Former Ocean City High School all-around athlete Arianna Segich always wanted to play pro softball.
In mid-July, she got the chance.
Segich finished a stellar college softball career at Penn State Brandywine, a non-NCAA school in May, and circumstances led her to the E1 Pro Ballers, of Satsuma, Alabama.
Segich got a phone call from coach Steven Nunez of the Pro Ballers, who needed a center fielder. She flew down and joined the team.
The 22-year-old Segich immediately became the Pro Ballers’ starting center fielder, because the previous starter left the team.
Satsuma is home to four American Softball Association pro teams, and Segich finished out the season starting for the Pro Ballers.
“I had a great time playing, and I’m looking forward to going back as long as it’s around,” Segich said. “I played in 16 games. I had never been to Alabama before. Satsuma is near Mobile.
“It was awesome being a pro softball player. I’m someone from a school that’s not even Division III, and just for them to reach out to me is more than I could have imagined. I obviously wanted to play pro softball my whole life. They gave me the opportunity, and I made the most of it.”
Segich started off batting ninth, moved up to leadoff due to her speed and ended up batting sixth.
One of the highlights in her two weeks with the team was going 3 for 5 with three stolen bases on July 26 in a 2-0 wild-card playoff win over The Field. She also had two hits in a 7-0 win over Performance Lab in the final regular season game July 25. For her best defensive play in center field, Segich leaped and robbed a hitter of a solo home run as she reached over the fence.
The Pro Ballers lost to Performance Lab 3-0 and to eventual ASBA champion Moh-Beel 13-4 in the double-elimination playoffs.
“There were players from all across the country, but I was the only one in the league from New Jersey,” Segich said. “Without a doubt, the pitching was much faster, like nothing I’ve ever seen. I stayed back in the batters’ box. Usually I’m in the front of the box, but I wanted to give myself as much time as possible to hit.”
The ASBA had stats on nine games in which Segich played. In them she started all nine games and hit .291 (7-24).
Segich said that Satsuma reminded her of the Northeast, except for the weather.
“It was hot there, a lot hotter than Jersey,” Segich said. “I was in a house with a host family. They house all the girls. My house was amazing. It had a pool, it had a lake. I was living the life down there, that’s for sure.”
Her father, Kevin Segich, came to Satsuma and saw her play three games.
Penn State Brandywine, of Middletown Township, Pennsylvania, is in the United States Collegiate Athletic League. Segich played softball and women’s soccer all four years there. She set a school record in softball this spring as a senior with 68 stolen bases. She hit .375 with 57 hits and 54 runs. Segich was chosen a United States Collegiate Athletic Association First-Team All American.
“Arianna was the best all-around athlete in the school,” Brandywine softball coach Mark Caserta said. “I recruited her for softball, but I was on pins and needles because she also played soccer four years. She played leadoff four years, and we won the Penn State University Athletic Conference all four years.
“I was excited that Ari played pro softball. For them to find her from such a small college was amazing. It’s a great accomplishment for our school.”
Segich said that she averages a time of 2.6 seconds when clocked running from home to first base, and that her best time is 2.5.
“I’ve never seen a girl as fast as Arianna,” Caserta said. “I recruited her at the Carpenter Cup (in Philadelphia when she played for Tri-Cape). She bunted three times and they didn’t even come close to getting her out. I found out that she liked Penn State, and that helped too.”
At Ocean City High School, she played softball four years, girls soccer three years and girls basketball two years.