All Examiner Softball

Sports,Craig Stouffer

Player of the Year

Dana Ward, Sherwood, Junior, pitcher

In her first full season in the circle, the left-hander and repeat All-Examiner selection was the most dominating hurler this side of the Potomac. Pitching every inning of every game, Ward led the Warriors (16-3) to a 4A North Region title, finishing the season with a 0.65 ERA, 256 strikeouts, 12 shutouts, eight no-hitters, four one-hitters and one perfect game. She also hit .404 with one home run and seven RBIs, and she’ll carry a 14-game hitting streak into her senior year.

Coach of the Year

Louie Hoelman, Blair

In his sixth season, Hoelman guided the Blazers (16-2) to new heights, including 10 straight wins to open the season, the top seed in the 4A West Region playoffs and the program’s first-ever playoff win, a 5-2 triumph over Magruder in the regional quarterfinals. Blair also came within one inning of topping Gaithersburg — a team the Blazers had beaten during the regular season — in the regional final, and they will return seven starters next season.

First team

Kelly Riffle

Gaithersburg, senior, pitcher

Riffle put the Trojans on her back during the playoffs, amassing 27 strikeouts in three games as Gaithersburg won the 4A West Region title. She had 97 strikeouts for the season and batted .386 with five home runs and 19 RBIs.

Becca Jacobs

Watkins Mill, senior, pitcher

Jacobs started every game for the Wolverines (13-5) and kept them in contention all season, finishing with a solid 1.00 ERA and 159 strikeouts. She also batted .365.

Ellen Smith

Damascus, junior, third base

The best of the Swarmin’ Hornets’ endless supply of hitters, Smith batted .481 with five home runs and 24 RBIs. She also scored 27 runs as Damascus fell one run short of a second consecutive 4A West Region title.

Sharde Estep

Gwynn Park, sophomore, third base

The repeat All-Examiner pick led the Yellow Jackets (17-1) to their first Prince George’s County title, her game-winning hit giving Gwynn Park a 5-4 win over Bowie in the title game. Estep finished the season with a .606 average, 10 home runs and 69 RBIs.

Erin King

Bowie, third base, senior

The rock at the corner for the 4A South Region champion Bulldogs (20-3), King batted .653 (49-for-75), including four home runs and 42 RBIs. She struck out just once and more than half of her hits went for extra bases.

Taylor Wyatt

Damascus, freshman, shortstop

A leadoff nightmare for opposing pitchers, Wyatt struck out once all season while batting .466 with five home runs and 24 RBIs. She also led the Swarmin’ Hornets with 27 runs and has a gun of an arm in the middle infield.

Becca Kirshner

Gaithersburg, sophomore, shortstop

One of the top-fielding talents in Montgomery County, Kirshner helped the Trojans to a 4A West Region title at the plate by batting .420 with five home runs and 19 RBIs.

Alice Hardwick

Poolesville, senior, shortstop

A team leader in nearly every offensive category, Hardwick batted .500 with six home runs and 25 RBIs. She led the Falcons (16-3) to 11 straight runs during one stretch and to their second 1A South Region final in three years.

Amanda Kibbe

Gaithersburg, junior, second base

A secondteam All-Examiner pick last season, Kibbe forms the second half of what easily could be the area’s best central infield next season. She led the Trojans with a .438 average, including .600 OBP, one home run and nine RBIs.

Michelle Linford

Blair, junior, shortstop/pitcher

As versatile as they come, Linford was the Blazers biggest weapon in the circle, where she posted an 8-1 record with 59 strikeouts. She also led Blair at the plate with a .491 average including two homers, three triples and 23 RBIs.

Katie Obal

Sherwood, junior, catcher

A big key to Dana Ward’s success as a pitcher, Obal was a terror for base runners, where she threw out five of eight on stolen base attempts. She also led the Warriors with a .541 batting average, including one home run and 26 RBIs.

Allison Rubin

Blair, junior, outfield

Speedy on offense and defense, Rubin made repeated plays in the field and finished the season with 12 stolen bases. She also batted .444 with three home runs and 12 RBIs.

Kelly Fahrner

Seneca Valley, senior, outfield

The most talented member of the Screamin’ Eagles unmatched outfield, Fahrer led Seneca Valley with a .422 average with 19 hits and 19 RBIs.

Kathy Holonich

Sherwood, sophomore, outfield

An unsung hero for the 4A North Region champs, Holonich was perfect defensively in the outfield. She also batted .418 with two home runs and 25 RBIs.

Candace Thompson

Richard Montgomery, senior, pitcher

Thompson threw 167 strikeouts and allowed just 16 earned runs (1.21 ERA). She was also a force at the plate, leading the Rockets (13-4) with a .605 average, including four home runs and 28 RBIs. She struck out just three times.


» Pitchers: Kim Bartlett, Good Counsel, senior; Rebecca Einstein, Quince Orchard, junior; Susan Miller, Einstein, senior; Hillary Quade, Gwynn Park, sophomore; Kristin Schooler, Flowers, senior; Stephanie Wood, Paint Branch, senior.

» Infielders: Sarah Pierce, Blair, senior, first base; Rachel Pozzatti, Sherwood, senior, second base; Jordan Reid, Gwynn Park, sophomore, shortstop; Kelsey Sheehan, Elizabeth Seton, junior, shortstop; Avian Spiller, Springbrook, senior, catcher; Rachel Stream, Poolesville, sophomore, third base.

» Outfielders: Jacquie LeMar, Seneca Valley, sophomore; Kelly Morrow, Sherwood, sophomore; Sarah Rumbaugh, Blair, senior; Ashley Williams, Largo, junior.

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