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SOFTBALL: Rounding Third, PCL Softball Remains Intriguing and Boasts Noteworthy Career Milestones

By John Knebels - Photos by James Williamson, 04/29/19, 10:30PM EDT


PCL Softball Round-Up (4/29)

By: John Knebels

Photos by: James Williamson 

PHILADELPHIA – It’s been a while since Cardinal O’Hara’s softball team has been alone in first place this late in the season, but that’s precisely where the 8-0 Lions find themselves with about one week remaining in the regular season.

Of the Lions’ eight victories, all but two have come against teams headed for the playoffs. Their toughest remaining competition are at home versus defending champion Archbishop Ryan on May 2 and at Lansdale Catholic five days later. Both opponents are 8-1.

Taking tie-breaking procedures into account, the Lions, Ragdolls, and Crusaders will comprise the first three finishers. But with a senior-laden roster, a regular-season title is secondary to players such as senior Lexi Galli, who has insisted that the “time is now” motto can be emphatically pinned on the Lions.

“The seniors and I would love to do it in our last year and give O’Hara their first Catholic League (softball) championship,” said Galli. “It has been the goal for everyone, especially the seniors.”

Galli said the Lions are particularly looking forward to playing Ryan on Thursday.

Cardinal O'Hara vs. West Catholic - PSD Photos by James Williamson

“Hopefully it will be a good game and the rain holds off,” she said. “It’s gonna be big. That’s also our senior night. We need to come up with big hits in key situations.”

Lansdale Catholic garnered a dramatic victory over visiting St. Hubert on April 23 and kept the Crusaders in the mix for a regular-season title.

The Crusaders came back from a late four-run deficit to send the game into extra innings. In the 10th, now playing under international tie-breaker rules, Hubert snared a 5-4 lead. In the bottom of the frame and in the middle of a full count, junior pitcher Mary Picozzi slammed a one-out, game-winning, two-run homer over the left-field fence. 

Picozzi’s only other walk-off hit – also a home run – occurred in seventh grade. This one was, umm, a tad more important.

“It was really exciting, especially to get a win out of it,” said Picozzi. “I just needed to only swing at strikes and stay relaxed, so that’s what I did. I just had to pick out my pitch.”

St. Hubert was the talk of the league Sunday afternoon following its surprising 10-0 win over previously unbeaten Archbishop Ryan behind one-hit, shutout pitching by senior Lindsey Davies and three doubles/three runs batted in by senior Jordan Frye.

In the Bambies’ previous game, coach Dave Schafer collected his 500th career victory, a 5-0 shutout over visiting Bonner-Prendergast. Schafer’s incredible career includes a 298-49 record at Conwell-Egan (then named Bishop Conwell) and a 203-87 mark (including the recent win over Ryan) at Hubert’s. He coached Conwell to 12 Catholic League titles and Hubert’s to four more.

“It doesn’t feel like that many, but at the same time, it feels great,” said Schafer. “Couldn’t have done it without all the excellent assistant coaches and outstanding players at both St. Hubert and Bishop Conwell.”

As for which squads will place five through 10 is anyone’s guess, thus making for a fascinating close to the regular season.

Archbishop Carroll (5-4) and Little Flower (5-3) would appear to have the best chance of placing fifth and sixth and, thus, avoid playing in a pre-quarterfinal game. The Patriots have one playoff team left on their schedule (Ryan); Little Flower has three, as do Archbishop WoodBonner-Prendergast, and Conwell-Egan.

The most rugged challenge will be faced by John W. Hallahan, which still must face Lansdale Catholic, Bonner-Prendergast, Little Flower, and Archbishop Wood. However, Hallahan proved its worth in a hard-fought, 5-0 loss to Archbishop Ryan.

“We had to keep the fight going and we wanted to show them that we aren’t an easy team to beat,” said Hallahan junior pitcher Grace Scally. “You need to work to beat us. I believe my team fought for everything.

“They have a strong lineup from batter one to nine. Even though it was a loss, we all kept our heads up and we were proud of our performance.” 

Little Flower clinches a top-six spot with three wins in its last four games; maybe even only two wins, depending on how other opponents fare.

St. Hubert head coach Dave Schafer comments about 500 career victories, achieved several days earlier - Video by John Knebels

Left to Right - St. Hubert's seniors Erin Hogan, Riley Gorman, Sarah Jordan, Julia Nolan, Lindsey Davies & Jordan Frye celebrate Senior Day after the Bambies' 5-0 victory vs. Bonner-Prendie on April 25.

Hallahan junior pitcher Grace Scally notches a 10-6 win for the Mickey Mouse against Conwell-Egan earlier in the season - video courtesy of Holly Scally

“We are extremely excited,” said junior Courtney Sherwood. “If we come out with the same energy and focus we’ve had, they should be great games. Our goal is always to win and keep positive energy throughout each game.”

That’s precisely what junior teammate Ginny Britto said.

“We are all very excited for the rest of the regular season,” said Britto. “We are taking it one game at a time, but the next few weeks should be fun.”


(John Knebels can be reached at or on Twitter @johnknebels.)