Apr. 17 Burger King Outstanding Student Athlete: Northridge's Brianne O'Dell
On a chilly Wednesday night, with the Northridge offense mostly frozen out, Raider senior Brianne O'Dell changed everything with one swing of the bat.
"When I first hit it, I didn't think anything about it. I just wanted to get a run in," O'Dell says of her high fly ball over the fence. "But then, when I crossed home plate, it was pretty awesome."
O'Dell's seventh inning grand slam, the first of her high school career, led Northridge to a 6-3 come-from-behind victory.
The shortstop leads the Raiders in every major offensive category early this season. Her dad, Bo, has a front row seat to all the success as the Raiders' head coach.
"Some people don't like that they have the coach with them when they're at home too," O'Dell says of the father-coach relationship. "I'm able to learn, even when I'm not out on the softball diamond. But he knows how to be a dad too and it is a lot of fun."
O'Dell's batting stats are not her only impressive numbers. She boasts a 4.36 weighted GPA and will play softball at Cedarville University, a D-II program in Ohio, next year.
"Words can't really describe it," says Bo O'Dell of the pride he feels as a father and a coach. "You hope that your kids turn out a certain way. She's very driven toward what her goals are and how to go about attaining those goals."
Goal number one is the playoffs. The Raiders made Semi-States each of the last two years, but have never made it to the final game.
"For eight of us, it's our senior year," Brianne says of her last season. "We've been able to get there twice. We just want to finally be able to say we made it to state, we made it there. And then give us a shot at winning."