The Baltimore Sun

Player of the year

Lauren Gibson Chesapeake-AA

The junior standout was once again at her best when it counted the most, leading the No. 1 Cougars to their second consecutive Class 4A state championship with a second straight no-hit performance in the title game. In repeating as the All-Metro Player of the Year, Gibson, who has made an oral commitment to Tennessee, enjoyed another stellar season on the mound, at the plate and on the bases.

She went 17-2 with a 1.23 ERA, striking out 165 batters in 120 innings. Gibson batted .500 with 34 runs, 29 RBIs and eight homers. She also put constant pressure on opposing defenses with 16 steals and a knack for taking the extra base when provided.

Gibson was in complete control in the Cougars' 7-0 win over Sherwood in the title game, as only a fifth-inning walk prevented her from throwing a perfect game. Chesapeake coach Don Ellenberger said one of Gibson's biggest attributes is the mental approach she takes to the big games.

"She sees the bigger picture and knows once it comes down to crunch time when we are going into the playoffs ... when it comes down to winning those last five games of the year, she's going to make that happen. It's always: 'Give me the ball,' " he said.

Gibson, a first-team All-Metro selection in each of her three years, takes a 50-7 record into her senior year.

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