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SOFTBALL: Dominant in Every Phase, Conwell-Egan Advances to PCL Final

By John Knebels, 05/20/23, 9:15PM EDT


By John Knebels

(Photos by Mark Zimmaro for PSD)

FAIRLESS HILLS – It was pretty much over with one swing.

As she has done countless times throughout her brilliant career, Conwell-Egan Catholic senior Katey Brennan contributed mightily when she belted a lonnnng first-inning, three-run homer that jumpstarted a 12-0, five-inning victory over visiting four-seed Lansdale Catholic in a Philadelphia Catholic League semifinal Wednesday afternoon.

While the top-seed Eagles received offense up and down the lineup, lights-out pitching by senior Ahlana Sesar and superb all-around defense did the rest to push the Eagles into the PCL championship against Archbishop Ryan 4 PM Monday at Neumann University.

Searching for their first title since 2007, this marks the third straight season that Conwell-Egan has advanced to the league final.

Conwell-Egan vs. Lansdale Catholic in PCL Semifinals (Video/ John Knebels for PSD)

“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Brennan, who also started the 2021 PCL final – a 10-6 loss at Archbishop Ryan – with a three-run homer. “I have my teammates behind me, because it wouldn’t have been a three-run homer without them. It’s a great way to start a game.”  

After Brennan’s three-run bomb, junior catcher Leanna Bresnen, who picked off a Crusader at first base to end the first inning and finished with three RBI, smoked a two-run double. Batting for the second time in the first inning, junior Molly Milewski added an RBI single.

Conwell-Egan standout senior Katey Brennan slammed a very memorable 3-run homer in the first that jumpstarted her team's 12-0 semifinal. (video/ John Knebels for PSD)

COnwell-Egan's returning pitcher Ahlana Sesar (l) and catcher Leanna Bresnen talk about a superbly played semifinal victory. (VIdeo/ John Knebels for PSD)

The Eagles batted around again in the third, scoring five runs via RBI by Sesar (2 for 3, double), Bresnen (double, sacrifice fly), sophomore Cecelia McBeth (double, walk), and sophomore Lily Milewski (2 for 3, run scored, RBI). By the end, eight of their nine starters scored at least one run. Six different batters added an RBI. The game ended with a sensational infield double play.

Pitching in her first league game since a concussion on April 11 necessitated a long and careful evaluation, Sesar allowed only two hits while striking out three.

In a word, Sesar was superb.

“I was so excited to be back,” said Sesar, who pitched in a non-league win over neighborhood rival Truman last week. “I loved watching my team play while I was out and just saw how hungry they were. I definitely missed playing with them and wanted to be back around and give off the same energy.

“When I came back, it felt like I never left because everyone on the team just has one another’s back. I feel like right now we have this spark going and hopefully during the championship, we’ll turn the spark into a fire.”  

COnwell-Egan coach Sandy Hart wanted a fast start - her players responded with a 7-run first inning. (video/ John Knebels for PSD)

C-E coach Sandy Hart was asked what she appreciated most – the pitching, hitting, or fielding.

She chose something else.

“The start, the start,” said Hart. “In most games this year, we were letting teams come to us instead of going after them. Last time we played Lansdale Catholic, we didn’t score until the sixth inning (11-3 win on April 11).

“This year we stressed defense, defense, defense, and that came through today. Ahlana pitched a great game. Clutch hits, situational hitting, and power hitting.”

Conwell-Egan played at a torrid pace both offensively and defensively.

“You have to be aggressive,” said Hart. “Can’t be afraid of making a mistake. That’s the worst mistake you’re gonna make.”


(Contact John Knebels at or on Twitter @johnknebels.)