Senior Salutes: In a lost season, O’Hara’s Maggie Loomis turns to senior-week softball

Not even senior week could pull Maggie Loomis away from softball.

While in Wildwood with friends last week, Loomis was becoming somewhat anxious. She was itching to get back to pitching, taking swings, or fielding grounders. Anything to keep her busy.

Although she got more than a few weird looks from friends, all having as much fun as possible down the Shore and forgetting about their lives at home, Loomis had different ideas. She knew she looked out of place bringing her bat, glove and cleats on what was supposed to be her last hooray with high school friends before she begins college.

Loomis called her dad, Bill, who has coached her for years for Pegasus, one of the premier travel organizations in the state. Loomis asked her dad to make the trip to Wildwood because she needed someone to throw to.

“My dad was just down here yesterday, so I actually threw on senior week. I was thinking, you know, this is something that I want to do,” Loomis said, laughing. “I really just wanted to pitch and I wanted to get back out there. I don’t like staying away from the game for a long time, even if it’s just practicing or throwing outside for a little bit.

“My friends were, like, ‘OK, you’re not doing that’ as I’m walking through my house with my cleats over my shoulder. … But I had to get out there and practice for just a little bit. I’m the only senior from the team down here right now … so everyone was looking at me, like, ‘You’re crazy.'”

Cardinal O’Hara’s Maggie Loomis beats the tag by Bonner-Prendergast catcher Hayley Rugh in a game in 2019. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group)

Loomis said that losing her senior season was “heartbreaking.” The Cardinal O’Hara grad was looking forward to being a leader on a relatively young and inexperienced club. Loomis and Nicole DeOrzio, the Class of 2020’s valedictorian, were the club’s only seniors.

“All of the girls we had on the team, they were so great, so amazing,” Loomis said. “I felt extremely blessed to be a part of it. The girls that we had this year, the attitude they brought every day they came to the field, it was really infectious. I loved being around them and it was a blast. Those two weeks that we had with each other were amazing. I was really looking forward to going back to the PCL playoffs again and redeeming ourselves after last year, falling a little short.”

Loomis earned All-Delco honors in 2019 after leading the Lions to the championship game of the Catholic League tournament. As a junior, Loomis shined as the team’s starting center fielder and pitcher. She hit .480 with a .612 on-base percentage, six doubles and four triples. Loomis also earned All-Catholic League recognition.

“We wanted to get back there again and win it this time,” she said.

Loomis is a natural. She was a varsity starter at O’Hara since the first game of her freshman year. She made a grand debut on March 24, 2017, collecting three RBIs and two hits, including a key two-run single that snapped a tie in the top of the seventh inning in a victory at Upper Darby. Since that day, she has been one of the best all-around talents in the county. She would have been a contender to win the Daily Times Player of the Year award this spring.

READ: Senior Salutes: Softball

When she’s not breaking senior-week rituals by throwing bullpens with her dad, Loomis has remained active during the pandemic. She does crossfit with her pitching coach, Julie Sebastian, who was an All-Delco pitcher at Marple Newtown. Loomis has also participated in virtual practices with her Pegasus coaches and teammates.

All things considered, Loomis is very pleased with how her senior year played out.

“I’m really thankful for what O’Hara was able to do because they were always there for us,” she said. “Throughout the process, they let us know everything. They didn’t say, ‘Oh, we’ll let you know later.’ They made sure that they let us know they were doing everything in their power to give us the most normal graduation that they could.  We all got the chance to walk across the stage, we all got our diplomas. It was pretty cool the way they handled it and it’s definitely a graduation that I will never be able to forget.”

Loomis will spend the next four years at Alvernia, where she will pitch for the softball team. She is excited to have the opportunity to play against her big sister, Emily, who is entering her senior year at Eastern University. Emily, too, was an All-Delco at O’Hara.

For the Loomis sisters, at least they had the chance to spend time together at their home in Glenolden these last three months. Maggie said she learned so much about college life and college softball from Emily.

“It’s been awesome because I thought we couldn’t get any closer,” Loomis said. “We’ve been doing almost everything together, from her telling me what to expect in college, like the dedication level, to her showing me her workouts and what she’s done and what she’s planning to do.”

Although she had a difficult time making a final college decision, Alvernia ultimately was the perfect fit for Loomis. She will pursue a degree in healthcare sciences and physical therapy.

“I always said I wanted to go to a college that makes me feel at home the way O’Hara does,” she said. “I loved and cherished my time at O’Hara. I knew that I wanted a place with the same happiness and joy that I feel when I walk into O’Hara. Same type of people, same environment. That’s what they have at Alvernia. The people there are amazing. The environment is as close as I can get to O’Hara, which really makes me excited to join the pack.”

One added bonus to attending Alvernia is getting to play against Emily next spring.

“The conferences are being realigned, so next year will be the first time Alvernia and Eastern will play in-conference,” she said. “That will be the first time ever playing Emily. I can’t wait.”

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