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Shipley’s Abbie DeSantis is Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week

The senior pitcher, a first team All-Main Line softball selection as a sophomore hurler, has continued to play a key role in the Gators’ success this spring, both on the mound and at bat. She has a 4-0 pitching record this season with an 0.00 ERA (as of May 1), striking our nearly two batters per inning. She’s batting .600 with 12 RBIs in 25 at bats, with a slugging percentage of 1.320. Off the diamond, she plays volleyball for Shipley. Next fall, she will attend the University of Tampa.


Q: What do you consider your best pitch? What aspect of pitching are you working on the most?


A: This is hard because it varies every game. After my last game, I would say my best pitch is my rise. It was working well and got a lot of swing and misses. I have been working the most on using my power to my advantage and getting off the mound as fast and hard as possible.


Q: What do you think has been the most important thing you’ve learned recently regarding hitting?


A: I have recently changed my swing and this has helped me tremendously. The most important thing in my new swing is not being on top of the ball: more line drives, less grounders.


Q: Tell us a little about your softball training during this past COVID pandemic year, the biggest challenges you faced as a softball player, and how you dealt with those challenges.


A: It was difficult to deal with missing my junior year season and part of my summer season. I missed the game a lot, until I was able to get back on the field. I did as much as I could at home, with my dad catching for me in the driveway and working on my swing. I am grateful that I was able to have part of my travel season throughout the summer and fall, and that I get to have a season my senior year for Shipley.


Q: Tell us a little about your start in competitive softball. Who have been your biggest softball mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you about softball?


A: I started playing competitive softball at age 11 and haven’t stopped. While all of my coaches throughout my softball career have taught me important things about softball, my two current coaches, Maria DiBernardi and Dan Hopple, have helped me grow the most. They both have been some of my most important mentors in both softball and life. Coach Maria has taught me to be strong on the mound and has been essential to my success at Shipley. Having Coach Maria as my pitching coach outside of Shipley has really improved my skills. Coach Dan has given me a lot of individual time and attention to my batting and fielding skills and I can’t thank him enough. He had also just made the game so much fun for me. We have a special bond that I haven’t had with many of my coaches, and I wouldn’t want anyone else to be my coach in my last year of travel softball.


Q: You wear uniform jersey No. 15 for Shipley softball – was there a reason you chose this number?


A: For my travel softball team my nickname is Nickels, because I wear 55. So I wear 15 at Shipley for triple nickels.


Q: What will you be majoring in at the University of Tampa? Is there a career path that particularly interests you at the present time?


A: I will be majoring in Forensic Science. I would love to go into CSI as my career path.


Fun facts – Abbie DeSantis

Favorite book: The Laramie Project.

Favorite author: Toni Morrison.

Favorite TV show: Schitt’s Creek.

Favorite movie: Frozen 2.

Favorite athlete: Rhys Hoskins.

Favorite team: Philadelphia Phillies.

Favorite place to visit: Tampa, Fla.

Person I most admire, and why: “My dad, he has been by my side since I started softball, and without his support or dedication to me, it would be difficult to keep playing. It has been fun having him by my side since Day One.”

Family members: parents Chris and Rebecca, sister Sammie.


(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)




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