Softball in a flash

There isn’t much to say about a 15-0 loss. Girard Academic Music Program softball coach Jann Hoeltzel summed things up the next day with, "It wasn’t pretty."

The loss came against St. Pius X in the opening round of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association AA state tournament. St. Pius also eliminated the team in opening-round action last year. The experience hasn’t exactly made states enjoyable for the South Philly squad, but that’s what usually happens when city schools play suburban teams.

Monday, Northeast, Central and CAPA also represented the Public League in state playoffs and were outscored by a combined mark of 32-0. Add the 15-0 score from the GAMP game and it’s 47-0.

This is only the second year Public League teams have been eligible for state play. Yes, there is a lot of work to be done, but Hoeltzel is optimistic.

"I am really excited about next year," she said. "I am losing a lot of talent, there is no question about it. I like the talent and enthusiasm of the younger kids."

This group includes sophomore pitcher DeAnna DelGaiso, who has only been on the mound for three months, and sophomore catcher Samantha Zampetti.

"Samantha has grown throughout the season to the point where she has been real valuable this year," Hoeltzel said.

The CAPA softball team made the best showing of the four city schools, losing 4-0 to Allentown Central Catholic. The Pegasus didn’t have any hits, but they managed to keep it a lot closer than any of the other city representatives.

"It was very interesting," CAPA coach John Hecker said of his team’s first state tournament appearance. "We realized the level of competition we face [during the regular season] is our biggest problem. We don’t see [windmill] pitchers until the postseason. We probably would’ve been in that game [because] the girls were taking good swings."

Monday, one of the top pitchers in the state, Allentown Central Catholic’s Shavaun Fisher, challenged CAPA by throwing a near perfect game. She retired 20 out of 21 CAPA batters – 19 via strikeouts. Shortstop Ali Shepherd was the only player to reach base because of an error.

"They walked away with their heads high and people saying nice stuff about them," Hecker said of his team. "[On the way home] they were very upbeat – singing, laughing and joking."