Freeport softball team has plans to maintain playoff streak
Tuesday, March 15, 2022 | 4:55 p.m.
Freeport softball have made the playoffs 12 times in a row, and with an experienced returning core as well as young talent, they will be looking to continue the streak.
“We’ve made the playoffs every year since I’ve been here, which is a pretty good achievement, and it’s a credit to the girls and the coaches I’ve had over the years,” said Freeport coach Sam Ross. “We were pretty consistent to finish near the top, so hopefully that holds up.
The Yellowjackets have made the playoffs every year since 2009, minus the 2020 season which was canceled due to covid-19. They were 12-7 last year, 6-4 in the 1-4A Division and lost 3-2 to Yough in the first round of the playoffs.
Five seniors return: Natalie King, Autumn Powell, Jenna Selker, Maddie Shanta and Savannah Urik. Only two starters, Emily Schmidt and Maya Borghol, graduated.
Powell hit .459 last year with two doubles and three home runs. King hit .438 with a pair of homers.
Powell and Sydney Selker, Jenna’s younger sister, will pitch. Both will get innings early to see who gets the ball once section play begins.
Sydney Selker is coming off a fantastic first season in which she led the team in batting average (.483) and home runs (7). She is among the subclasses that will be key this spring along with junior Aimee Heasley and sophomores Abby DeJidas, Hannah Shepherd and Megan Grolemund.
Freeport will have around a dozen girls on the roster. Having a smaller number is nothing new to Freeport. They’ve carried a dozen or a few more in past seasons.
“With a smaller number, everyone gets more reps in their position, and we can do a lot of individual work,” Ross said. “It’s good. We’ve had a great off-season with conditioning and fundamentals. We’ve had good attendance. They’re a nice, stable group and they should be very good.
Freeport will spend one final season in Section 1-4A before moving to Class 3A in 2023. Highlands, who made the WPIAL final last year, Knoch, McKeesport, Burrell and Greensburg Salem are also in the section.
“We liked playing in this section last year,” Ross said. “It was nice to see Highlands make it to the final and represent the section. It’s a good section. With Burrell riding with us, we’ve played them forever. Knoch is our neighbor. It’s a fun section.
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer