HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Blue Wave outfielder O'Dell has perfect week
Published: Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 9:51 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 9:23 a.m.
With just one loss in their first 11 games, Katie O'Dell and her P.K. Yonge teammates have flirted with perfection through the first half of this season.
Last week, O'Dell found it at the plate.
A senior outfielder, O'Dell enjoyed a 7-for-7 hitting run over three straight games to lead the Blue Wave to wins against Keystone Heights, Columbia and Oak Hall.
“It's pretty remarkable; she's had a great season so far,” P.K. Yonge coach Paul Silverman said. “This has been her best week, obviously, but she's played consistently well all season.”
O'Dell, who is batting a team-high .643, belted her fifth home run this year in an 8-4 win at Columbia last Thursday. Her trip around the bases was part of a 4-for-4 night that scored three runs and brought in four teammates off the base paths.
The Hillsborough Community College signee finished the week with seven RBIs and two doubles, following a 2-for-2 effort in Friday's 15-0 home win against Oak Hall.
However, it was O'Dell's lone-hit Monday against Keystone Heights that displayed she had patience at the plate to match her power.
After being walked twice against the Indians, O'Dell picked her pitch and hit a two-run double to finish 1-for-1 in the 6-0 win.
“We want our more experienced batters to be selective and foul pitches off, and then that tends to help us later in the game,” Silverman said. “Katie does a really good job of that. She has an excellent eye at the plate.”
While O'Dell's defense has also been a strong point this year, Silverman said the key to his player's success is avoiding injury setbacks. As a sophomore, O'Dell missed half of the season with a knee injury and then sat out her team's entire postseason last year because of an injury.
Now healthy, O'Dell's strong start to her final campaign has helped P.K. Yonge rise to the No. 4 ranking in Class 3A, according to the Miracle Sports state poll.
“The past couple years she's had the talent to be a really great player, but she has been bit by the injury bug,” Silverman said. “As a senior, this was her last opportunity to do that and she's doing great.”
AUSTIN MONTMARQUETTE, NEWBERRY: The freshman catcher went 5-for-6 last week in two district games for the Panthers. Montmarquette scored a combined three runs and three RBIs in Tuesday's 3-2 loss to Union County and a 12-3 win Friday at Baldwin.
MADISON O'LEARY, OAK HALL: The junior midfielder led the Eagles with 11 goals and five assists last week, including a seven-score performance Wednesday in an 18-1 win against Episcopal. Two days later, O'Leary netted four goals to help Oak Hall beat Pedro Menendez, 18-8.
ASHTIN STRICKLAND, SANTA FE: A sophomore, Strickland made two appearances on the mound last week, pitching a no-hitter Friday in a 10-0 win against Williston and giving up just one earned run Thursday in a 7-5 loss to Keystone Heights. She totaled 9 innings of work in both games with 12 strikeouts and also went 5-for-6 at the plate with four doubles, four runs and three RBIs.
MOLLY MULDOON, OAK HALL: Muldoon, a senior attacker, scored nine goals in a pair of wins last week for the 3-1 Eagles and also dished out a pair of assists.
ASHTON ADKINS, BRADFORD: The junior pitcher went 2-0 last week with 21 total strikeouts and zero runs allowed in 10 innings. Adkins threw a no-hitter Wednesday in the Tornadoes' 11-0 win at Interlachen and then tossed a one-hit shutout Thursday against Fort White to improve to 9-0 on the season.
TAYLOR CRUCE, BRADFORD: A sophomore third baseman, Cruce led the Tornadoes offense last week by going 5-for-7 with five RBIs and four runs scored in wins over Interlachen and Fort White. She also belted a pair of home runs, giving her seven through Bradford's first nine games.
SCARLEN SEVERINO, OAK HALL: Severino, a junior shortstop, hit an inside-the-park grand slam in the Eagles' 13-3 win against St. Augustine St. Joseph on Thursday.
SHELBY WEST, OAK HALL: The freshman second baseman hit a single, double and triple in the Eagles' win against St. Joseph. West finished last week 3-for-5 at the plate with 4 runs scored and an RBI.
GARLAND EVANS, P.K. YONGE: The sophomore outfielder recorded a double in each of the Blue Wave's three wins last week. Evans hit 6-for-10 with 4 RBIs.
Athletes of the week are determined by nominations from area coaches. Coaches are asked to call in every Sunday between 4-7 p.m.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.