Class 4A state title, his second as coach and the school's third. The Gophers had every situation covered in a difficult road to the final, winning one close game after another, always able to get the big out or big hit. Their unselfish play was a direct reflection of Broccolino's leadership. "This was a dream season," said Broccolino. "When we won it in 1989, we were just so much better than most teams. This was hard work and togetherness. We weren't as superior but always found a way to win."
Player of the Year
Michelle Whelan, Glen Burnie: By season's end, which for the Gophers meant the Class 4A state championship, Whelan had done everything. On the mound, she finished 7-1 with a 1.09 ERA. At bat, she hit .387 as leadoff hitter, stole 15 bases in 15 tries, scored 20 runs and drove in nine more. She was an unselfish leader, and her team-first approach was contagious and vital in the championship run. And when it counted most in the playoffs, Whelan was at her versatile best. In three of five playoff wins, Whelan scored the game's first run. In the other two, she drove in important runs -- two with a bases-loaded single in the last of the seventh to provide a 4-3 win over Chesapeake in the region opener and another in the 3-1 state final win over Roosevelt with a two-out bunt. She also won two games, including a 4-0 shutout against Severna Park in the region final.
The first team
Amanda Donaldson, Severna Park, junior, pitcher: Despite a lack of offense most of the way, the Falcons were always in a game with this talented junior pitching. The three-time first-teamer went 11-7 on the season with a 0.48 ERA and struck out 138 batters in 117 innings. She was a catalyst offensively as well, hitting .433 with 19 RBIs, 18 runs and 12 hits for extra bases.
Kellie Evans, North County, junior, pitcher: er: A strong candidate for Player of the Year, Evans single-handedly carried the Knights for most of the season. She claimed team MVP honors for a second straight season. A three-year starter, she hit .481 with 25 RBIs and 18 runs scored, finishing with eight extra base-hits and seven stolen bases. On the mound, Evans went 8-3 with an 0.89 ERA and struck out 68 in 71 innings.
Stacy Smith, Northeast, junior, pitcher: From a pure pitching standpoint, Smith accomplished more than any other county thrower. She was 9-0 with an 0.43 ERA and won against North County's Kellie Evans, Glen Burnie's Michelle Whelan, and Severna Park's Amanda Donaldson, all fellow first-teamers. She also came up with a big effort in the Eagles' region playoff opener, knocking off state power Northern-Calvert.
Bre Kitchen, Arundel, junior, catcher: Regarded by many area coaches as the county's top defensive catcher, Kitchen did a great job of blocking the plate -- allowing only one passed ball all season -- and she was also tough to run against with opposing base runners only stealing two bases. She was also a vital part of the Wildcats' offense, batting fourth, hitting .368 with 19 RBIs and 17 runs scored.
Bonnie Nevin, Glen Burnie, senior, catcher: er: Nevin put up some solid numbers at the plate (.460, 14 RBIs, six doubles) and was also terrific calling a game behind the plate. But perhaps the most impressive feat she accomplished was not striking out until the Class 4A state semifinal game. That was in 63 at-bats.
Brooke Clyde, Chesapeake, senior, infield: The Cougars' only senior knew a big burden would be placed on her this season. She responded, hitting .500 with 30 RBIs -- both county highs -- and scoring 20 runs. She also had a reliable glove at short, finishing with a .875 fielding percentage.
Meredith McAlister, Severna Park, junior, infield: Two errors at the demanding shortstop position would be a solid season for anyone, but it was a "down year" for McAlister, who made only one in her first two seasons. With a good understanding of situations, both in the field and at bat, McAlister (.422, 17 runs, 11 RBIs) was a major influence in the Falcons' run to the Class 4A East region final.
Marianne Ogle, Glen Burnie, senior, infield: field: With the quickness to play third and range to play short, Ogle was a versatile commodity for the Class 4A state champs. Normally a third baseman, she made the sacrifice to play short when standout Michelle Whelan was pitching. She finished with a .910 fielding percentage, hit .338 with 13 RBIs and six stolen bases.
Sabrina Ryals, Archbishop Spalding, junior, infield: ior, infield: A regular on the first team in each of her three seasons, Ryals has once again done a lot of everything to lead the Cavs. She was hitting .366 with 24 RBIs and 23 runs going into today's Independent Schools state championship semifinal and was 7-1 with a 0.64 ERA. Ryals also stands out at shortstop.
Michelle Stack, Archbishop Spalding, senior, infield: nior, infield: The Cavaliers' first baseman started the season batting sixth, but soon found a home hitting clean-up. Going into today's Independent Schools state championship semifinal, she was hitting .438 with 31 RBIs, 22 runs scored and 10 extra base hits, providing good contact with a lot of power. In a win against her former school, St. Mary's, she went 3-for-4 with two bases-loaded triples and nine RBIs.
Crissy Suit, North County, sophomore, infield: It didn't take long for Suit, a transfer from Seton Keough, to fit in at third base. Coach Brian Love said by the end of the first week of practice it was clear the sophomore was a varsity starter. Batting fourth, she hit .353 for the season with 17 runs and seven RBIs, providing protection for the Knights' No. 3 hitter, Kellie Evans, who drove in 25 runs.
Lauren Gontkof, Chesapeake, junior, outfield: field: The Cougars standout came into her own this season at the plate, in left field and also as a young team's leader. Gontkof became a reliable run-producer, hitting .461 with 19 runs scored and 11 RBIs. In left, she made only one error.
Erin Gray, Northeast, freshman, outfield: With All-Metro regular Renee Mrowczynski out of the lineup most of the season with an injury, Northeast had a big void in center. Enter Gray. The freshman stepped in, and the Eagles barely missed a beat. Leading off, she hit .341 with nine runs, eight stolen bases and nine walks.
Amanda Stefanski, Archbiship Spalding, senior, outfield: A three-year varsity player who improved a lot last spring, Stefanski picked up where she left off with a solid senior season. She anchored the Cavs' outfield with error-free ball in center field and was just as strong at the plate, hitting .467 with 21 RBIs, 18 runs and 16 stolen bases.
The Baltimore Sun 1998 All-Anne Arundel County baseball and softball teams were selected by Pat O'Malley and Glenn P. Graham, respectively, after consulting with The Sun staff and area coaches.
Pub Date: 5/28/98