Spring Grove grad helps college team reach new heights

Steve Heiser
  • Spring Grove grad Hayley Norton has been named to the All-NEC Second Team in softball.
  • In the regular season, Norton hit .322 with 11 homers, 46 RBIs and 40 runs scored.
  • This marks the second straight season that the sophomore has been honored by the NEC.

The Saint Francis University women's softball team is enjoying a historic season.

A big reason for the team's success on the NCAA Division I level is Spring Grove High School graduate Hayley Norton.

Spring Grove High School graduate Hayley Norton is enjoying a standout season for the Saint Francis softball team.

The sophomore outfielder was named to the All-Northeast Conference Second Team on Thursday.

Norton is a two-time All-NEC selection after picking up first-team honors last year. In the regular season this year, she hit .322 with 55 hits, including nine doubles, a triple, 11 homers, 46 RBIs and 40 runs scored. Norton was 16th in the NEC regular season in batting average, third in homers, third in RBIs and fourth in runs. In NEC regular-season play, Norton hit a team-best .408 with 20 hits, including four doubles and four homers, 14 RBIs and 15 runs scored. Norton had 18 multi-hit games, 11 multi-RBI games and seven multi-run games this year.

The Red Flash are 46-9 this year. SFU has set a new program record with the 46 wins and is just one away from the NEC record, set by University of Maryland-Baltimore County in 2002. The Red Flash finished the NEC regular season with a 16-0 conference record, the first NEC team to ever go undefeated in conference play.

SFU, located in Loretto in western Pennsylvania, is one of just three teams in the nation that are undefeated in conference play this season, joining No. 4 Florida State (24-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) and No. 20 BYU (12-0 West Coast Conference). Saint Francis is enjoying a program-record 19-game win streak and has won 34 of its last 35 games.

Hayley Norton

The Red Flash are hosting the NEC Tournament for the first time in program history this weekend. SFU is the top seed after winning the NEC regular-season title. The Flash won their NEC Tournament opener on Thursday over No. 4 seed Robert Morris, 4-3.



York's Flynn recognized: York College senior wrestler Ryan Flynn has been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America District Four At-Large team on Thursday.

Flynn will advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team ballot later this month. The senior captain is one of five wrestlers to be named to the 10-player District Four team, composed of athletes from all NCAA Division III schools in Pennsylvania. The award is based on a combination of athletic accomplishments and performance in the classroom.

Flynn was a three-time NCAA D-III Championship competitor, earning All-America status this year after taking sixth in the nation at 133 pounds. He finished his career 131-35, the most wins in Spartan history, with three consecutive NCAA Mideast Regional Championships. This year, he matched head coach Duane Bastress' school record for wins in a season, set in 2006, by going 40-5. Flynn helped York go 14-4 this year and earn a No. 18 ranking in the final National Wrestling Coaches Association NCAA D-III team rankings.

As a mechanical engineering major, Flynn boasts a 3.49 grade-point average and has been a member of the dean's list three times, in the 2013, '14 and '15 fall semesters. Last month, Flynn also was named an NWCA Scholar All-American.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.