PHOENIXVILLE - With or without the serious torn ACL injury she suffered during basketball season as a junior, Phoenixville’s Gianna Bliss has always said softball is her sports priority.
Standing a rangy 5-foot-10, Bliss was also a solid basketball player in the frontcourt during the winter. But she always considered softball her best sport, one that she would devote the most time to and pursue in the future.
Colleges seemed to shy away from recruiting Bliss for softball after she missed her 11th grade season. But she finished her scholastic career in strong fashion as the Phantoms’ shortstop and middle-order hitter during her senior campaign so she was still able to land a partial academic/athletic scholarship to attend Philadelphia University next year.
Bliss will join Phoenixville teammate Meghan Loughery at Philadelphia University. Bliss plans to major in mechanical engineering.
“I am really excited about playing with Meghan,” said Bliss. “We have been playing together since we were 5 years old.”
They will be that much more comfortable entering the next level of their careers with a familiar face on the bench next to each other.
Bliss is among the recent graduates who are playing summer softball with the talented Spring-Ford Sting squad.
“I was out for last summer with my knee so that made it tough for recruiting and stuff,” said Bliss. “But it worked out.”
Bliss went for an overnight visit at the college and witnessed one of the team practices. They had just finished a tournament so she has not had the chance to see the team play a regular game.
As the spring softball season progressed, Bliss became more like her regular self offensively and defensively.
“It was a struggle at first,” said Bliss. “I have been working on my swing. I tweaked it. It took time to get back into it. It’s tough to get back at it. I have to work at it. I enjoy it.”
Even though Bliss did not play basketball during her senior year, she still traveled with the team to stay associated with the sport and to be in the company of her friends.
“I miss basketball,” she said. “I still follow along with all of my friends.”
The Division II Rams finished 19-31 overall last season, including 9-17 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC).
Former Phoenixville outfielder Kristyn Loughery, Meghan’s older sister who is now a dentist, enjoyed a successful career at Philadelphia University several years ago. Now Meghan Loughery and Bliss hope to follow in her footsteps as Phoenixville student-athletes who also achieved well in the classroom and on the softball diamond for the Rams.