The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Penn shortstop Crista Farrell is joined on the left side of the field by fellow Bishop Eustace alums Clarisa Apostol and Jen Moore. (Theodore Schweitz/DP File Photo)

Penn softball coach Carol Kashow has a luxury that few college coaches can say they have. Her team includes a trio of players that have played together for over six years. Juniors Jen Moore and Clarisa Apostol and sophomore Crista Farrell, the prides of Bishop Eustace (N.J.) High School, have the unique experience of having been in the same program throughout high school and college. "The three are a great example of how nice it is to be a high school coach," Bishop Eustace softball coach Mike Sacca said. "They all came from different backgrounds, but they got along on and off the field. It was one of those very special teams." At Bishop Eustace, the players enjoyed extraordinary success. Moore immediately stepped in as the starting third baseman on a team that reached the state finals in 1995. Apostol spent her freshman season transitioning from shortstop to the outfield. As a sophomore, she joined Moore on the varsity team, and they won their first of three consecutive state championships together. In the pair's final championship season in 1998, Farrel stepped in as the team's starting shortstop. "Their senior season, Crista replaced an All-South Jersey shortstop," Sacca said. "Crista had a great feel for shortstop, and next to her Jen was a rocket at third base." That season, Apostol clinched the state championship for her team with a game-winning triple in sixth inning of the title game. In her free time, Apostol joined Farrell on the Bishop Eustace bowling team, where they were both All-Conference and team captains. "It was nice to have my players in the winter for bowling," said Sacca, who also coached the bowling team. "It was a chance to make sure that they weren't sitting around and watching soap operas in the off season." After Moore and Apostol left for Penn, Farrell anchored the Eustace's fifth consecutive state finals team. Farrell then joined her teammates at Penn last year, stepping in as Penn's starting shortstop. "When [Jen and Clarisa] were captains in high school I had a lot of respect for them," Farrell said. "It was definitely an influence on coming to school here." All three players got a major wake-up call at the collegiate level. They left a team that went 101-13 in four years to play for a team that lost 22 games in Apostol's and Moore's freshman year. "Playing-wise, I figured they'd be all right, but I wasn't sure of the competition they'd be facing," Sacca said. "Especially for Jen and Clarisa, their freshman year they weren't used to losing." Moore and Apostol acclimated quickly, but Farrell took some time to adjust to her new surroundings. "Going from a team that would lose three games in a season to one that lost three games in a row consistently was frustrating," Farrell said. "Initially it affected my performance, but this year we have a lot more energy. I feel like we're ready to take off." The leadership ability of each member in the Bishop Eustace trio will greatly help the 2001 Quakers, as well. All three were captains in high school. Apostol is a Penn co-captain this year. "At times, team captain has been more responsibility than I've expected," Apostol said. "But I'm glad to be leading than be lead. "I think I should get paid," she added, jokingly. Moore, meanwhile, is the consummate leader by example on the field for the Red and Blue. The record-setting third baseman's performances have made her the team's go-to player. "I'm always impressed by her confidence and attitude," Apostol said. "If there was anyone on the field that I could give the bat or ball to, it would be her." The light-hearted Farrell, on the other hand, is described by her teammates as the "goofiest" in high school. One particular incident involved Farrell climbing a tree while her team was hitting. "If we ever did the stuff we did in high school here, we'd have to pack our bags and leave," Farrell said. Farrell is a professional inside the chalked lines, though. "At the plate she's very deceptive because she's small, but she still hits for power," Moore said. The time that these three girls have spent together has given them an uncanny ability to communicate with each other. "I can catch whatever Crista's going to throw at me because I've been catching her throws for four years," Moore said. Admittedly, the girls share a bond that their teammates can't clue into. "A lot of the stuff that the three of us think is funny really isn't," Apostol said. This hasn't hurt overall team chemistry, though. The players have just as close a relationship with the rest of the Penn squad as they did with their high school team. "Carol has done a great job recruiting girls with good personality," Apostol said. "The team really gets along well and it carries into every aspect of the sport." There will always be something between the players, however, that makes them unique on the team. Apostol summed up the effect that this experience has had on the closeness of the trio. "You had to go through it to understand why we're so in love."

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.