When you have a banner year like the Saint Francis (PA.) Red Flash softball team did last season it’s hard to do much better short of making it to the Super Regional’s round and the WCWS.
The small school tucked away in the woods of Loretto, PA. went 49-11 last year setting both a team and NEC record for season wins. The team went a perfect 19-0 against NEC opponents en route to winning its first ever NEC Title.
The Red Flash also made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament along with their first ever NCAA Tournament win over New Mexico State by a score of 8-4. Their dream season came to an end though with two losses to SEC powerhouse South Carolina in the Arizona Regional by scores of, 12-2 and 3-1.
Luckily for Red Flash head coach Jennifer Patrick-Swift she has 12 returning players from that very productive 2017 team, six of which were All-NEC selections. Among them is senior shortstop Jordan Seneca who for much of last season was the D1 home run leader ending her season with 22 homeruns. NEC Rookie of the Year sophomore pitcher Abby Trahan is also back for this season. Trahan finished last year with a record of 15-4 and an ERA of 2.45.
Other returning players for the Red Flash include outfielder Sierra McKee along with infielders Madison Cabell, Cheyenne McKee and Kassidy Troxell. Senior outfielder/pitcher Alexis Bower will also be back playing on this year’s team after having to set out last season due to an injury.
The Red Flash’s season starts out with several tournaments starting with the Costal Carolina Tournament held in S.C. starting on Feb 9th, 2018. Then they move on to the Tiger Invitational Tournament in Auburn, Alabama. The team will get an early season non-conference test there with games scheduled against SEC powerhouse Auburn and a improved Georgia State team.
Being a Northern team the Red Flash won’t get to play a home game until March 31st when they play a doubleheader against visiting team St. Marys.
The biggest problem for this year’s team looks to be finding strong pitching to compliment Abby Trahan after losing two of their top pitchers from last season Ketarah Devries and Ethel Santai (2017 NEC Pitcher of the Year).
Even with those pitching questions I still look for St. Francis Red Flash softball to have another good year with a NCAA tournament appearance again for them with their talented group of returning players along with new players to help fill the teams few small needs.