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O'Connell Happy to Stay Busy

May 4, 2010
Bishop Denis J. O'Connell



Top area softball talent has been coming to O'Connell for much of the past two decades, and Knights Coach Tommy Orndorff has run his program similar to travel teams, which can play as many three or four games in a day during the summer season. In the past month, O'Connell's schedule has mirrored that of a travel team, too.

Saturday's 7-3 victory at Yorktown not only pushed the Knights' mark to 20-1, but was their 16th game in 23 days. O'Connell just played five games from its opener on March 17 through April 8.

Since most softball skills are products of repetition, there isn't much benefit to midseason practices, Orndorff said. He did, however, say that there are times when it helps to have a day to practice and fine-tune.

Two of Orndorff's veteran players, for example, uncharacteristically had gone three straight games without hits. While playing so many games in succession gave them more chances to break out, Orndorff said pressure can build quickly because flaws tend to be magnified in game action, as opposed to being on the practice field.

"You can only do so much in practice," Orndorff said. "But hitting is so much rhythm and timing, and if you lose that, you start to have doubts. If a hitter goes into a rut, you'd like to give her a chance to get her swing back."

One player who has thrived during the busy schedule is freshman outfielder Jillian Ferraro. After cracking the lineup in the Knights' third game of the season, Ferraro has gone on to bat .516, slug .952, and hit five homers -- all team-highs. Along with senior Sarah Eidt and Sophie Giaquinto, Ferraro's 25 RBI pace O'Connell, as well. Ferraro has had multiple hits in 10 of her 18 games.

The WCAC tournament begins Thursday, and the final is Sunday at the University of Maryland. O'Connell has won the past six titles.

To continue reading this article, please visit the Washington Post at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/03/AR2010050302940.html

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