Mayock and Marlino’s reunion provides spark for Academy of Notre Dame softball

When Katie Mayock and Sophia Marlino completed their U14 travel softball season with TNT they thought it would be the final time the duo would be teammates.

Mayock, bound for Conestoga High School, decided to concentrate on basketball thus signifying the end of her travel softball days while Marlino was headed for the Academy of Notre Dame.

Fortunately for Academy of Notre Dame and second-year softball coach Carl Ellis, change remains the only constant. Mayock transferred from Conestoga to the Academy of Notre Dame, creating a reunion with one of her life-long best friends.

“The plan always was for us to finish our careers together on the same travel team, but once I decided not to play travel anymore, I did not think that was going to be possible since we were going to different high schools,” said Mayock following her team’s 20-9 win over Lower Merion April 2. “It’s really been amazing being able to continue playing with Sophia at the same high school. She’s a great teammate & an even better friend, and there’s no one else I’d rather have played seven years and counting with.”

Marlino added, “I was sad last year when our 14U season was coming to an end because I thought it was our last year of playing together.  I am so glad she transferred to Notre Dame so we have three more years playing softball together.  She is one of my closest friends!”

Only two games into the season, the sophomore pair has made an immediate impact for a team that is fortunate to have solid senior leadership. With the Inter-Ac season ready to commence against Germantown Academy and Penn Charter, the Irish won their first two non-league contests due in large part of the battery of Mayock and Marlino.

“Katie and Sophia are a spectacular duo for any coach to be blessed with – always helpful to myself and other teammates spreading their softball knowledge and positive energy to the team,” Ellis said. “Sophia calls her own game behind the plate, while Katie is super on the mound pitching and fielding. Could a coach ask for more?”

Entering the season with a young team, Ellis has been pleased with the growth they have shown from last year to this year. Additionally, Ellis knows a key factor in his team’s success will be senior leadership.

Ellis said, “Our senior captains (Gab Fanucci and Maura Bradley) have been instrumental help for the coaches and players. They take care of all communications to varsity and JV teams so everyone knows where to be and when. They also take care of organizing all of the off field fun activities and team dinners as well as giving me vital team feed back on team and practices.”

“The seniors are real easy to talk to and really welcoming,” said Mayock, following the Lower Merion game. “They have let me in.”

Marlino added, “Last year’s seniors were really great. We had two strong captains and four starting seniors so that really hurt losing them but this year Gab (Fanucci) stepping up to pitch and putting in the work so its nice.”

While the senior leadership will provide importance, the future is now for a young team and the battery of Mayock and Marlino provide familiarity at key positions that should help Notre Dame continue its ascension.

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