Softball: Chichester-Sun Valley renew rivalry on the diamond

Can All-Delco and La Salle-bound shortstop Michelle Hagarty lead Chichester to a District One final?

Can All-Delco and La Salle-bound shortstop Michelle Hagarty lead Chichester to a District One final?

For years, Chichester and Sun Valley battled for the Del Val League title with Interboro and Academy Park. In the 1990s, softball in the Del Val was at its peak.

Once Sun Valley jumped ship to the Ches-Mont League – a move that still baffles many to this day – the Del Val has suffered in softball due to the lack of steady competition.

Though they’ve faced in nonleague games throughout the years, today is a true revival of a great rivalry.

For the first time,Chichester and Sun Valley meet in the semifinal round of the District One Class AAA playoffs, with a trip to both the district championship game and state tournament on the line.

The storied neighborhood rivalry between Chi and Sun Valley – known for its Thanksgiving tradition on the gridiron – begins a new champter today. The Eagles and Vanguards meet at West Chester East High School for a 4 o’clock first pitch.

The No. 9 Eagles stunned top-seeded Radnor, 8-6, behind solid hitting performances from their top hitters. Michelle Hagarty had three hits and three runs scored, while pitcher Meg Wimmer and first baseman Sarah Murray contributed key hits.

That game wasn’t as wild as the other quarterfinal contest happening in Delco last Saturday. Fourth-seeded Springfield and No. 5 Sun Valley traded blows, with the Vanguards getting the best of the Cougars, 9-8, thanks to Houdini act by pitcher Jamie Lachall to close things out.

The Vanguards are vying for their second consecutive trip to the district title game.  The winner of Chichester-Sun Valley play the winner of No. 2 Nazareth and No. 6 Villa Maria.

In the District One Class A tournament, No. 3 Delco Christian (11-6) takes on Bristol, the perennial top seed, in a semifinal game at Plymouth Whitemarsh.

Bristol won the regular-season meeting, 14-6.

Bristol is the reigning two-time champion. In 2011, Bristol routed Delco Christian to win the District One crown.

The Knights have hot-swinging Stacey MacArthur – who has a county-high nine home runs – playing in what could be her final scholastic event. Win or lose, MacArthur will go down as one of the best female athletes in school history.

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