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It's going to be a long time before Mercersburg Academy forgets Sydney Reath.

Here's just a few of the things the Blue Storm will remember about their softball stud:

• She holds almost every major Mercersburg record in both hitting and pitching.

• Reath broke her first single-season record in her freshman year when she racked up 49 RBIs – the previous record was 22.

• In two seasons of her career, she either scored or drove in 60 percent of Mercersburg's total runs.

• She had a hitting career streak of 46 games and reached base safely in all but one game of her career.

• On the mound, she led the Blue Storm to four straight Independent Parochial School League Championships and the Pa. Independent Schools Athletic Association state title as a freshman.

• Reath finished her career with 573 strikeouts, two perfect games, four no-hitters and 24 shutouts.

"But beyond her production on the field," Mercersburg coach John David Bennett said, "I've never coached a girl who is a better teammate. So of course the program is going to miss her, but her teammates will miss her too."

Reath is the Public Opinion Softball Player of the Year, but in her case, it may be more of a Lifetime Achievement Award.

This season, Reath finished with a .582 batting average, a .617 on-base percentage and a 1.218 slugging percentage. She racked up 25 RBIs and had 11 doubles, three triples and six home runs. On the mound, she was 7-5 with a 2.14 ERA. She allowed just 20 walks and fanned 123 batters in 71 innings.

But what's most impressive about those numbers is that this wasn't even her best statistical season.

"In my freshman year, I didn't really think about records that much," Reath said. "I didn't really know I could break the records, and I didn't even know I passed them. The rest of my three years, I tried to beat my own records. It let me compete with myself more, but I think freshman year was my best record year."

Reath certainly made a name for herself early, when she shut out Agnes Irwin in the 2012 PAISAA championship.

"We traveled all the way to Philly, and nobody knew who we were and nobody knew who (Sydney) was," Bennett said. "Then she only gave up one hit and struck out nine. We ended up winning 4-0, and she had the game winning-RBI. She had her system and her way of doing things and there are just some players that you don't really mess with."

Reath started playing softball when she was just 5 years old. She began with tee-ball but almost immediately moved up to older sister Kelsey's 8U team.

"Tee-ball just wasn't for me," Reath said. "It was a lot of just standing around, and it really wasn't competitive. Plus, my dad (Phil) was the coach of my sister's team, so it was a family thing."

By 9, Reath had joined a travel ball team and had already started her pitching career. During her time on travel teams, Reath met catcher Paige Richardson, and the two decided to come to Mercersburg Academy.

"She had been with the PA Poison, and I had seen her play a couple of times in local tournaments," Bennett said. "We're not allowed to recruit, but she contacted the school, and that's how it started. We knew she was going to be the best pitcher since Cree Riley (a 2008 graduate). We've had a couple of solid pitchers since Cree, but no one potentially devastating, like Sydney."

Reath and Richardson worked very well together, but Richardson graduated last season. Sarah Lyman took over the catching duties for the Blue Storm.

"Sometimes I wouldn't be as confident to throw my certain pitches in certain situations, so it was definitely different," Reath said. "But Sarah did fine. I just told her what all my pitches do, where they move, so she would know where they were going to end up. She caught on pretty quickly."

Heavily relying on the drop curve and changeup, Reath needs a solid catcher used to pitches with a lot of movement.

"I think maybe what I was most impressed with Sydney this year was watching her cultivate Sarah as a catcher," Reath said. "In softball, the windows of opportunity are so narrow. Sydney did for us what we hadn't had in awhile, and she made the game narrow. She always helped us keep things within reach."

Her hitting was big part of that. She had more than 125 hits and 125 RBIs. She scored more than 100 runs and smacked 16 home runs, and she struck out only three times in her entire career.

"There was a one game of a doubleheader that she struck out, and one of my assistant coaches said that maybe we needed to work on her patience," Bennett said. "What he didn't realize was in the doubleheader, she was 7-for-8 with two doubles, a home run and seven RBIs. That's how much people expected her to produce. The expectations were so high for her every time she came to the plate, and that never seemed to bother her."

Reath will continue her softball career at Eastern Mennonite, a Division III program in Harrisonburg, Va. She is expecting to pitch at least a bit during her freshman season, and she is also hoping to continue hitting, which many collegiate pitchers don't do.

But if anyone has proven she can produce on the mound and at the plate, it's Reath.

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