Sydney Reath (Chambersburg, Pa./Mercersburg Academy) has made herself into an ace in the circle and a force at the plate for the EMU softball team. Her performance in the team’s recent 5-1 stretch landed her a spot as this week’s Royals Athlete of the Week.
Over last week, Sydney won all three of her starts for the Royals. In those three complete games she pitched a total of 21.0 innings, posting an ERA of 0.67 while striking out seven. At the plate, she hit .300 while scoring four runs and driving in three RBIs. Reath currently sits in the top seven in the ODAC in wins, ERA and innings pitched.
Among the impressive outings, Sydney threw a two-hit shutout against Lynchburg College, the second place team in the ODAC, and a three-hit shutout against Shenandoah.
“The win over Lynchburg was really big for us and I think it built up our confidence,” Sydney said. “We scored almost every inning in that game. As a pitcher, it is easier to go out and pitch with a bigger lead because it is easier to take risks.”
The win over Lynchburg came at the end of a five-game winning streak for the Royals. That impressive streak came after a hiccup in the season, where the women went 1-5.
Sydney feels that it has helped them as of late.
“The beginning ODAC games we played were kind of a wake-up call for us,” she explained. “We knew it was going to be tough and we were still working on getting rid of some nerves. We are becoming more and more of a family each game we play and that really helps knowing that even if you mess up, someone is there to pick you up.”
Two weeks ago, Sydney was hit in the throwing shoulder by a batted ball while she was pitching. It put a bit of a scare into her and the team, but she said that it has healed with ease.
“I never thought I would recover so quickly from my injury,” Sydney said. “When it first happened I couldn’t feel my wrist or my hand and I couldn’t lift my arm above my head, but now just a week or so later I have no pain.”
For the Royals, youth is the identity this season, with many freshmen playing in everyday roles. Even as a sophomore, Sydney landed into a leadership role early on in her career, especially being one of the regular pitchers for the team.
“Everyone on the team has a role and mine as a pitcher is to pitch as best as I can every time I’m out there,” Sydney said. “I trust that everyone playing their position are giving their best effort, too.”
With significant games ahead, Sydney notes that she and her teammates still need to make improvements, but that the Royals can do it.
--- by Jake Brown, Sports Information Intern