SPRINGFIELD >> As one of the best softball teams in the history of Upper Merion High School heads into its final weeks of the season, the career records are mounting.
Dex Kandy has already set career standards for walks, hits, runs and singles, while Micaela Ghanayem set the career record for doubles earlier this year and Abby Volpe has set the program record for career triples.
Olivia Sborlini already owns the school record for career home runs, and Thursday, in the Vikings’ 16-0 cakewalk over host Springfield, she matched the program’s career standard for pitching victories, tying the mark set by 1997 graduate Tracy Deuber.
“This is one of the best teams this program has ever seen,” said Vikings head coach John Whitney, “so there are a lot of records that have been set, or records that are about to be set this year.”
Sborlini landed her 48th career victory in the win, and immediately credited a different approach to pitching this year.
“I’m not thinking ahead anymore, like I used to,” Sborlini said. “I concentrate on one pitch at a time, and I’ve noticed a big difference.”
That difference was visible Thursday as Sborlini limited the Spartans to two scratch hits, both in the third inning, by which time the Vikings were comfortably in front.
Abby Volpe and Allie Moffett drove in first-inning runs, while four different Vikings players drove in runs in a six-run second.
By the time Volpe made it 10-0 in the third with a two-run triple, the Vikings were well on their way.
When six runs followed in the fourth, Whitney called on Kayla Warren to pitch the fourth, which she did without allowing a hit or a run.
The Spartans were blanked, but head coach Curt Cyliax said they won’t be down very long.
“We’ve seen a lot of correctable mistakes, and we just have to work on them,” Cyliax said. “This is a rebuilding year, and I think we can take some solace in seeing where we could be in a couple of years.
“The good news is that we made much better contact against (Sborlini) than we did the first time around.”
When the win was assured, Whitney said the Vikings are really looking forward to Friday’s meeting against Perkiomen Valley and the coach is still hopeful Villa Maria will get back to him to reschedule a rained-out, non-league game that may well determine the top seed in the upcoming District One Class AAA playoffs.
“We want the Villa game bad,” Sborlini said of the returning district champs that ushered the Vikings out of the playoffs via a 5-4 victory a season ago.
As for the Perkiomen Valley contest, the threat of rain on Friday may push the game back to Monday.
“It was originally a night game, but now it’s a day game,” Sborlini said. “We’re hoping to get it in.”