Thursday, May 5, 2016

Marist Freshman Oberdorf Impresses From the Court to the Diamond

The Marist Red Foxes are in the midst of their finest softball season in recent memory. Favorited in the conference tournament as that time of year nears, there are a few places credit for the program's surge can be applied. No player has made more of an impact, though, than freshman Claire Oberdorf.

Photo courtesy Marist Athletics
The rookie out of Greensburg, Pennsylvania came into this season without having spent much time on the field, and had to replace her sneakers for cleats. After spending the entire basketball season with the Red Foxes' women's basketball team, the two-sport star joined the softball team and has been a most welcome addition.

Oberdorf started all thirty-two basketball games in the 2015-2016 season, one of just three Red Fox players to do so. She averaged just under 4.5 points and right at 3.0 rebounds per game. The starting point guard at season's end, Oberdorf says time management is the only drawback to being a two-sport collegiate star.

"The only challenge I have faced by playing two sports at the Division 1 level is time management. I have been able to keep good grades and get all my work done on time. Sometimes it gets stressful, but I have done my best to get everything done."

Claire is the younger of two Oberdorfs on the softball team; older sister Jayne is a junior pitcher in the midst of a solid campaign in her own right. “Being able to play with my sister is so much fun," Claire says. "I love being in the field behind her while she’s pitching. It is always good to know we are both here to push each other to make us better."

Photo courtesy Marist Athletics
The Red Foxes are in the midst of a seventeen-game winning streak, having taken home the W in twenty-seven of their last twenty-eight matchups. No player has been more integral to her team's success down the stretch than Claire Oberdorf; before this weekend's series, she sports a .432 batting average and .703 slugging percentage with five home runs, thirty-four RBI, and fifteen stolen bases. Her batting average is fifty-six points higher than her nearest teammate in that category and ranks 38th nationally.

While playing multiple sports at the Division I level is not without its challenges, Claire sees many a positive side to it, as well; "Basketball conditioning kept me sharp even with being away from softball for quite some time. Being in shape from basketball has made the transition a lot easier. That’s the bonus of playing two sports because you transition right into the other and staying in shape gives me an edge early on in the seasons."

Already announced as a top-25 finalist for Freshman of the Year, Oberdorf is one of the most exciting young players to come out of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in some time and, having already made her mark on the Marist program, is undoubtedly a future national name, both on the court and inside the foul lines.

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