If there are three things Una O’Donnell proved this spring it’s that she can pitch, hit and run.
The rising Scarsdale Middle School eighth-grader won three levels — local, regional and team — of Major League Baseball’s Pitch, Hit & Run softball contest for 12-and-unders and was honored on the field before a Mets game at Citi Field.
The top three nationally for baseball and softball in various age groups were invited to the All-Star Game. O’Donnell found out last week she was not among the lucky few, but was proud of the way she performed in the trio of events.
“Each time I was really happy about the win and each level I got more nervous about the competition,” O’Donnell said.
Making it to Citi Field, winning there and getting to meet rookie second baseman, and now All-Star, Jeff McNeil was a thrill for O’Donnell.
“I am a Mets fan,” she said. “It was honestly amazing. Seeing what the players look like, what they look like in a game is amazing. I’ve been a Mets fan since I was born and this was a great experience to win the competition at Citi Field.
“I got to walk to second base and he came out and gave me a signed baseball and I got to take a selfie with him. It was really cool and I told him he was doing a really good job hitting and that he was one of my favorite players.”
The competition and on-field experience at Citi Field took place the day before Father’s Day, so dad Don had a great treat accompanying his daughter onto the field.
O’Donnell started out playing in Heathcote for Scarsdale Little League when she was 5, but switched over to White Plains Little League when she was in second grade. She completed her final Little League season this spring, but almost a year ago started playing with A-Game Sports in New Rochelle. She also pitched on the middle school modified team this past spring, earning the team MVP Award as the pitcher.
“I started pitching a year ago and I recently switched my style five or six months ago and I feel like I am more accurate and powerful with my pitching,” O’Donnell said. “I throw a lot with the Tincher method.”
It’s been a whirlwind year between joining a more intense program, ending her Little League career, starting a new position and succeeding at PHR.
“I’ve learned that practice really does pay off,” O’Donnell said. “I really couldn’t have done this without my coaches. They really trained me for this.”
She added, “I love softball because it’s fun and it’s competitive. It really bonds people.”