Think about the perfect high school softball season, and Campbell Kline’s 2018 campaign for Severna Park comes pretty close.
Kline led the Falcons to a 25-2 record, the Class 4A state championship and the No. 1 ranking in The Baltimore Sun’s final Top 15 poll this past season, nearly setting two state records along the way.
With what her coach Meredith McAlister calls a “highly dangerous” combination of speed, contact and power, Kline was almost automatic at the plate.
The 5-foot-7 junior shortstop, named Gatorade Maryland Softball Player of the Year, batted .750 with 12 doubles, six triples, eight home runs, 39 RBIs and a 1.272 slugging percentage. She compiled a state-record 69 hits, had 24 multihit games. Her 148 career hits are just 18 shy of the state record for career hits of 166, held by Lindsey Schmeiser of Northern-Calvert, who played from 2009 to 2012. She also scored 53 runs, just six short of the state single-season record.
With runners in scoring position, she batted .893.
Kline, a two-time Capital Gazette Player of the Year, carries a 32-game-hit streak into her senior season and has been held hitless in a game just six times in her high school career.
However, it didn’t always come easy this season. Kline sprained her ankle over the winter twice and then again rounding second base in a preseason game this spring. Last season, she broke her thumb diving for a ground ball in practice before one of the team’s first scrimmages, yet she still played well enough to earn All-Metro first-team honors and be named Capital Gazette Player of the Year.
“Most people wouldn't even know it by watching her play and by how little time she took off,” McAlister said of the injuries. “That grit and determination to be on the field no matter what, that is what makes a good player exceptional and it's rarer than you might think. That shows heart and the ability to sacrifice everything for the sake of the team. Something some athletes think they do, but very few really ever do.”
Having spent most of her early playing career as an outfielder, Kline also has become a strong defensive shortstop.
“She came to us an outfielder and in a few short seasons has become one of the best defensive shortstops around, covering a lot of ground and anchoring the middle of our defense,” McAlister said. “Her teammates want to put the ball in her hand, because she will get the job done or sell out trying.”