Like it or not, the end of the summer is almost upon us. Pretty soon, time for fall sports to begin in earnest.
A quick look back at the previous two months since school ended doesn’t produce too many local athletic highlights. Just don’t tell that to the ladies who helped comprise the Inter-Academic portion (along with the Bicentennial League) of the 14th-annual Carpenter Cup Softball Classic.
From June 25 through June 28, approximately 250 players comprising 16 teams from the tri-state area battled for area supremacy in the double-elimination tournament at South Philadelphia’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park complex, a showcase event sponsored by the Philadelphia Phillies and watched closely by numerous college coaches hoping to unearth a player or two who might help their program.
“It was an amazing opportunity to come together with other girls from within the Inter-Ac and the Bicentennial leagues and play the other teams from around the area,” said Penn Charter’ then-sophomore Anastasia Lewis. “It was a wonderful bonding experience.”
The 15-player roster included standouts from Penn Charter (sophomore Maddie Solow, junior Abby Manion, and the aforementioned Lewis), Baldwin School (junior Georgia Dahm and sophomore Hanna Maier), Springside-Chestnut Hill (juniors Stephanie DeAngelis and Mo’ne Davis), Episcopal Academy (sophomore Isabella Volatile), and Germantown Academy (junior Sarah DiLello).
The tourney began with two victories in a span of six hours. In a 3-2 win over Delaware County West, starters Volatile, Solow, Manion, and Lewis (run scored) ripped singles while DiLello knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly. Lewis garnered the win after hurling four innings and striking out nine.
An 11-1 blowout of Olympic Colonial had Inter-Ac fingerprints all over it. Lewis was brilliant on the mound, allowing a measly two walks over four hitless innings and notching her second triumph. DeAngelis (3-3, 3 runs scored), DiLello (2-2, runs scored two RBI), Solow (2-2, two runs scored, 1 RBI, double), Manion (2-2, 3 RBI, double), Davis (1-3, 2 runs scored), and Dahm (RBI) were the main culprits behind the team’s offensive explosion.
Two hours later, the squad dropped a 14-4 decision to eventual champion Delaware County South. DeAngelis and Solow both contributed one hit and one run scored, with Solow knocking in half the team’s runs. Maier offered a double and walk; Manion and DiLello each knocked in a run.
The following day, an 11-0 loss to Lehigh Valley ended the journey. Davis and Dahm each poked singles in defeat.
The rollercoaster ride of two wins followed by two losses did not diminish the Inter-Ac representatives’ overall experience.
“It was a great way to showcase the girls' skills and love for the game to college coaches and other tournament teams,” said Lewis. “The updated fields were beautiful, and I hope to be invited back next year.”
Dahm described the tournament as “an incredible experience I will never forget.”
“The Carpenter Cup is unique because many of the players are playing on teams with their opponents and playing against their teammates from travel teams,” said Dahm.
“It’s a short couple of weeks to pull a team together, so you know everyone is there for one reason: to play softball, and in the end it doesn’t matter who is on the mound, in the box, or behind the plate. It’s all friendly competition with minimal coaching, allowing players to showcase their skills.”
Manion raved about the Cup’s ability to forge new friendships.
“It allowed me to meet a lot of different people from many different schools and even make good friends with them,” said Manion. “I thought that it was pretty cool how different players, who most never played with each other, were able to come together a form a team.
“Although this experience created a competitive atmosphere and everyone wanted to win, it was also filled with fun. I thought that this was a great event to have been able to experience, and I am grateful to have participated for the past two years.”
Like most, if not all. players, Solow wasn’t sure what to expect. She soon discovered that the time commitment would be well worth the sacrifice.
“When you go into these kind of things you don’t expect much,” said Solow.
“Each girl knows probably just one other girl, and possibly hasn’t met the coaches at all. It’s hard to go into those situations and think that you are going to do well right off the bat. But, I was very pleased when we did win our first game. I think that helped us gain confidence in each other and the coaches trusted us more to do well at our positions. Because of that, we moved on to the second day.”
Apparently, the Cup is already paying some players dividends.
“It was fun to get to play with and against girls that I play travel ball with, and it gave me the opportunity to showcase my skills in front of numerous college coaches,” said Maier. “I have already heard from some of them.”
(John Knebels can be reached at Jknebels@gmail.com or on Twitter @johnknebels.)
Tag(s): Home Schools Inter Academic League Softball Inter-Ac Notre Dame Softball Agnes Irwin Softball Baldwin School Softball Episcopal Acad Softball Germantown Acad Softball Springside CH Softball Penn Charter Softball