Softball Team Takes State Championship

2018 State champions

The dynasty is alive and well.

Almost like a prize fighter, the O'Connell softball girls found themselves on the ropes at various points during the spring campaign, losing three of four games after spring break, not to mention surrendering nine runs to Elizabeth Seton and dropping a 14-13 decision at Riverdale Rec to the WCAC foe.

Injuries threatened to derail what looked like a promising season, with All-American Kathryn Sandercock returning for her senior season. First, Sandercock underwent labrum surgery in her hip in October. Rehab and recovery were tougher than anticipated, although Sandercock worked her way through it.  Then, All-State shortstop Caitlin Jorae was restricted to a Designated Player role because of a torn labrum in her shoulder, limiting her to just hitting.  As if that wasn't enough, returning All-State catcher Meadow Sacadura suffered a broken hand in the fourth game of the season against Marshall.  Arguably, the team's top three talents were limited in what they could do all season.  None of the three were ever 100 percent healthy again.

Yet, here they were – hosting the Virginia Independent Schools (VISAA) State Championship Game against rival Paul VI on Wednesday afternoon in Arlington at Tuckahoe Park.

Through the years, Coach Tommy Orndorff has insisted what his girls do best is that they know how to win.  It's what they do!  Injuries aside and a brutal spring weather-wise, O'Connell's girls did what they do best:  they won – defeating Paul VI, 4-2, to win their 23rd State title in 25 years competing in the tournament.  Amazingly, the Knights record in State Tournament play is now 73-2.

Sandercock was on her game, hurling a three-hitter and striking out 16 in notching the win, upping her record to 19-3 on the year.  Offensively, Madelynn Bates delivered the key blows – plating three runs on a double and staking the victors to a 3-0 lead in the first frame before roping a triple in the sixth inning and scoring moments later on a sacrifice fly to center by Lyndsay Flippin.  In essence, the sophomore standout was responsible for all four O'Connell runs.

The dynasty is alive and well.

Sandercock was named the VISAA Division I Softball Player of the Year, joining Jorae, Kiaris Alvarado-Rojas and Elizabeth Hoeymans as 1st Team All-State selections.  Sacadura was a 2nd Team honoree.



Bishop O'Connell softball beats Paul VI, 4-2, in seventh straight VISAA title
Washington Post, May 23, 2018

O'Connell wins another WCAC softball crown
Inside NOVA, May 6, 2018

O'Connell's Tommy Orndorff retires as assistant athletic driector
Arlington Catholic Herald, May 23, 2018