Rams softball team honors seniors, eye future

Andrew Eross, Sports Editor

While finishing the year with a great 16-4 record, Spring-Ford Softball unfortunately slumped late to end what was a great season. Despite leading 3-0 early, a late comeback win from Plymouth Whitemarsh on May 24 in the first round of Districts ended the Rams’ season. This followed an early exit in the PAC playoffs at the hand of Upper Perk via a walkoff grand slam in a 7-4 loss.

While the Rams were just outs away from a PAC championship appearance and moving on to the next round of Districts, no loss should discredit the team’s season nor the sendoff for a graduating class that just last year won the PIAA 6A State Championship for the first time in program history.

CF Ellie Jarrell, 2B Morgan Lester (SJU commit), 3B Gracie Carlin, and UTIL Madison Peck (UMBC commit) each graduate with PAC, District, and State championships, all a part of three winning seasons. Jarrell and Lester, probable 2023 All-Area selections, formed a formidable 1-2 punch at the top of the lineup, each slugging several homers and many multi-hit games. The Rams were unfortunately without the injured Carlin and Peck for their senior years who surely would have impacted greatly.

Several underclassmen stepped up for the Rams in the absence of the injured seniors. Juniors Caitlin Ashley (RF) and Riley Gancasz (SS) followed 2022 All-State seasons with solid years and will captain next year’s squad to hopefully reclaim past titles. Sophomore Jess Fliszar enjoyed a terrific two-way season, being the team’s everyday pitcher following the departure of All-State Pitcher Jules Scogna who graduated in the 2022 class. Fliszar additionally had success at the plate, including having slugged a walkoff homer at Boyertown in extras in a rivalry game on May 2.

Spring-Ford additionally got production from pitcher Katie Cecconi, who followed Fliszar in the rotation, and the catching tandem of sophomore Ava Bainbridge and junior Nicole Cecconi. Kayla Naylor headed first base in her junior campaign, who additionally looks to captain the 2024 squad in her senior season.

Another brightspot of the season were the varsity debuts for freshmen LF Addie Eross and 3B Ally Burgess. Both started almost every game all season, providing great defense and solid at-bats to round out the bottom of the order. Eross and Burgess are set to be cornerstones for the program in the years to come, with Burgess to stick at the hot corner and Eross likely to slide over to center field to take over Ellie Jarrell’s role.

A 16-2 regular season record is of course something to be proud of, with the playoff losses serving as learning opportunities for a young squad heading into next year. Returning 7-of-9 starters and the full pitching rotation, Spring-Ford is sure to continue their winning tradition.