Starting shortstop snaps bone in hand

Sam O’Brien suffers injury on windswept football field

Sarah Macias, Staff Writer

Practicing on the football turf is comparable to practicing in a wind tunnel.

With the softball season quickly approaching, and having to share indoor and outdoor facilities with multiple teams, teams will take any time they can where the whole team is available to practice without class schedules interfering.

Two Saturdays ago, the Wayne State softball team had a frigid practice on the football field.

Imagine, your hands are freezing and it’s hard to grip the ball, and even harder to grip a bat and try to hit a moving object coming towards you. On this particular Saturday, the team was scrimmaging between themselves.

As Cassy Miller, Wayne’s starting pitcher, prepared for her next batter, Sam O’Brien, Wayne’s starting shortstop for the last three years, stepped up to the plate.

As O’Brien took her first swing there was an off sound, kind of sounded like she hit the ball off the knob of her bat. O’Brien shook her hand in pain and paced around a little.

“I just thought it hurt a lot because it was cold,” O’Brien said.

Sometimes when you hit outside in the cold, your hands can start to ring, kind of a stinging sensation. Like any college athlete, O’Brien went onto the field to play defense despite the pain.

“I was on the field and I couldn’t really squeeze my glove,” O’Brien said. “I went into take another at bat and I couldn’t grip my bat. That’s when I knew I should go see our trainer, Tyler.”

O’Brien took an x-ray at the local hospital first thing Monday morning, then she had to drive to Dakota Dunes, S.D., to talk to WSC’s contracted doctor. She met with the doctor for a couple minutes as he talked to her about her X-ray and what it showed.

“The doctor said my fifth metatarsal bone was fractured, and part of the bone was chipped,” O’Brien said. “It’ll be about three weeks until I’m back on the field.”

The team will play in Fort Hayes (today) and the National training Center Games in Florida (over midterm break) within the next two weeks. The coaches hope to have O’Brien back by the Missouri Western tournament March 18.