Softball: Final Super 7

1. Upper Darby (17-4)

2. Bonner-Prendergast (15-5)

3. Cardinal O’Hara (14-6)

4. Haverford (17-4)

5. Chichester (13-8)

6. Agnes Irwin (15-2)

7. Springfield (14-7)

Analysis

Upper Darby: In the end, I think everyone who followed softball in Delco this year can agree the Royals were, pound

Upper Darby All-Delco Savannah Nierintz guided the Royals to 17 wins and a trip to th District One Class AAAA second round for the third straight year.

Upper Darby All-Delco Savannah Nierintz guided the Royals to 17 wins and a trip to the District One Class AAAA second round for the third straight year.

for pound, the most talented squad. Their entire starting lineup pretty much consisted of tournament players, kids who play the sport year-round. In an age where private schools are plucking kids from every town, Upper Darby has maintained a stellar feeder system, and the best kids in the area are still attending the school district..This year, the Royals captured their first Central League title since 2004 and advanced to the second round of the District One Class AAAA tournament for the third straight year where they, for the third straight year,  met their fate. Nevertheless, I think the Royals proved they were stupendously talented, and it’s easy to say they are one of the greatest softball teams at UD over the past 10-15 years.

MVPs: Savannah Nierintz, P; Kate Robinson, C/INF; Olivia Chase, 1B/P; Nat Quinlan, SS/C; Ishlae Toliver, 3B

2014 Breakout: Erin Redden, 2B/P

Bonner-Prendergast: You win a Catholic League title in softball, it’s safe to say you’ll find yourself pretty high on this list at the end of the year. The Pandas, buoyed by a strong senior class, did something no Prendie softball team has done in 21 years. Prendie logged some impressive victories over the season (Episcopal, Lansdale Catholic twice, O’Hara and, the best of all, St. Hubert). There was a new player stepping up seemingly every game, and that recipe led to great success. Prendie’s season ended uneventfully in a first-round PIAA Class AAA game. But only 16 teams in AAA in the state can claim they made it that far.

MVPs: Brooke Lachette, P; Rachel Schwindt, 1B; Maggie Griendling, LF

2014 Breakout: Nicole Shields, SS; Bern Carey, CF

Cardinal O’Hara: It just so happens the Lions ran out of steam (roar?) as the regular season ended and the

Cardinal O'Hara's Molyl Rafferty was at times the best pitcher in Delco this year.

Cardinal O’Hara’s Molly Rafferty was at times the best pitcher in Delco this year.

playoffs started. I’d ascertain the Lions deserve to be a playoff team over a Public League team any day of the week … but that’s a different post for a different day. In the end, the Lions ran into a hot Prendie team after a very good regular season highlighted by an eight-game winning streak that included an 8-3 romp over defending league champion St. Hubert. With All-Catholics  Molly Rafferty (pitcher) and Lauren DelRomano (second base) back in the fold, the Lions should compete for a league title in 2014. There was a stretch this past season when DelRomano and Rafferty were arguably the two hottest hitters in Delco. They make up a pretty lethal one-two combination.

MVPs: Molly Rafferty, P; Lauren DelRomano, 2B; Jackie Marshall, 3B

2014 Breakout: Taylor Connor, SS

Haverford: For roughly seven weeks, no team in the Central League, it seemed, could touch the Fords. They were rolling right along, reeling off 11 straight wins. Then they met Upper Darby for the second of two meetings, under the lights at Genthert Park. The Royals won the game to claim a share of the Central League title with the Fords. After defeating Interboro on the final day of the regular season, the Fords earned the highest seed in District One Class AAAA of any team in the county, but suffered a first-round setback at home to Avon Grove. On paper, the Fords weren’t the most talented, as they relied heavily on pitcher Bridget Newman and catcher Tyler Beccari. The sophomore Beccari flourished in her first season with the Fords, after spending her first scholastic season at O’Hara. Beccari’s addition proved to be a huge addition for Haverford this season and going forward.

MVPs: Bridget Newman, P; Tyler Beccari, C

2014 Breakout: Sami Donato, IF; Maura Cesanek, OF

Chichester: This might be a head-scratcher to some. How is Chichester ranked in the Super 7, but Interboro is not? I’ll be the first to admit the Bucs were clearly the better of the two, sweeping the season, 3-0, again their Del Val rivals,

Sarah Murray, center, and her Chichester teammates enjoyed an improbable postseason run that included a trip to the state tournament.  (Times staff / ROBERT J. GURECKI)

Sarah Murray, center, and her Chichester teammates enjoyed an improbable postseason run that included a trip to the state tournament.
(Times staff / ROBERT J. GURECKI)

and probably deserve a spot SOMEWHERE in the Super 7. But in the end, I look at the entire  body of work, and for me, Chichester had the better season when you factor in postseason success.But again, is that fair? Interboro is (wrongly) classified by the PIAA as a AAAA squad (which is based on precise enrollment figures) so the Bucs suffered a first-round setback in districts for the second straight year. Meanwhile, the Eagles played their best softball of the season against some very good teams in Pottsgrove, Radnor and Sun Valley. They beat those three programs en route to the District One Class AAA title game, where they suffered a one-ru InterboroNazareth.

If, hypothetically speaking, Interboro were a Class AAA team, it likely would have defeated Chichester and competed for a district championship. But it is what it is. Chichester had a heck of a run and made it all the way states.

MVPs: Michelle Hagarty, SS; Meg Wimmer, P; Sarah Murray, 1B

2014 Breakout: Maddie Thornton, C; Alex Maher, INF

Agnes Irwin: After a season-opening Inter-Ac League loss Episcopal Academy, the Owls would go on to lose only one game the rest of the way. It was at the hands of Penn Charter, thereby costing the Owls their fifth straight league title. But good things happen to those who persevere. Agnes Irwin would go on to capture its first PAISSA championship (2-0 over Episcopal Academy). Led by All-Delcos Katie Wenger and Lauren Fortunato, the Owls had a memorable year. You could make a case they should a bit higher in the Super 7.

MVPs: Lauren Fortunato, SS; Katie Wenger, P; Taylor Lord, 1B

2014 Breakout: Carolyn Shipe, 3B; Emily Speakman, C

Springfield: Choosing a seventh and final team wasn’t easy. There were a slew of candidates, including Sun Valley, which happened to beat Springfield in the District One Class AAA quarterfinal round in a wild, 9-8 affair. So, how come Sun Valley isn’t here? I like to think Springfield was a bit more consistent throughout the season. I think anyone who played for Sun Valley this season would use the word “inconsistent” to describe its year. The Vanguards were the defending district champs, but never really could piece it altogether. They were average against good Ches-Mont teams, and crumbled against Chichester in the District One semis. Thus, I thought Springfield was little more top-heavy on talent, with the Scarpato sisters (Lauren and Courtney), freshman sensation Tori DePietro and slugger Alexa Naughton leading the way. But, as always, it’s debatable. And isn’t that the point of every Super 7?

MVPs: Lauren Scarpato, SS; Courtney Scarpato, P/2B; Alexa Naughton, 1B

2014 Breakout: Tori DePietro, P/2B

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