SOFTBALL NOTEBOOK Time flies for Lourdes' O'Connor

By Pat Ruff

This has gone fast. Too fast for Mary O'Connor's taste.

It seems like yesterday to the Rochester Lourdes senior softball player that she was given her first Eagles starting pitching assignment.

Actually, it was nothing close to yesterday. It was four years ago, and O'Connor was just an eighth-grader.


"This has really gone fast and it's really been fun," said O'Connor, the team's top pitcher for four straight years. "I look forward to the spring and the start of the season so much every year. It is my dream to go out by getting to state. We want to get there and we think we can."

With a player like O'Connor on their side, it would foolish to count the Eagles out. The right-hander has been an all-conference player since her freshman year. Last season she was as tough as ever, despite finishing with just an 11-11 record. Her ERA was terrific, at just 1.6. She was also arguably her team's best hitter, batting .300.

But it has been through her pitching that she's earned a standout reputation. She got her start there in fifth grade when she first began to play fastpitch softball.

O'Connor has never let up since, the last few years playing three separate seasons of softball. She plays in the spring for Lourdes, plays on a summer team, then plays in a fall league in the Twin Cities.

She hates to see her career end with the conclusion of Lourdes' season. But that will likely be the case, as she's bound for Minnesota-State in Mankato next school year. The Mavericks play a hefty brand of softball, at Division II.

"I know I will at least be watching lots of games," O'Connor said.

This is a game O'Connor can't help but be around.

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