Softball Spring Break Senior Catch-up and Their “Revenge Tour”

Marie Sykes


Vol. 5


Ten games in just five days – certainly a busy spring break for the softball team in Orlando, Florida. When not playing, they spent their time hanging out with each other, at the pool at their Airbnb, cooking team dinners, and had an off-day at Universal Studios. To hear more about their spring break and upcoming season, I sat down with four of the five softball seniors Cece Grahn, Sarah DiLello, Madison Wilson, and Sarah Sullivan (and Maddie Solow, absent).

If you haven’t had the chance to meet the team, they describe themselves as a very “happy-go-lucky team,” Wilson said. They have “lots of fun personalities [that they] embrace as a team… it’s gotten us very far.” DiLello continued, saying “we play best when we play loose and fun.”

Their Florida spring break tournament consisted of playing teams largely from the midwest, though more local teams like Penn State Burkes and Rowan University traveled there as well. Prior to the tournament, Ursinus just began to warm up, playing the Catholic University of America twice at home as non-conference games. At the tournament’s peak, they played three games in a day. “It was a harder competition than last year,” Grahn said, but “we learned a lot.”

The season that awaits them is their “revenge tour,” they called it, after being ranked eighth out of nine teams in the pre-season and heading to the conference championship ranked first. They are ready to get back to the conference championship win. DiLello said, “as a senior class, [we] play together but play to win [and] enjoy every moment.”

      “It was a slap in the face to everyone in our conference,” Grahn called it. Making this first seed allowed the team to play the championship game at home. “We got to sleep in our own beds. We got to wake up whenever we wanted to,” Grahn described as some of the perks. “It was unbelievable and the whole campus came and showed up for us,” DiLello said.

For the five seniors, the fact that their final season has begun is “surreal,” as Sullivan called it. “Softball is a sport you play since you’re five years old,” Wilson explained, and now they’re approaching “the last time I wear my cleats,” Grahn said. Now, this is their “last eight weeks of the sport we’ve played since we were five.”

Ending their time on the team is about “laying down a foundation of a mixture of expectations and a culture… [it’s] obviously a hefty job, but if you do everything with love for your teammates and caring for them, the softball comes easy,” DiLello said. It’s about teaching the younger members how to lead the team, Sullivan said, talking about such issues as what passing down how to pack the bus and order food for trips.

 “We’re really happy that it’s us [five] that get to end together,” Wilson said. “It means a lot to get to end with your best friends. In years coming we get to talk about this with our families… those memories will never fade.” “We’re living our our childhood dream,” Sullivan said. “Not everyone gets to play a college sport… our class is really good at embracing every moment,” she added.

Starting off college in the pandemic, this year means even more. “When you lose freshman year, you want to be here [as much as possible],” DiLello said. Grahn had considered studying abroad, but especially after freshman year in quarantine, she expressed how odd it was to feel that “even if I had been in Madrid, I would’ve had FOMO not being here in Collegeville, PA.”

  Their next home game is their Pink Game against Elizabethtown today, March 21, 3pm/5pm, a game to bring awareness to Breast Cancer and play for the cause. “A couple of us on the team have personally been affected by breast cancer so having that outlet to give back and create awareness for it is really important to us,” Wilson explained. Their first conference home game is Tuesday, April 2, 3pm/5pm, against Franklin and Marshall.

Post Ursinus, Grahn and Sullivan will both attend physical therapy school at Widener University and Temple University respectively. Wilson has a job in healthcare communications already secured at Turnberry Solutions, and DiLello has a financial analyst position at engineering firm Crane Payment Innovations and will pursue an MBA at the same time – two jobs for the two-sport athlete, her teammates remarked.

As they approach graduation, Wilson said “we’re very grateful to be with the nineteen that we’re with every day… as a crew we’ve really embraced being one, making sure everything we do is one big unit, making sure everyone knows that they’re loved – even when we’re disgustingly sweaty,” Wilson added, referring to their tradition of massive team hugs after practice, no matter how sweaty and dusty they are. “Wouldn’t have it any other way,” Wilson closed on.

These seniors would like to end with a shout-out to the Softball Special at Natural’s – a new smoothie consisting of strawberry, cacao, toasted almonds, almond milk, honey, and chocolate chips. Good luck this season Bears!