Bryn Mawr – Confidence breeds success, or at least that’s what some might say. Talk to coaches, players and anyone involved with the Harriton softball program, it will be hard for anyone to disagree.
After struggling to find consistency for the first half of the regular season, a 3-1 win over Radnor on May 4 served as the turning point for a team that would go from not to making the district playoffs to clinching the schools first-ever district playoff berth.
“The win over Radnor was huge,” said Groeneveld. “It was at that point I started to feel confident that I could hit my spots. Coach Beck and I knew I wouldn’t blow the ball past anyone and the key to success was hitting my spots.”
“The Radnor game was huge for Sonia,” said Beck. “She realized if she hit her spots then the team would be successful and that’s what happened.”
Following the Radnor win, the Rams closed the regular season winning three of their final five contests including wins over Marple Newtown and Penncrest in the final regular season game.
“This year has been incredible,” said senior Shannon Finegan. “As a freshman I never would have imagined a season like this. I would look at the softball banner hanging in the gym and see nothing on it. We definitely gained confidence as the season went on and started believing in ourselves that we could compete with schools we had never beaten until this year.”
Coach Jack Beck added, “Having seniors Sonia (Groeneveld), Shannon (Finegan) and Hannah (Wheeler) definitely helped. Their senior leadership was key and I believe they gained more confidence as the season went on. They believed in our younger players and stepped up their games. I believe they fed off each other and that was huge for us.”
With a starting line-up compiled of mostly underclassmen, second-year coach Beck was hoping last season would serve as a valuable lesson. After starting the season on the short end of the scoreboard against Upper Merion, the Rams showed they had a short memory registering the program’s first-ever win over Central League foe Strath Haven in dramatic come-from behind fashion.
“I believe last year was key,” said Beck. “We started freshmen at key positions and while they took their lumps the experience they got was invaluable. They never got down on themselves and they bounced back.”
With the seniors showing the way, sophomores Maddie Rubin, Anna Walsh, Julia Erme, Kylie Marsh and Xochi Krumbeigel followed their lead and played a huge role in our success.
“I am so excited to see where the team goes from here,” said Groeneveld. “I believe the team gained a new confidence this year and we proved to ourselves that we can compete with these other teams. We worked together as a team and it was fun to see us reap the benefits.”
“This year meant everything,” said Finegan. “We were always viewed as an easy opponent and I believe it showed how hard we worked this year.”
Beck added, “I am happy for the seniors and also the underclassmen,” said Beck. “For the seniors, it’s a great reward for them and for the sophomores it’s another stepping stone to what we are trying to build.”
With a historic regular season in the books, the Rams now turn their focus to the first PIAA District One Class 5A playoff game in school history.