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christopher anderson⁄the gazetteThe Star⁄Gazette All-County Softball Team includes (front row, from left) Jennifer Swieczkowski, Jessica Webster, Iliana Rosa, Erin King, Tabitha Gant, Marianne Johnson, Devin Sullivan; (back row, from left) Lynn Brown, Lauren Fusco, Katie Donovan, Kelly Smith, Kelsey Sheehan, Ashley Williams and Coach of the Year Rita Horning. Not pictured: Hillary Quade, Katherine Kimble.
After missing nearly all of the 2005 season with a knee injury, King returned with a vengeance this spring and was an offensive catalyst for the 4A South Region champions. The senior led the Bulldogs in virtually every offensive category, amassing 49 hits in 76 at-bats (.648) with 14 doubles, seven triples and four home runs. King scored 48 runs and drove in 43 more and struck out only once in 85 plate appearances. In addition to her talents at the plate, King proved to be equally invaluable as the Bulldogs’ shortstop, combining with second baseman Katie Nalley to be one of the best double-play tandems in the area. King is headed to Dickinson College in Pennsylvania this fall to play softball and major in political science and law.
coach of the year
In only her third season at Seton, Horning has molded the youthful squad into one of the more competitive teams in the tough Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. A former standout at Pallotti High and Cabrini College, Horning has instilled the Roadrunners with her knowledge of the game and stringent fundamentals. After fielding a competitive team last spring, Horning will have most of her starters returning in 2007 and again in 2008 and should be poised to have the Roadrunners competing for the WCAC title each of those years.
Jennifer Swieczkowski, Grace Brethren: Few freshman make the Star⁄Gazette first team in any sport, but this marks Swieczkowski’s third appearance on the squad. The precocious right-handed pitcher led the Eagles to their third consecutive Potomac Valley Athletic Conference title game, but was unable to start due to a back injury. She went 14-1 with 204 strikeouts and a 0.29 earned run average in 97 innings and hit .438 with nine doubles, one homer and 17 RBI.
Kelly Smith, Pallotti: The junior shortstop makes her second appearance on the first team after finishing second on the team in hitting (.315), while leading the team in hits (28) and runs scored (16). She committed only nine errors in 187 chances and was named to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference first team.
Jessie Webster, Eleanor Roosevelt: Making her second appearance on the first team, the senior pitcher went 9-1 and limited foes to a 1.20 earned run average while striking out 41 in 49 innings. She led the Raiders’ in batting average (.484) hits (31), runs scored (42), home runs (3) and was third in runs batted in (25).
Katie Donovan, Pallotti: The senior outfielder makes her second appearance on the first team after leading the Panthers in hitting (.329). She was stellar in left field, playing 173 innings without an error. She also was named to the all-Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference first team.
Marianne Johnson, Bowie: In her first year of pitching at any level, the junior went 13-3. She struck out 10 while tossing a shutout against Flowers in the 4A South Region final and finished the season with a 2.01 earned run average and 127 strikeouts in 94 innings. Johnson hit .423 with four doubles, four triples and a home run while driving in 51 runs.
Kelsey Sheehan, Seton: The versatile junior shortstop was instrumental in Seton’s resurgence in the WCAC. She batted .463 with four doubles, 31 runs and 17 RBI while batting in the leadoff spot. She was named to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference first team as a shortstop one year after being selected to the squad as a catcher.
Devin Sullivan, Bowie: A four-year starter at catcher, Sullivan hit .493 with three doubles and three homers and scored 35 runs with 29 RBI. Behind the plate she helped guide new pitchers Valerie D’Agostino and Marianne Johnson and threw out 16 base runners in 24 attempts.
Katherine Kimble, Pallotti: Although the senior catcher struggled with the bat, she provided a steady force behind the plate. In a rarity among high school catchers, Kimble called all of the pitches and set the defense, enabling sophomore Lauren Fusco to throw five shutouts. Kimble was named to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of MarylandA Conference first team.
Lauren Fusco, Pallotti: The sophomore pitcher went 12-9 with a stellar 0.86 earned run average in 155 innings and may have delivered her finest moments in defeat. In addition to tossing five shutouts, Fusco also hurled eight scoreless innings against Calvert senior standout Megan Elliott in the season opener and later suffered a 1-0 setback against Spalding in the IAAM semifinals.
Hillary Quade, Gwynn Park: The sophomore pitcher makes her second appearance on the first team after going 12-1 with 126 strikeouts and a 0.68 earned run average in 69 innings. Quade guided the Yellow Jackets to a perfect slate in 3A⁄2A league games and earned a 5-4 victory against 4A South champion Bowie in the county championship game.
Lynn Brown, Pallotti: The senior first baseman was third on the team in hitting (.306) but easily led in on-base percentage by drawing 13 walks. She also led the team in RBI and was second in slugging percentage. She committed only three errors in 206 chances.
Tabitha Gant, Bowie: In her second season with the Bulldogs after transferring from Seton, the senior outfielder hit .500 (28 for 56) with a team-high five home runs, scored 40 runs and drove in 33 more. Gant also played well defensively, highlighted by a sliding catch-and-throw double play in the state semifinals against C.M. Wright.
Iliana Rosa, Laurel: The senior ended a career in which she started all 68 games for the Spartans over four seasons. She was 32 for 56 (.561) with four doubles, three triples, scored 37 runs, stole 20 bases and drove in 19 runs while batting leadoff. Rosa, who plans to play at Towson next spring, also made numerous superb defensive plays at shortstop for Laurel.
Jordan Reid, Gwynn Park: A vital member of the 17-1 Yellow Jackets, the sophomore shortstop amassed 54 runs, which the school submitted for consideration as a single-season state record. She hit. 655 (36 for 55) with three homers and 39 RBI and scored the winning run in Gwynn Park’s 5-4 against Bowie in the county title game.
Ashley Williams, Largo: Blessed with quick feet and a solid glove, the junior outfielder paced the 14-5 Lions. She hit .532, had an on-base percentage of .633 and a slugging percentage of 1.064 thanks to seven doubles, four homers and three triples. Defensively, she did not commit an error in 28 chances.
Katie Nalley and Valerie D’Agostino, Bowie; Beth Ann Fusco and Andria Fisanich, Pallotti; Callie Thessen, Parkdale; Yukari Suzuki and Emily Anderson, Central; Olivia Tacconelli, Amanda King and Traci Buemi, Roosevelt; Anna Duranske, Grace Brethren; Sharron Lipford and Joanne Coley, Largo; Erin Sheehan, Lauren Decker and Lauren Ghent, Seton; Mimi Akahane,Northwestern; Sharde Estep and Carolyn Barbour, Gwynn Park; Kristen Schooler and BrittaniSteward, Flowers; Amber Haering and KelseyLepore, Laurel; Melissa Amaya and Brittany Dildy, High Point.