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All-County Softball: Familiar names get top billing

June 14, 2013|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • North Hagerstown senior Danielle Wissinger is Herald-Mail Washington County Hitter of the Year.
Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer


Cara Ferguson and Danielle Wissinger have been friendly foes and teammates. It just depends on what time of year it is.

During the high school season, Ferguson is a pitcher/infielder for Smithsburg and Wissinger is a catcher for North Hagerstown. During the summer, they are both members of the Tri-State Thunder travel team.

And the common thread between them does not stop there.

Each is in her third year of capturing postseason honors for their expertise between the lines.

Ferguson is the 2013 Herald-Mail All-Washington County Pitcher of the Year and Wissinger is the Hitter of the Year.

Both were first-team selections as sophomores and Ferguson ascended to sharing co-Pitcher of the Year honors last year with Clear Spring’s Amber Forrest. Wissinger is also getting her third first-team nod.

Ferguson was head and shoulders above every other county pitcher.

She had an 11-7 record with a 1.24 earned run average. Her ERA signifies some of the problems Smithsburg had defensively. In tossing a healthy 136 innings, Ferguson allowed only 99 hits and had 103 strikeouts.

“A solid overall player,” coach Katy Barnhart said. “She has always been consistently an extremely good player. She doesn’t rattle and that helped her perform in pressure situations.”

With better defensive support at times, Ferguson’s record would have been much better.

“It wasn’t for a lack of effort that we lost because of defensive problems, but one thing about Cara, she never got upset with anyone,” Barnhart said.

Ferguson carries a load of confidence on her shoulders.
“I’ve always wanted to be a star player,” she said. “Practices have always been intense, always pushing myself. I was honored with the award last year, but I had to push to improve for this year. This award tops it all off.”

She attributes an improved screwball and adding a rise ball this year, something she will continue working on this summer with the Tri-State 18U team.

“I needed to add those pitches,” Ferguson said.

Smithsburg’s loss will be a gain for Hagerstown Community College.

“After (HCC) I want to transfer to hopefully a Division I school close to home and I also want to study accounting,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson wasn’t too bad with the stick either, hitting .420 with 29 hits, five doubles, four triples, three homers, seven walks and 28 RBIs.

“I’m happy with my high school career,” she said.

Wissinger didn’t pull any punches when listing her goals at the beginning of the year.

She wanted to hit at least .500, be the hitter of the year and throw out every runner trying to steal a base.

The first two she nailed. Obviously, wearing No. 13 was not bad luck for Wissinger.

Batting .507, Wissinger had 34 hits, 28 runs, five doubles, three home runs, 23 RBIs and eight walks. She not only scored a lot of runs for a catcher, but she also stole 10 bases. Her batting average was a 59-point improvement over her junior mark of .448.

“I’m very happy with my career,” Wissinger said. “I gained experience all four years. Coach (Amanda Fleming) did a great job.”

The University of Delaware-bound Wissinger has always preferred being behind the plate.
“I like the spot, you are in every play,” Wissinger said. “We had a good team this year.”

Wissinger is hopeful she’ll get the chance to play for Delaware as a freshman, citing the importance of having a good summer with travel ball.

In her first two years Wissinger played in the outfield and at third base before taking over the catching duties last year.

“As a catcher, she is definitely in her zone,” Fleming said. “No matter where she played, she had a drive and a passion. Even this year, she had some injuries she played through.

At Delaware, Wissinger plans on studying physical therapy or education.

Ferguson and Wissinger are joined on the All-Washington County First Team by:

Brook Drury, Clear Spring
The junior infielder came out of nowhere to become an excellent hitter, posting a team-high .468 average, along with seven doubles among her 22 hits.

Sarah Elwood, Clear Spring
A senior outfielder, she is a first-team selection for the second straight year. She had 23 hits in 17 games, hit .365 and scored 21 runs.

Emily Folk, North Hagerstown
The sophomore infielder makes her first-team debut with a .362 average, 21 hits, 26 runs scored and eight stolen bases.

Lauren Harbaugh, North Hagerstown
The junior makes the grade in the utility role after hitting .431 with 22 hits and 17 RBIs at the plate and a 6-4 record with a 2.68 ERA on the hill.

Kayla Huntzberry, Smithsburg
The sophomore infielder gets her second first-team award, hitting .392 with 29 hits, 20 runs scored and four doubles.

Jenna Knable, Clear Spring
The senior infielder, a second-team choice last year, hit .442 with five doubles, two triples and had seven stolen bases.

Katelyn Mehrling, South Hagerstown
A freshman, Mehrling makes the team in a utility role as infielder and pitcher. She was a misleading 3-10 with a 4.38 ERA, and led Washington County pitchers with 123 strikeouts. She hit .407 and had five triples.

Kristen Mellott, Clear Spring
The sophomore infielder, a second-team choice last year, hit .404 with three home runs and 17 RBIs. On the mound, she was 5-2 with a .363 ERA.

Savannah Mills, Clear Spring
The freshman pitcher was 6-2 with one save and a 2.22 ERA in her inaugural varsity season. In 63 innings, she walked only nine batters.

Brooke Parks, Smithsburg
The senior infielder is a first-team All-County pick for a third season after leading Washington County hitters with a .514 average. She had 37 hits, eight doubles, scored 23 runs and drove in 16.

Courtney Royce, Hancock
The senior infielder, a second-team All-County last year, hit .457, had 21 hits, scored 31 runs, drew 21 walks and stole 29 bases.

Kinsey Shifflett, Smithsburg
The senior catcher, a three-time All-County first-teamer, hit .400 with 26 hits, among them four home runs, six doubles, one triple to help produce 24 RBIs.

Rachel Thomas, North Hagerstown
The senior pitcher was a second-team All-County pick last year. She was 6-4 with a 2.29 ERA on the hill.

All-County Second Team
Name    Year    Position     School
Tori Albert    Senior    Infielder    Clear Spring
Alyssa Blank    Senior    Utility    Saint James
Sarah Blickenstaff    Senior    Catcher    Clear Spring
Leah Cadigan    Sophomore    Outfielder    Boonsboro
Haley Demory    Sophomore    Pitcher    Hancock
Laken Feeser    Sophomore    Outfielder    North Hagerstown
Khaliah Frost    Sophomore    Outfielder    North Hagerstown
Emily Getz    Sophomore    Infielder    North Hagerstown
Samantha Gladhill    Senior    Outfielder    Smithsburg
Tristan Hartle    Senior    Infielder    Boonsboro
Emily Harvey    Senior    Infielder    Hancock
Emily Taylor    Junior    Infielder    Williamsport

Honorable Mention
Boonsboro—Skylar Casto, Natelie Tobery. Clear Spring—. Hancock—Jessica Martin. North Hagerstown—Emily Gist. Saint James—. Smithsburg—Madison Bachtell. South Hagerstown—Darian Kamara. St. Maria Goretti—Cecelia Trybus, Drew Holderby, Tess Skeham. Williamsport—Caitlin Kennedy, Autumn Stotler, Casie Files, Kate Wade.


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