Nazareth rides Ferry to success

Junior third baseman Cait Ferry is leading the Pandas.

Opposing coaches watch as Cait Ferry smacks a base hit. Ferry is hitting .500 on the season. SUPPLIED PHOTO

There might be a good way to pitch to Cait Ferry.

But opposing pitchers have yet to discover it.

Ferry is a junior third baseman on the Nazareth Academy High School softball team, and when she steps to the plate, there’s a good chance she’s going to get on.

On the year, she’s hitting .500 and she carries a .682 on-base percentage.

These numbers might look incredibly high, but she’s been doing it since she arrived at Nazareth three years ago.

‘When I got here, I was playing pretty good right from the start,” said Ferry, a Somerton resident. “I’ve been playing tournament ball since I was 9, so I’ve always had really good coaching helping me. And outside pitches used to be my weakness, but now I’m better at hitting them. I just worked really hard to become a complete hitter.”

Coaches may have been a reason for her success, but so is her work ethic. Oh, and she’s also had a pretty good role model leading the way.

Ferry’s brother, Tom, played football at Father Judge, and growing up he was a baseball player.

It didn’t take his sister long to follow in his footsteps.

“When I was younger, I would always go to his games and I really loved watching,” Ferry said. “He was really good. I liked watching and it made me want to play. I started when I (was 5) and it helped that he would help me.”

Now, she’s helping the Pandas compete in the always-tough Catholic Academies League.

The Pandas are 5–4 overall, 4–2 in league play.

The team has plenty of talent, but is riding Ferry all the way.

“Cait Ferry is the type of player we would take a team full of in a heartbeat,” said Nazareth coach Danielle Vittitow. “She is in her third year as a varsity starter and has made a huge impact in all three years, this one being the best yet. She is the type of batter that can frustrate opposing coaches and that pitchers fear.

“She is aggressive yet smart at the plate and can make something happen in almost any situation. Besides her obvious big bat, she plays with no fear at the hot corner. She has made major defensive improvements in the last two years and is a pivotal part of the infield. She is a well-rounded player and a coach’s dream.”

The reason she’s had so much success at third base is because she loves playing defense.

Sure, she made a name for herself by wearing out opposing pitchers, but what she does in the field is invaluable for Nazareth’s success.

“I love third base because everything comes so fast there,” said Ferry, who bats cleanup for Nazareth. “I love watching the ball the way it comes off the bat, I love how you have to make a decision really fast because it comes at you so fast. It’s a tough position because the ball comes so fast, but I love it.”

Playing third base keeps Ferry on her toes.

So does her favorite activity at the school.

Ferry, a strong student, is in the Spanish Club and is a member of the International Fundraising Committee and she played a huge role in the annual Naz-a-thon, a dance party that raises money for Child Life Department at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The 10-hour dance marathon, which is the school’s version of Penn State’s Thon, takes a lot of work by the school volunteers, but Ferry did more than just help organize it.

“I always dance in it,” said Ferry, who has a GPA of over 4.0. “It’s fun. We all like doing it because it raises money for a great cause, but we have fun doing it, too. I made it the whole way. We do it to help people. We have good stamina and it’s easy because it’s so much fun.

“I like helping people because my cousin has autism, and people help him. We’re really close, so I like to help others when I can.”

That attitude, along with her work ethic, makes her a special player.

“Her work ethic, consistency and focus are things that you don’t see in all players,” Vittitow said.

“She truly leads by example on and off the field and brings more to the team than she even knows. Cait never gives up and never gives in. Her future is very bright.”

Ferry came into high school a great player, but she’s improved every day.

Her hope is that trend continues and she is able to continue her career at the college level.

“I hope to play in college,” Ferry said. “I’ve had a lot of people help me get to where I am, and I want to keep working hard. I love playing, so it’s not like work. I’m doing what I love.”