POTTSGROVE >> She credits Tim Hughes for a majority, if not all, of her success on the diamond.
Monday afternoon, Pottsgrove’s first-year head coach and former Spring-Ford graduate JP Norris finally got the chance to go against her mentor.
The result didn’t go in her or the Falcons’ favor — the team falling 8-0 to the Rams — but it will be a moment that will stick with her for some time.
“Yeah, it was fun for sure,” Norris said. “That’s always been a dream of mine to make it to this level. Then to coach alongside the person that inspired me the most to get to this level was really cool for me.”
Norris isn’t the first Ram to enter the coaching realm and most likely won’t be the last. In Hughes’ tenure, players such as Hilary Tutrani and Lisa McGregor have moved onto coaching in the collegiate ranks. Both have ties to Cabrini, Tutrani taking the assistant job after a stint as an assistant coach at Albright in 2009 and McGregor taking the head position from 2008-2012.
“I love seeing those kids do that,” Hughes said. “Hilary Tutrani is coaching different places, Lisa McGregor at Cabrini for a couple of years. It’s great to see that, it really is. It’s fantastic.”
Norris, two years removed from a record-setting career at West Chester University where she holds three career records (games played – 211, at bats – 647, assists – 612) and one more single-season mark (162 assists; all-time PSAC record), is already showing promise according to Hughes.
“As a freshman (at Spring-Ford), she had the possibility of starting as a freshman for me. Before we knew what was going on, she had a vacation planned and everything and they cancelled that vacation. That’s the kind of person she is. She’s dedicated and an extremely hard worker,” Hughes said. “She is going to be a very good coach.”
Monday’s game also brought a clash between father and daughter: Spring-Ford assistant coach Mallory Greene on the opposite bench of longtime Falcon assistant Joe Greene. Mallory Greene, a former player and coach for Pottsgrove, led her alma mater to a District 1-AAA title game in 2011, before assuming an assistant spot under Hughes.
The Rams’ five-run third inning was enough to propel the team to the victory. Maddie Little finished with two hits and three runs scored while Morgan Maziarz finished with two hits and a game-best two RBIs. Sophia Cinti added three hits and an RBI in the win.
Sam Lindsay got the win in the circle, tossing five innings while allowing two hits with five strikeouts. Bri Kelly went the last two innings, allowing one hit.
Pottsgrove’s Rachel Cherubini had two of the Falcons’ three hits in a 2-for-2 effort. Rayna Markle struck out five in her seven innings of work.