Softball: Players to watch

Varsity: Spring preview
Features, polls and athletes to watch in boys and girls lacrosse, baseball, softball and track and field

Heather Brown
•Northeast, pitcher

•Brown, a second-team All-Metro pick last season, signed with UMBC after a dominant junior season in which she helped Northeast reach the Class 3A East regional semifinals.

Jordan Eades
•Franklin, pitcher

•Eades, the Baltimore County Player of the Year, was 21-1 last season, her only loss coming in the state semifinals to Atholton. The senior allowed just 10 earned runs and struck out 236.

Lauren Gibson
•Chesapeake-AA, pitcher

•The senior, who has committed to Tennessee, was the catalyst behind the top-ranked Cougars' second consecutive 4A state championship. Gibson went 17-2 with a 1.23 ERA, striking out 165 in 120 innings. She hit .500 with 34 runs, 29 RBIs and eight homers.

Kelly Hickman
•Chesapeake-AA, infielder

•The senior is a clutch performer, hitting home runs in two consecutive 4A East regional playoff games. Hickman batted .453 with 28 runs and 20RBIs in the cleanup position.

Kayla Martinez
•Arundel, pitcher

•Martinez, a senior, helped the Wildcats reach the 4A East regional semifinals last season before losing to the eventual state champion Chesapeake.

Elaine Nescio
•Archbishop Spalding, pitcher

•The senior is looking to top her performance on the mound last season when she led the No. 2 Cavaliers to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland AConference championship. In the final, she threw a one-hitter in a 6-0 victory over the Institute of Notre Dame. She finished the season 15-1 with a 0.70 ERA and 176 strikeouts.

Chelsea Ponce
•Atholton, pitcher

•The junior was key in helping the Raiders reach the 3A state championship game, where they lost to Northern of Calvert County. Ponce ended Franklin's 22-game winning streak in the state semifinals, striking out 15.

Jennifer Rindone
•Archbishop Spalding,

first baseman, outfielder

•The senior was another key contributor to the IAAM AConference champion Cavaliers. She finished last season with a .489 average and a team-leading 17 RBIs. Rindone also played near-flawless defense, committing just two errors in 113 innings.

Kourtney Salvarola
•Broadneck, pitcher

•A junior committed to South Florida, she was 12-3 with a 1.28ERA and 130 strikeouts in 93innings last season. Salvarola batted .556 with 41 runs, 25RBIs and nine home runs.

Stephanie Speierman
•Hammond, pitcher

•A three-time All-Metro first-team pick who has signed with Michigan, the senior went 18-4 and batted .418. She had a 0.48ERA, 354strikeouts and nine no-hitters (one perfect game).

Ashley Thomas
•Broadneck, infielder, pitcher

•Thomas batted .397 with 38 RBIs and tied a state record with eight triples as a sophomore last season. The Bruins' No. 2 starter, she went 8-1 with a 1.32 ERA.

OTHER NOTABLES: Sarah Alpaugh, Liberty; Sam Bell, Francis Scott Key; Allison Bittner, Perry Hall; Holly Buckel, North Carroll; Jessica Butler, Towson Catholic; Kristen Fassler, Western Tech; Brittany Favazza, C.Milton Wright; Kelsey Fuller, Marriotts Ridge; Lindsey Glascock, Glenelg; Haylie Goheen, Atholton; Michelle Gravdahl, Long Reach; Grace Koplow, Wilde Lake; Samantha Lang, Westminster; Megan Liebknecht, Francis Scott Key; Stephanie Maring, South Carroll; Emelie McFarland, Century; Mariah Ripken, Havre de Grace; Marissa Ronan, Franklin; Casey Schmidt, Glenelg; Mary Kate Smith, John Carroll; Brooke Stambaugh, Century; Sam Stiles, North Harford; Val Strawbridge, Fallston; Brittany Walter, C.M. Wright; Elizabeth Wedell, Northeast; Abby Wilson, Catonsville

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