Freeport ace wastes no time in committing to St. Francis (Pa.)
Friday, January 27, 2023 | 5:38 PM
Sydney Selker has two more softball seasons to play at Freeport, but the Yellowjackets standout also is looking further down the road at an opportunity she’s wanted for a long time.
Selker on Thursday gave a verbal commitment to join the softball team at Division I St. Francis (Pa.).
“My dream was to always play Division I softball,” she said. “Now that it is happening, and I got recruited in my junior year, it is a very special feeling. I know my hard work truly paid off.”
Selker announced her decision to join the Red Flash program on Twitter as she thanked her parents, sisters, grandparents, coaches, instructors and teammates for all their support, most recently in a recruiting process that also included mutual interest from Division I programs Valparaiso and Ohio University.
Selker said St. Francis was the total package for her, mixing a strong education in business with the chance to join a softball program that has won five consecutive Northeast Conference championships.
The compact size of the campus in Loretto and the medium-range distance from home were just a couple of factors that sold Selker on her future home away from home.
“I know my family can easily come up and watch me play,” Selker said. “With the educational opportunities, St. Francis has a very high placement rate for jobs right out of graduation. It just felt like home as soon as I walked on campus. The softball coaches are great, and they have built and maintained a winning program that I want to be a part of. It felt right. It was just a perfect fit for me. “
The WPIAL has produced plenty of softball talent that has gone on to solid careers with the Red Flash.
Plum graudate Jordan Seneca enjoyed a successful four years at St. Francis from 2015-18. She now ranks second all-time in career home runs (48) and runs scored (181) and fourth in career RBIs (156). She also is the program leader for career walks (154) and stolen bases (56).
St. Francis went 37-18 overall last spring and was 20-4 in Northeast Conference play. The Red Flash protected their home field to the tune of a 14-1 record.
The run of five straight conference titles is the longest in NEC history.
“I know that I need to work even harder now until my freshman year of college,” Selker said. “It is a great responsibility to come in and help keep the level of success going. Those championship rings look pretty cool, and I want a couple of my own. I look forward to contributing to the team and being prepared to pitch my best.”
Selker also is excited for shorter-term opportunities with Freeport as she and her softball teammates come together for workouts in advance of the season. Preseason practices begin March 6 with the first regular-season games set for March 17.
The Yellowjackets were 10-7 overall last year and 6-4 in Section 1-4A. They routed Central Valley in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs before falling to eventual WPIAL champion Beaver in the quarterfinals.
Selker, Freeport’s starting pitcher and also an infielder, threw 94 of the team’s 107 innings last year and fashioned a 3.28 ERA with 151 strikeouts and 51 walks.
She batted .364 (20 of 55) with five doubles, a triple, a home run, 10 RBIs and 19 runs scored. Her dual efforts earned her a spot on the Valley News Dispatch all-star second team.
Under the new alignment for the next two seasons, Freeport dropped to Class 3A and will face Avonworth, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Valley and Shady Side Academy in section play.
“We lost five starting seniors, and we have 12 freshmen coming up,” Selker said. “It will be interesting to see how we fill those spots. I know those freshmen are going to work super hard. The girls in my grade and the one sophomore, we’re all going to work super hard to prepare. We dropped down and will be facing some really good teams. That is going to put us to the ultimate test to see where we stand and how well we connect as a team.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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