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Apollo-Ridge softball star Geracia to try out for St. Vincent team

| Monday, July 1, 2013, 12:06 a.m.

Apollo-Ridge's top hitter will have a chance to carry her game on to the college level.

Sammy Geracia, a senior shortstop who batted .574 for the Vikings this spring, is continuing her education at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, where she will try out for a spot on the softball team this fall.

Geracia made her choice of school with education in mind, but with an opportunity to continue playing softball for the next four years, she has been staying sharp in summer competition.

“I chose St. Vincent because they have a really good physical therapy program, which I wanted to do at the time, but now I'm not sure,” Geracia said. “It was also really close to home, which I liked because I don't want to be too far away.”

Geracia had three home runs and 22 RBI this spring for an Apollo-Ridge team that struggled through a three-win season. She also plays on a Nitro Fastpitch 18U team and hopes her travel ball experience will have her prepared to join the team at St. Vincent.

“(Playing in college) is something I've wanted to do for a long time,” Geracia said. “I'm sort of anxious for the tryout, but I know it's the same thing I've been doing since third grade. I'll just have to show up and see what happens.”

First-year Apollo-Ridge coach Jim Ferguson said he believes his shortstop is going to be successful at the college level regardless of whether that is on the diamond or just in the classroom.

“She's really good in school, and she's a hard worker,” Ferguson said. “She has the ability to play in college, and I think it will help her to be in an atmosphere with a lot of other players that are focused and wanting to win. She can do it.”

St. Vincent is coming off its first losing softball season in four years, but in 2012, the team was the Presidents' Athletic Conference regular-season champ. With a team batting average of .257 last year, the Bearcats could use some more strong hitters on their roster, which is mostly made up of former WPIAL players.

Geracia will try to claim a spot on the team, but if things don't go her way at the tryout, she'll still be ready to have a successful four years of school.

“It was strictly on academics that I picked (St. Vincent), and softball is just a bonus,” Geracia said. “I'm going to focus on school and get done what I need to do there.”

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mgrubba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.

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