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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Osbourn Park softball wins Virginia Class 6 title against Battlefield

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When Patrick DeRosa peered out of the Osbourn Park dugout in the seventh inning of Saturday’s Virginia Class 6 title game against Battlefield, he saw smiles slowly appear on his players’ faces. The Yellow Jackets, just one lead away from the program’s second state championship, could see the finish line. DeRosa could do that too.

Seconds later, the ball was shot into the air and into the glove of junior catcher Cordia Hirschy, and the celebration began. Osbourn Park defeated Battlefield 3-0 to take home the hardware Saturday afternoon at Deep Run High School in Glen Allen, Virginia. The win marked the program’s first title since 2016.

“That ball went up in the air and it was just pure joy that I could see all over the field,” DeRosa said. “The girls just deserved it.”

Nearly a year ago, Osbourn Park (20-7) huddled after a state semifinal loss to Madison and vowed to win all of next season. The Yellow Jackets, a team littered with underclassmen, knew they would be returning all but one player from that year’s lineup. With the taste of defeat in their mouths, they set an early goal of hoisting a state title trophy.

To get over that hump, the team had to take down a Bobcats team that defeated them four times over the course of the season, most recently in a region final on May 31.

“The girls were a little concerned when they started today saying, ‘Oh, we’ve lost to this team four times,’ and we kept saying, ‘Look, one time in (one of) those games and it could have been different can expire. ” said DeRosa. “We kept pumping that information out to them, trying to get them in the right mental state so they could realize that you deserve to be here, that you can beat this team.”

The fifth meeting between the two teams proved to be just as competitive as the previous four. Osbourn Park’s Sam Borrayo and Battlefield’s Aiko Conaway were involved in a pitchers’ duel that left the game scoreless for four innings. The Yellow Jackets struck first in the top of the fifth inning when sophomore Gauri Saigal drove in a run to give her team the lead.

Seniors Amari Frederick and Sade Brooks-Robinson each had singles in the sixth inning as Osbourn Park extended its lead to three runs. Borrayo, who suffered from arm soreness early Saturday, held strong in the final innings to keep the Bobcats at bay.

“She smelled the finish line and said, ‘Okay, I’m putting it in my next gear,’” DeRosa said.

The Bobcats put the ball in play in all but one of their last seven at-bats, but the Yellow Jackets played a flawless game to make their state championship dream come true. Borrayo allowed just three goals in the win, ending her high school career in impressive fashion.