Athlete of the Week – Taylor O’Donnell, Byron Softball

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BYRON, Minn. (KTTC) – Anyone who has ever played sports knows what it feels like to be in the zone.

Just ask Byron’s Taylor O’Donnell — who hit not one — but two — walk-off three-run homers Saturday to give the Bears wins over PEM and Dover-Eyota.

“The first [walk-off homer] was kind of surreal,” she said. “I’ve never actually [hit a walk-off homer] before. We talked about it with my team as kind of a one time thing I thought, and then the second game we got in the same position. I just told myself we don’t need anything more than a base hit, and I guess it happened.”

But her second homer wasn’t motivated by glory or visions of grandeur. O’Donnell was just exhausted, and didn’t want to play anymore.

“I was actually really tired and the game was taking really long,” said O’Donnell. “So, I kind of felt like ‘Hey, maybe I can put an end to this one, too,'”

And put an end to the game she did. Back-to-back games with 3-run walk-off jacks? Even Byron Head Coach Jake Harmon couldn’t believe it. He could understand one walk-off. But two?

“To go back-to-back in two games, the same day, that’s just crazy,” he said. “I’ve never seen that. I’m not sure many people have. To have a 3-run walk-off in two games in a row is just crazy.”

As crazy as her performance was, O’Donnell keeps her mentality at the plate simple, and it’s obviously paying off as she’s batting .488 on the season with a .551 OBP.

“It’s pretty amazing what you can do when you’re out of your own head, you’re relaxed, you’re confident. Going up to the second at bat I was just confident, just ready for whatever would happen.”

Taylor O’Donnell of the Byron Bears Softball team is this week’s KTTC NewsCenter Sports Athlete of the Week.

Mark Poulose

Mark Poulose

Mark Poulose is a Sports Reporter/Anchor at KTTC.

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