Heading into her senior year of high school softball while playing for Bishop O’Connell High School in Virginia, Mechanicsville resident Meadow Sacadura admitted she wanted to stay close to home for college and continue her playing days at the University of Maryland. Clearly, proximity was not among the reasons for opting to play softball at O’Connell for four years.
Sacadura has remained close friends with St. Mary’s Ryken senior shortstop Melody Coombs, the reigning Washington Catholic Athletic Conference softball player of the year. But Sacadura, a WCAC first-team selection for 2019, has a much longer commute to school each day than Coombs, noting she gets up at 5:15 each morning, catches the bus to O’Connell at 6 and then does not return home until nearly 6 p.m each evening.
“From the time I was in middle school, I really wanted to go to [St. Mary’s] Ryken because all of my friends were going there,” Sacadura said. “I actually shadowed at both schools and I liked Ryken a little bit more, but the softball coach at O’Connell, Tommy Orndorff, talked me into coming over and playing for him. He’s retired from coaching now, but I enjoyed playing my first two years for him.”
Sacadura was part of O’Connell softball teams that won the WCAC title in 2017 and 2018 before being upended by St. Mary’s Ryken in last year’s championship game. O’Connell rebounded to win the Virginia Private Schools State Championship, but losing the WCAC title game last spring has proven to be motivational for her heading into the upcoming season.
“It was definitely tough losing that game,” Sacadura said. “Everyone expected us to win. This year the goal is to go back there and win the title back. Maybe we won’t have as much pressure on us this year. But I’m looking forward to competing for another WCAC title my senior year.”
In 68 games for the Knights, Sacadura is batting .468 (89 for 190) with 20 doubles, six homers and two triples and she has collected 74 RBIs while scoring 46 runs. Last season as a junior, Sacadura batted. 543 (44 for 81) with nine doubles and two homers while driving in 31 runs and scoring 27 more.
“I think there’s a lot less pressure on me this year since I have already committed to Maryland,” Sacadura said. “I wanted to play softball in college and stay close to home. I went on several college visits, but I loved the campus at Maryland and I liked the coaches. They also have my major, criminal justice, so I can play softball and get my degree.”
After guiding the Knights for 33 years and 780 wins, Orndorff turned over the reins last year to Suzy Willemssen, a University of Iowa softball star and founder of the Virginia Glory travel organization. Last spring, the Knights defeated Potomac School 9-3 to win the Virginia state tournament, as Sacadura drove in three runs.
“Meadow definitely has all the tools and she is fun to watch,” said Willemssen, a three-sport star in high school. “Once the game starts she really takes command behind the plate. She brings a great attitude and knowledge of the game behind the plate. Offensively, she can hit bombs but she can also hit behind the runners. She’s a D-I catcher who is going to have a good time playing at Maryland and they’re going to be glad to have her.”