Erin Sweeney was a four-year member of the Bishop O’Connell softball team and spent two seasons as the ace of the Knights pitching staff.
Sweeney, a Vienna resident, experienced four VISAA state championships and a pair of Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles during her high school career. As a senior, she went 15-1 in the pitcher’s circle with a 1.11 ERA, striking out 100 batters in 88 innings. She earned first-team all-state and first-team all-WCAC honors, and was named team MVP.
Sweeney graduated from Bishop O’Connell in 2015 but will continue her softball career at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. The Mountaineers compete at the Division I level in the Northeast Conference.
Sweeney recently participated via email in a Q&A with The Connection.
Connection: You’ll be playing softball for Mount St. Mary's next season. What made Mount St. Mary’s the right choice for you?
Sweeney: The Mount has everything I was looking for in a school. It has a great Health Sciences program, it is close to home and I have the ability to play Division I softball for a great coach and with some incredible teammates. It is just a perfect fit for me.
Connection: What position(s) will you play?
Sweeney: I will have the opportunity to pitch and play other positions at The Mount. I am looking forward to helping The Mount team any way I can.
Connection: What are you most looking forward to about going to college?
Sweeney: I am really looking forward to meeting new people and experiencing all the things that Mount St. Mary's has to offer. I am also looking forward to continuing to play softball.
Connection: At what age did you start playing softball?
Sweeney: I started playing softball when I was 8 years old.
Connection: When did you realize playing college softball was an option for you?
Sweeney: Playing college softball has been a goal of mine since I was 10 years old.
Connection: The O'Connell softball program has won many championships over the years. How, if at all, did playing for a prestigious program affect the amount of pressure you felt to succeed?
Sweeney: O'Connell softball has a long winning tradition and Tommy [Orndorff] is a Hall of Fame coach, so I definitely felt a lot of pressure to succeed. But the reason the program has been so successful over the past 30 years is because the players understand that it is their responsibility to play "O'Connell Softball," which means we honor the sport every time we take the field and we play the game the right way. This is what Tommy has instilled in his players and that is why the program has been so consistently successful over the years. It is a lot of pressure, but it is also a lot of fun.
Connection: What is your favorite memory of playing softball at O'Connell?
Sweeney: I have had a lot of great memories from playing softball at O'Connell, but what has meant the most to me is the lasting friendships I have made with all of my amazing teammates.
Connection: Do you have any game day superstitions?
Sweeney: I wouldn't consider myself to be really superstitious, but I definitely have a set game day routine that I follow.
Connection: What do you like to do when you’re not playing a sport?
Sweeney: When I am not playing softball, I like to watch my brother play baseball and my sister play softball. I like coaching softball, especially working with young pitchers. I also love going to the beach.
Connection: Are you a pro sports fan? Which team(s) do you root for?
Sweeney: I am a huge baseball fan! My favorite teams are the Nationals and the Kansas City Royals.
Connection: What’s your favorite food?
Sweeney: I love Italian food, especially pasta.
Connection: Who is your favorite music artist? Why?
Sweeney: I enjoy listening to all types of music, and I am a really big fan of country music, but I don't really have a favorite artist.
Connection: What is your favorite movie? Why?
Sweeney: I really love those classic baseball movies, like ‘Field of Dreams’ and ‘The Sandlot.’ They are just fun to watch.