Kelly Suzanne Ross, 18, a freshman at Howard Community College, which she was attending on a basketball scholarship and where she played on the women's softball team, died Sunday at the University of Maryland Shock-Trauma Unit in Baltimore of injuries suffered in a traffic accident Saturday night.

Howard County police said the car in which Miss Ross was a passenger was traveling at high speed on Whiskey Bottom Road near Laurel when it failed to make a turn and crashed into a utility pole. The driver of the car, who was identified as Rick A. Thompson, 29, of Columbia, died at the Shock-Trauma Unit early Sunday. A second passenger, Susan Busic, 18, of Laurel, was treated for injuries at the Greater Laurel-Anne Arundel Hospital in Beltsville and released.

Police said the accident was alcohol-related.

Miss Ross was born at New London, Conn., into a Navy Family. She grew up at various military installations in this country, including the Washington area and Hawaii, and in Germany and Naples, Italy. From 1972 to 1976, the family lived in Kensington, and Miss Ross attended Newport Junior High School. They were transferred to Naples in 1976 and remained there until last year, when they moved to Columbia. Miss Ross was named Athlete of the Year at the Naples American High School before leaving Italy.

Survivors include her parents, Lt. Cmdr. and Mrs. Albert J. Ross Jr., of Columbia; two brothers, Stephen Joel Ross of Austin, Tex., and James Peter Ross, a Navy enlisted man stationed at Norfolk, and three grandparents, Almeta Ross, of Columbia, and Mr. and Mrs. W. Rice Sloan of Columbia, S.C.