A new week brings more change, including a new (but old) No. 1.
It’s been an unpredictable year for softball, for sure.
(Actually, that’s completely normal).
Here’s this week’s Super 7
1. Springfield (11-1) + 1
After a one-week hiatus from the top spot, the Cougars are back on track. The loss to Radnor a few weeks back was an aberration. The Cougs won a wild one against Haverford last Wednesday under the night. Their pitching hasn’t been lights out in the big games, but Tori DePietro and Courtney Scarpato can make up whatever runs they’re giving up with their solid hitting. Actually, the whole team hits They wake up, roll out of bed, and rake. Taylor Winkelman is having an outstanding season and is the leading home run hitter in Delco. It’s just a fun team to watch. So while anything can happen. Springfield is as close to the best as we have seen so far.
2. Cardinal O’Hara (8-1) +2
The fight for the No. 2 spot involved four legitimate contenders, but the Lions deserve it most. O’Hara is unbeaten in the Catholic League, with wins against St. Hubert and Little Flower last week. Oh yeah, senior All-Delco pitcher Molly Rafferty led a no-hitter against Haverford, which has been the team’s greatest accomplishment to date. Another team with a deep lineup fueled by leadoff hitter Jackie Marshall, Lauren DelRomano and Grace Boston. Two more massive Catholic League games on the schedule this week: Conwell-Egan (Tuesday) and Lansdale Catholic (Thursday). Watch out.
3. Chichester (8-0) -1
The Eagles pummeled Interboro twice and will become Del Val League champs soon. Now they truly will be tested, beginning today against Episcopal Academy. I think the Eagles are for real regardless of the weak schedule preceding them, with a decent track record against tough playoff teams (remember, this was a district runnerup in 2013). “Come on, Matt, Chichester has done nothing!” argued one casual fan of my work and a local softball enthusiast. “OK,” I said, “Step into the box against (Meghan) Wimmer and get back to me.”
4. Episcopal Academy (6-1) +3
The Churchwomen won a 2-1 game at Agnes Irwin last week and have more tough games ahead. If EA can beat Chichester a few hours from now …well, I’m going to look pretty silly. Even with a loss to Radnor last week, junior Alex Viscusi has been pretty awesome, but I’m not breaking any news here. She’s doing it all. Of course, EA isn’t a one-trick pony. Catcher Gabby Donatucci and shortstop Taylor Long have been very consistent both with their defense and bats. Reminder that Ch vs.-EA is also Wimmer vs. Viscusi. What. A. Match.
5. Garnet Valley (8-3) Unranked
I believe we printed inaccurate info on GV’s winning streak last week, but it’s cool — the Jaguars are certainly playing very well nonetheless. They’ve atoned for their errors in early-season losses to Haverford and Marple Newtown. Last week, they looked great, starting with a 2-1 victory on the road at Radnor and a 9-2 triumph over an improved Ridley team before a 16-1 blowout of Harriton. Reva Alderman, Sam Tomasetti, Ellie Oruska and Ashley Moskowitz have all hit the ball quite well this season. Nicole Clayton continues to make her mark from the circle and has made great strides.
6. Radnor ( 8-3) -5
Please, just understand that I meant no ill-will by putting the Raiders No. 1 last week. Daily Times curse, be damned So the Raiders, through jinx or otherwise, have struggled to consistently score more than a few runs per game. Also, their margin for error is smaller than most contending Central League teams. But if you stop losing faith in the Raiders, they come back and defeat previously undefeated Episcopal Academy, 6-3. (Nobody scores that many runs off Viscusi) So, ultimately, this is a team with a few holes like anyone else, but they’re good enough to make it up with very good pitching, fine defense and timely hitting (on most days). Alas, Upper Darby beat them the next day. We’ll chalk that one up to three-games-in-three-days syndrome.
7. Upper Darby (6-5) – Unranked
So, you’re now probably thinking, “Wait…(followed by one of those long, devilish James Franco stares)…Upper Darby beat Radnor just the other day. Are you crazy?” The Royals beat Radnor at their third annual breast cancer awareness game, so everybody came out a winner after coming out and supporting the cause. Alex Turchi was the hero in that particular game, delivering the game-winning hit. But back to the original point: Why is Upper Darby so low? They have wins against Radnor, as mentioned, and also Haverford (which is bumped from the Super 7 entirely).But they also have losses to Garnet Valley, Marple Newtown, Conestoga. I guess consistency has been an issue for the defending co-Central League champs. Let’s see if they can keep the good times going for longer than one or two games. In fact, putting a five-loss team in the Super 7 is risky business, but it’s a safe bet to trust a program that just wins softball games, year after year, like this one. In what seems like a transitional year of sorts for UD, they’re still better than the majority of teams in Delaware County. Also, Kate Robinson and Olivia Chase are really good.
Bonner-Prendergast (6-2…based on games reported)
Agnes Irwin (6-1) … I’ve been snubbing this team for three weeks now. They deserve to be in the Super 7, but I can’t find a spot.
Haverford (8-3) … You know it’s been a competitive week for Super 7ers when the Fords are left out. A couple losses to O’Hara and Springfield have them on the outside looking in for now.