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Freshman pitcher makes mark at Washington

Becca Varhula struck out 124 batters this year. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Becca Varhula struck out 124 batters this year. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
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Sometimes playing sports as a freshman can be tough.

Becca Varhula made it look easy.

Varhula recently completed her freshman year at School Lane Charter, and as a student, she loved representing her school.

But when she was playing sports, she was happy to represent George Washington, the school closest to her Chalfont home.

“I didn’t know a lot of people at Washington, but it helped that they were so accepting and welcoming when I came there to play,” said Varhula, who played volleyball, basketball and softball for the Eagles. “It was hard playing for a different school, but it wasn’t that hard. The coaches and the girls reassured me and made me feel welcomed. All the coaches were really nice.”

The Eagles are a welcoming bunch but it’s likely they were just as happy to have Varhula as she was to have Washington.

This was her first year playing volleyball, so she honed her skills on the junior varsity team this year as she learned the sport, but in her other two sports, she wasted no time in contributing at the highest level.

“Volleyball was really fun, I just wanted to try something out during the offseason (of basketball and softball), and it was fun,” Varhula said. “I knew someone on the team, and as soon as I started playing, I became friends with everyone.”

In the other sports, she didn’t play a supporting role. She was the star.

During the winter, Varhula was plugged into the Washington lineup at center. A shade undersized for the position, she did what she needed to do to help the Eagles win, and thanks to her work and her teammates, the Eagles made the playoffs.

“I was just about defense,” Varhula said. “I had to rebound and just go out and work hard to help us win. We had a good team, and we made the playoffs. My job was just to fight for the ball and help on defense.”

As much as she enjoyed playing volleyball for the first time and having a solid season as a freshman in basketball, her sport is softball, and she proved that she is already one of the best players in the Public League.

Not only did she lead the Eagles to the playoffs, she won a game and in the second round, put a huge scare into Franklin Towne Charter, forcing the Warriors to go to the final inning to score and beat the young Eagles. Bad news for the rest of the Public League is the pitcher who gave Franklin Towne fits in that game, before falling in eight innings to the eventual Public League runner-up, is back for three more seasons.

“Softball was great because even though we had a young team, we were really good, I think,” said Varhula, a first baseman on her travel team but a pitcher in high school. “Second round of the playoffs, that game was really tough, the other pitcher was really good, too. We went to the 7th inning 0-0. They scored in the final inning. It felt really good to play them tough, it was really like a good game. My adrenaline was going crazy.”

And she’s not done with her freshman campaign just yet.

While most softball players have moved on to their summer plans, Varhula earned a spot on the Public League roster for the Carpenter Cup, where she’ll join other Public League players in the prestigious tournament. Making the team as a freshman is difficult to do, but it’s a great way to get noticed by college scouts, which is the main purpose of the annual double-elimination tournament.

It’ll also serve as a chance for Varhula to get to know her foes from the Public League while also giving her an opportunity to play against the best softball players from leagues across the Delaware Valley.

“It’s a huge honor to play in the Carpenter Cup,” said Varhula, who was First-Team All-Public after striking out 124 batters from the circle and blasting three home runs at the plate, where she hit third or fourth in the Eagles lineup. “I really want to play in college, and I want to take softball as far as I can, so this is a great opportunity.”

After the Carpenter Cup, it’s back to practice for Varhula, who will play summer softball for Ewing Edge club team.

“When I’m not playing sports, I’m usually practicing,” Varhula said. “For goals, we have a really great team and a lot of great girls, so I’m excited. There’s a lot of potential we can go really far next year and even after that. I really hope we win. But I just want to have fun and meet new people and enjoy the whole experience.

“For people starting high school next year, I would tell them mostly, don’t be afraid to try new things, and don’t be afraid to meet new people. I’m really glad I did it. All the people at Washington were amazing and welcoming so it made it way more easier. The coaches are amazing, I really like playing for them. They care about us and it shows and they want us to do our best.”

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