Sydney Steiner

School: Abington

Volleyball, Softball





Favorite athlete: Sis Bates 


Favorite team: Washington University’s softball team 


Favorite memory: Our away game against Plymouth Whitemarsh this year (we all realized how well we could play together as a team and had so much fun doing it) 


Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports: I ripped my softball pants at tryouts freshman year & had to sit out on the first day


Music on my playlist: I have a million different playlists, I listen to everything. 


Future plans: To study criminal justice and play softball at Marywood University 


Words to live by: “Don’t quit just when things are getting tough because when you persevere through the tougher times it’s the most rewarding thing.”


One goal before turning 30: Achieve some kind of satisfaction, whether it be with my career or just my life in general 


One thing people don’t know about me:  I love to write and I journal often. 



By Mary Jane Souder


Sydney Steiner is undeniably passionate about softball.


“Softball has always been something – I’m the most confident when I’m playing,” the Abington senior said. “It has always been my main source of happiness.”


If she needed a reminder just how much she loved the sport, Steiner got just that when she tore the ACL in her left knee the winter of her sophomore year. Then on the first day she was finally cleared to return to the diamond just over a year later, she tore the ACL in her right knee.


“I felt like the unluckiest person in the entire world,” Steiner said.


This past spring, Steiner was back on the softball diamond with her high school team for the first time since she was a freshman, and she excelled. A senior captain, she anchored the infield at third base and led the Ghosts in runs batted in.


“Her dedication to getting healthy was inspiring to her teammates,” Abington coach Bob Baginski said. “She is admired as one of our leaders of the team.


“She led our team in RBIs, defensively she was phenomenal, and she’s a big reason we made the (district) playoffs for the first time since 2015.”


This fall she will attend Marywood University where she will continue her softball career. It’s a happy ending, but Steiner’s journey has been anything but smooth. Although it certainly had a promising start freshman year when she not only played varsity softball but also shared the libero position for the varsity volleyball squad.


Then – in February of 2020 – Steiner went down at an indoor practice for softball.


“We were doing rundown drills, and I just completely pivoted the wrong way, and we were on turf, so it was a lot worse,” she said. “I felt like my entire leg popped open – that’s how loud the sound was. I immediately knew something was very wrong, but I was kind of oblivious because I haven’t had major injuries before.


“I was like, ‘I hope I just sprained something in my knee.’ As soon as I tried to walk on it, I was like, ‘Holy crap, something’s definitely wrong,’ but I kind of thought I’d get over it.”


An appointment with an orthopedic doctor and ensuing MRI revealed her ACL was indeed torn.


“It was really scary,” Steiner said.


And if a torn ACL wasn’t enough, COVID came along a month later.


“Normally, you would have the surgery a couple of weeks after you tear something, but because of COVID, they shut down,” Steiner said. “I got hurt in February but had my surgery in late May."


It was 10 ½ months before she was at long last cleared to play - just in time for tryouts her junior year.


“I was so excited,” Steiner said. “I was going to a lot of workouts beforehand, just watching everyone play and just getting excited to play again. Then at my very first practice I tore my other ACL. I don’t even remember if it was painful or not because I was just so angry.”


This time Steiner was running to field a bunt.


“I went running back to third base, and my knee just caved in,” she said. “I knew immediately – the sound was the same, and as soon as I started walking on it, I was like, ‘This feels exactly the same.’


“I remember crying, but it wasn’t because I was in pain or anything. It was because I was so frustrated. Since I was already in PT and I was so close to my physical therapist and my surgeon – they got me an MRI a day or two after that.”


Steiner had surgery on May 5, almost a year to the day of her preceding ACL surgery.


“I remember the second time my mom and dad sitting me down and saying, ‘If you don’t want to do this again, we totally understand.’ I was like ‘Absolutely not, I’m doing it again. I don’t care.”

Within 10 ½ to 11 months, Steiner was once again cleared to play.


“My first practice back was sometime in April,” Steiner said. “I was definitely excited, but I also was very scared. I felt like I was going to break in half no matter what I did, and I was just being so cautious, which was also scary because I was like, ‘Am I never going to be the same player I was because I’m just going to be scared all the time.’ People used to give me credit for being such a fearless player. I was worried I would never get back to the point of the athlete I was.”


Steiner refused to give in to her fears.


“The high school field is two seconds from my house, so me and my dad would go over there, and he’d be like, ‘Dive for the ball,’ and I would just dive on the ground over and over again,” she said. “We did so many drills with me just diving on the ground.”


Playing in live game was another story, but Steiner mustered up the courage to dive for a ball.


“That was really exciting for me,” she said.


She went on to have an outstanding season, and the season – with the program’s first trip to districts in seven years – was both historic and enjoyable. For Steiner, every game, every practice has taken on renewed significance, and just being on the diamond is a win for the senior captain.


“It’s so crazy because I felt that the past two years of me not playing – I felt I had missed every single fun sports moment that I was going to get,” she said. “I thought I missed the prime of what my softball years would have been, but this was the best season I’ve had in my entire life, and that’s so exciting.


“Even every practice – I’ll be there and if someone complains about being there, it’s so funny to me because I would not rather be anywhere else on the entire planet than on a softball field.”



Softball has been part of Steiner’s life for almost as long as she can remember. She began playing tee-ball when she was five and was hooked from the outset. She also began playing soccer around that time, but soccer fell by the wayside when she was in seventh grade. At the age of 12, Steiner began playing travel volleyball.


Travel volleyball, however, just didn’t hold a lot of appeal for Steiner, although she still loved the sport and played varsity as both a freshman and sophomore before the injury streak began.


“I definitely loved volleyball and I still miss it,” she said.


Steiner stayed with her high school volleyball team, serving as manager as a junior and senior.


“As a freshman, she was amazing, and I also saw her play softball and I knew she was phenomenal,” Abington volleyball coach Dan Marsh said. “Unfortunately, she had a couple of injuries, but for volleyball, she really helped the younger liberos be comfortable in their position, be comfortable in taking my coaching, so she assumed a great leadership role.

“She was able to play one or two serves on Senior Night. She’s a great kid who’s an extremely hard worker.”


Steiner began playing travel softball with Philadelphia Spirit when she was 14 and never stopped.


“When I met those coaches and teammates, I was like, ‘Wow, this is what it’s like to love a sport and play a sport you really love,’” she said. “I think I always knew even when I was younger that I wanted to play for as long as I possibly could because I just loved it so much.


“When I started playing travel and my coaches would talk to me about getting recruited, I immediately was like, ‘Yes, that is something I want to do.’”


Originally a catcher, Steiner moved to third base after her knee injuries. She was the varsity catcher for most of her freshman season and also saw action at shortstop. She was an anchor of the infield at third base this spring. A captain, she was a catalyst for the Ghosts.


“She’s phenomenal, and she’s just a great kid too,” Baginski said. “Her family is great, they’re really supportive of the program, and she’s just a tremendous leader.”


The fact that Steiner will be playing in college is an opportunity she thought was lost.


“I just ended up getting really lucky,” she said. “It’s so different for everyone else than it was for me because I was just emailing coaches, begging them to trust me that I was a good player.”

An excellent student, Steiner – who is taking two AP classes – will major in criminal justice.


“I’m not sure what my end goal is,” she said. “I’ve always loved true crime, I’ve always been a huge detective type of girl since I was way too young to be liking true crime shows. My dream job would be to be a homicide detective.


This summer, Steiner will be playing her final season of travel softball before she moves on to the collegiate level.


Marywood is lucky to have her,” Baginski said. “She’s everything you’d want as a coach. She asks great questions, she’s a good leader, and on top of that, she’s a phenomenal softball player.”