By Steve Svetovich
It takes a special athlete to rise to the occasion.
Take Erin McGee, for instance.
The Holy Cross senior softball pitcher hurled a two-hit shutout leading the Lady Crusaders to a 6-0 win over Lakeland in the District 2 Class 2A semifinal at St. Anthony’s Playground, Wednesday, May 26.
Holy Cross junior center fielder Kaci Kranson led off the game with a homer and the Lady Crusaders later added five insurance runs as Erin hurled the two-hit shutout through seven innings. She struck out seven and drove in two runs to help her cause.
Kranson scored three runs and Carly Wywoda, Tia Polizzi, Emma Clause and Autumn Niemic all doubled for Holy Cross.
Daughter of Dan and Maria McGee, Erin is a four-year member of the Holy Cross softball team. She is also a three-year member of the basketball team and two-year member of the tennis team.
She has a highly impressive 4.37 grade point average which is fourth in her class.
Erin, articulate and well spoken, is a member of the Foreign Languages Club, the History Club, Drama Club, Student Council, Service Club, the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science and the National Honor Society. She was second-team All -State in tennis.
Well versed, Erin received the Bishop Youth Award and the Presidential Services Award. She received the Mary Glennon Full Tuition Scholarship at Misericordia University in Dallas. She was also an Immaculate Heart of Mary Marywood University Scholar and Distinguished Honor Roll Student.
Erin’s pitching record this season is 13-5 going into the title game. She has 140 strikeouts and a 2.83 ERA. She has three shutouts.
She played first base during her previous three years on the team before being made the ace pitcher by Holy Cross manager Joe Ross this season.
She talked about what it takes to be a good pitcher in high school softball.
“The first thing you need is a good attitude. You need to throw fast, but be able to keep your composure. You need to battle and don’t ever get down on yourself.”
Erin, always positive and enthusiastic, is a team captain and a leader on the team. She will attend Misericordia University on a scholarship in the fall. The scholar-athlete will study history. “I hope to get into field research as a history major,” she said. “I would also like to play softball there.”
Erin said she felt elated after pitching the shutout in the semifinal win over Lakeland. “It felt really good. I was excited at the end, but felt nervous going through it. We came together as a team and set the tone for the future.”
Erin said she has enjoyed her years at Holy Cross. “It has been truly amazing. There is definitely a different kind of kid at Holy Cross. Everyone is so welcoming at Holy Cross, from the students to the faculty and administration and to the coaches. It is just a great feeling to be there.”
Erin, who has a pleasant demeanor, praised her manager, Joe Ross. “He tells us to just play hard and see what happens. He has influenced me in regards to my attitude and composure. He has been coaching me since the seventh grade.”
Erin said her parents are a big influence on her life. “Well, my dad has coached me in various leagues throughout the years. He is always encouraging. My parents teach me to go for things that interest me. They tell me you don’t need to be materialistic, but happy. Do what makes me happy.”
Hard working and intelligent, Erin said she has some different tastes in music. She enjoys listening to “My Chemical Romance” and would like to see them in concert.
Erin is currently looking forward to the title game and will miss Holy Cross tremendously, but looks forward to her years at Misericordia University.
“There is a lot to look forward to. My years here were the best.”
(NOTE: At press time, the Lady Crusaders were scheduled to play Elk Lake for the District 2 title on Tuesday, June 1. It would be the 4th straight title for the team.)