Ashburn, Va. — Broad Run High School junior Sara Kelly has made an early verbal commitment to continue her academic and softball career at the University at Buffalo beginning in the 2020-2021 academic year.
“I chose Buffalo because, when I went to visit, I just loved everything about it,” Kelly said. “The atmosphere was great and their softball coaches are amazing and very helpful.”
The Division I Bulls are coached by Mike Ruechel, who has been with the program since 2017. Before being named head coach, Ruechel was the Bulls’ assistant coach and hitting coach. Ruechel has helped the Bulls improve in almost every offensive category since his arrival.
“I can’t wait to play for Coach Ruechel,” Kelly said. “I really love the way he helps out the players.”
In 2018, Kelly helped Broad Run to a 16-9 record, including a 8-5 mark in the Potomac District. The No. 4 Spartans made a run at the Potomac District championship, falling to No. 1 Stone Bridge in the title game, before their season came to a close against Tuscarora in a VHSL Region 5C semifinal.
“Sara always has a positive attitude and is always ready to work,” Broad Run teammate Abigail Neff said. “She is also always there to support her teammates in every aspect of the game.”
While not playing at Broad Run, Kelly plays travel ball for the Ashburn Shooting Stars, the team she has played with since she was nine years old.
“Sara’s athleticism is what makes her stand out,” Ashburn Shooting Stars head coach Sean Gallagher said. “She can literally play any position on the field.”
Kelly’s willingness to sacrifice to find a way to help the team has been critical to her success on the diamond.
“When we asked her to learn a new position, she moved forward without hesitation and dedicated the time and effort to learn,” Gallagher said.
With her junior season of high school softball around the corner, Kelly is relieved to know where she’ll be heading to college in 2020.
“It feels amazing to be committed to a DI school,” Kelly said. “I can’t wait to meet my future teammates and make new memories.”