Kranson Hits 12th Homer to Lead Holy Cross into Final

By Steve Svetovich

Talk about getting off to the right start.

Thanks to lead-off hitter Kaci Kranson, that’s exactly what the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders did against third-seeded Lakeland in the District 2 Class 2A semifinal at St. Anthony’s Playground, Dunmore, Wednesday, May 26. 

Kaci led off the first inning with a solo homer to give the second-seeded Lady Crusaders a quick 1-0 lead. It was her 12th homer of the season in just 18 games. 

Later  in the game, she walked twice and used her speed and aggressive base running to score two other runs. 

The Lady Crusaders went on to win the game, 6-0, with senior Erin McGee hurling a two-hit shutout.

At press time, Holy Cross was now a win away from its fourth straight District 2 title, with plans to play Elk Lake for the championship on Tuesday, June 1. 

Daughter of Jill and Ryan Kranson, Kaci fouled off a couple pitches before hitting the deep drive to left field for the game opening homer.

Holy Cross has a 13-5 record under manager Joe Ross going into the championship game against Elk Lake.

Kaci gave her teammate McGee insurance in the third inning when Lakeland pitched around her and she walked. Kaci then stole second, advanced to third on Carly Wywoda’s infield single and scored on McGee’s RBI grounder.

In the fifth inning, Kaci walked, moved to third on Wywoda’s double and scored the third run of the game when a throw trickled a few feet into foul territory. 

Kaci is hitting .500 with close to 30 stolen bases in addition to her 12 homers. Fleet as a center fielder, she has been a member of the Holy Cross softball and basketball teams since her freshman year. She was All State, All Regional and first team Lackawanna League Coaches All-Star for basketball this past season. She also played one year of tennis.

She is a member of Pro Life, the Service Club, Student Council and is Vice President of the National Honor Society. 

Kaci credits a lot of her softball success to Phil Rossi, a former minor league shortstop who played baseball at Scranton Central and Millersville University. 

“He has been a private instructor for me for a while. I owe a lot to him for what he taught me about the game, especially with hitting. He helped me develop my power. I give him a lot of credit for that,” Kaci says.

The multi-talented junior said her coach Joe Ross and her time spent playing softball for the Impact Panthers in a travel league also helped her development.

 “I’ve learned a lot from coach Ross and all of the travel ball coaches I had too.”

Kaci was thrilled with her team’s win over Lakeland in the semifinal. She praised McGee’s gutty pitching performance. “Erin definitely stepped up,” she said. “She was fantastic. She is a great team leader and captain. She supports all of her teammates, including myself.” 

She talked about the team’s success. “We were ready for this season. We worked so hard as a team to get ready. We have a great group of girls. I wouldn’t trade my teammates for anything in the world.”

She talked about what it takes to be a good hitter in high school softball. “You need to be confident at the plate, take a few pitches and get a good pitch to hit. You need to wait for the right pitch and go after it.”

The speedy center fielder also excels defensively. “To be a good center fielder,” she said, “you need to be able to read the ball off the bat, go after it, and also have good communication with the other outfielders.”

Kaci said she is enjoying her time at Holy Cross to the max. “I love it here,” she said. “The last few years have been truly amazing. My teammates are the best. The school, teachers and coaches offer so much support.”

Kaci Kranson Scores 1,000th Point for Holy Cross

By Steve Svetovich

Only a junior, Kaci Kranson celebrated with Holy Cross teammates as she scored her 1,000th career point Friday, January 29, in the Lady Crusaders 76-44 win over Lakeland.

Kaci scored 26 points as her team won for the fourth time in five games this season. Senior center Abbey Lentowski led Holy Cross with 30 points in the win for the No. 6 ranked Lady Crusaders.

Daughter of Jill and Ryan Kranson, Kaci’s late grandfather Jerry Foley was a local legend as a standout professional boxer in the 1960s and 1970s. 

“I was very surprised and happy to achieve 1,000 points in my junior year,” Kaci, 17, said. “Every year I ser personal and team goals. This was one of my personal goals, so I was happy to achieve it so quickly. It was just such a crazy, outstanding feeling. I was so happy my teammate were a part of it. They played a big part in making it happen.”

Kaci averaged 23 points per game as a sophomore last season when she was a Lackawanna League All-Star. She is averaging 23 points per game with 115 points in her first five games this season. 

“My parents always teach me to work hard and give it my very best shot. That is what they tell me should always be my focus, trying my very best.”

The standout junior point guard said Holy Cross veteran basketball coach Barry Fitzgerald teaches her similar values.

“He teaches me to always work hard. And he tells me to be more patient on the court while looking for the open pass or shot”

Kaci is a three-year starter on the Lady Crusaders basketball team. She will be a three-year member of the Holy Cross softball team, although no games were played las year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She plays centerfield and was a Lackawanna League All-Star as a freshman outfielder. 

The scholar-athlete has an impressive 3.9 academic average. She is a member of the Service Club, Pro Life Club, Student Council and is class president of the junior class. She is a member of the National Honor Society.

She talked about what it takes to be a good point guard in high school basketball. 

“You need to look up and down the court and be very selective with your shot or passing the ball.”

Kaci said she wants to play basketball in college. She would like to see Sean Mendez in concert. Last year she saw Ariana Grande as a birthday present from her mom.

Kaci’s best academic subject is English. The sharp shooter said she is thinking about studying physical therapy in college. 

She talked about future goals. “Well, first I want to help our team go as far as we can in the district and state playoffs in the next two years. Then I want to get accepted to a good college, play college basketball and get a great education and finally have a good career.”

Kaci is completely enjoying her experience at Holy Cross.

“I absolutely love it here at Holy Cross,” she said. “Everyone knows each other here. It is like one big family. 

“All of the teachers and coaches are great. It is the best place to be for me. I have met so many nice people and made great friends. We are all so close. This is a family here.” 

Kaci Kranson Igniting Holy Cross Crusaders as Floor Leader

Athlete of the Month - Kaci KransonBy Steve Svetovich

Holy Cross Lady Crusaders sophomore point guard Kaci Kranson is a huge spark plug as the floor leader for coach Barry Fitzgerald.

Daughter of Jill and Ryan Kranson, Kaci, 16, helped coach Fitzgerald achieve his 599th career win scoring 24 points to lead No. 7 Holy Cross to a 69-39 win over Lakeland Thursday, January 30. 

Kaci scored 12 points in the first quarter as the Lady Crusaders jumped to an 18-6 lead. 

Abbey Lentowski scored 21 points and Emily Ferguson added 14 in the win which gave the Lady Crusaders a 12-6 record at press time.

Kaci leads Lackawanna League Division III in scoring average with 22.2 games per game at press time.

Modest in nature, Kaci downplayed her scoring average and instead focused on teammates when discussing the success of the Lady Crusaders.

“We are a young team because we lost a lot of starters from last year’s team,” she said. “But we are a young team with a lot of talent. We work hard at practice and play as a team. We are close unit, friends on and off the court. This team has a special bond. We are really stepping up and making it a great team.”

The sophomore stalwart also plays centerfield on the Holy Cross softball team. She was named to the Times-Tribune all-star team as a freshman for her softball exploits.

Well versed, Kaci is president of student council for her sophomore class. She is a member of the Biology Club, Service Club and Pro Life Club. She has a 3.6 academic average and her favorite subject is biology.

The scholar-athlete hopes to attend Bucknell University and study physical therapy. “I have an aunt who studied physical therapy. She likes it. I like helping people and think it would be a nice profession to do that. I also hope to play basketball in college.”

Kaci, who scored a season high 31 points in a win over Lakeland this year, talked about what it takes to be a good point guard in high school basketball.

“You need to have a high basketball IQ. You need to know where to pass the ball and when to get it inside. You need to set your teammates up for a shot. You need to be able to dribble under pressure while making a play.”

Well spoken and intelligent, Kaci said her has learned a lot from coach Fitzgerald and her parents.

“Coach Fitzgerald teaches me how to handle pressure, be calm and play your game,” she said. “My parents always teach me to work hard at all times. Push hard on the basketball court and on the softball field.”

Kaci said she enjoys listening to music in her spare time and would like to see Shawn Mendez, a pop artist, in concert.

She talked about her future goals. “I want to help my team continue to win games. I hope to earn a college scholarship for basketball. And I want to become a physical therapist and help people.”

Kaci said she loves going to school at Holy Cross.

“It’s been great. I love it here. It is like one big family. We are all friends here. We go to class and all know each other. It’s the best experience.”