Woodridge's McBride excelling with both bat and glove

Roger Gordon
Correspondent
Woodridge Bulldogs

Bella McBride is leading her softball team in just about every offensive category.

The Woodridge senior center fielder is hitting near .400 and has nine RBIs, eight runs scored and seven doubles.

As great as she has been at the plate, however, McBride’s prowess defensively has been even better.

“Bella is a natural out there,” Bulldogs head coach Dan Schneider said. “If the ball is hit anywhere between right-center and left-center, she’s probably catching the ball. She’s finding a way to make big catches, diving catches and over-the-shoulder catches.”

In Woodridge’s miraculous, come-from-behind, walk-off 14-13 victory April 14 at home over Metro Athletic Conference rival Cloverleaf in which the Bulldogs scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, McBride made a spectacular double play in the top of the seventh.

“Bella caught a fly ball and then threw the girl out who tagged from third base and tried to score,” said Schneider. “Earlier in the game, she made a nice catch.”

At the plate McBride singled twice, had an RBI and scored three runs.

The win improved Woodridge’s overall record to 3-7 and its MAC mark to 3-3.

The night before, on April 13 in an 8-7 loss, also at home, to conference rival Streetsboro, McBride had a crucial, over-the-head catch near the home-run fence. At the bat, she banged a three-run double in the second inning.

The week began for Woodridge April 8 in a 16-4 defeat at home to Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary. McBride doubled and had an RBI.

The next night, on April 9, the Bulldogs fell 8-5 at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy. McBride singled and doubled, knocked in a run and scored once.

Schneider thought missing last season due to COVID-19 would hinder McBride this season.

It hasn’t, though.

“She’s been a lot healthier. She was fighting a lower back injury two years ago. Now she’s come back healthy and ready to play, and you can tell the difference,” the coach said. “She plays volleyball, but I think softball is what she loves. She listens well, she’s very coachable, she worked hard in the offseason as far as conditioning. I think she wanted her senior year to be something to remember, and so far she’s done that.”

According to Schneider, McBride is not a vocal leader, but she leads by example, by her outstanding work ethic.

“I think every player on the team looks up to Bella McBride,” he said. “She’s a hardworking individual. Her dedication is something else. She’s also a super, super person on the field and off the field.”

McBride, who plans to attend Ohio State University in the fall, has been a member of the Woodridge Athletic Leadership Council since her freshman year. She is a member of the National Honor Society as well.

Said Schneider, “Bella is an individual who takes everything seriously.”