With every pitch she threw and every strikeout she accrued, Sarah Cornell inched one step closer to her ultimate personal goal as a high school softball player: to earn National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American honors.
Cornell, who starred for Clarke the last six years, achieved it Thursday when the NFCA named her to its All-American second team.
“I decided to set that goal and just try as hard as I could to achieve it,” she said.
Cornell, who has committed to Hofstra, graduated as Long Island’s all-time strikeout leader with 1,345. In 2016, she led Clarke to its second straight state championship appearance with an 18-4 record, an 0.58 ERA and 266 strikeouts. She threw 11 shutouts and a perfect game.
In college, Cornell hopes to follow in Olivia Galati’s footsteps. Galati, who graduated from St. John the Baptist in 2009, went from an Under Armour All-American in high school to a star pitcher and All-American for Hofstra.
“Even when I was little, I remember hearing Olivia Galati’s name all over the place,” Cornell said. “I never really knew what school I wanted to go to, and when Hofstra asked me to go to school there it was an honor that I knew I would go to the same school as a really amazing player.”
Cornell said she hopes her success at the high school varsity level inspires future players at Clarke.
“I think I’m leaving behind a good legacy,” she said. “I think people will look up to me and say, oh, I want to be like her. I wanted to be a role model, and I wanted to set a good example for kids coming into the school.”