By Derek Stiles
The Washington College softball team looks to establish itself as one of the perennial programs in the Mid-Atlantic, following a successful 26-13-1 campaign. In the past three seasons, the Shorewomen have had two Centennial Conference Championship appearances as well as two NCAA Tournaments.
Last season, the Shorewomen were unable to defend their conference crown as they fell to Muhlenberg 1-2 and McDaniel 1-2 (in eight innings) in the double elimination playoff format. Due to their quick exit from the conference playoffs, the Shorewomen weren’t able to return to the national tournament.
The Shorewomen hope to fill in the void left by two of the most decorated players in team history, first basemen Lauren Dockrill and catcher Kylie Nottingham. Dockrill holds a team and conference record for career hits with 221 and all-time doubles with 68 in addition to a WC record of 286 total bases. Dockrill was a two-time conference pick. Nottingham was a four-time all-conference pick and holds the school record for runs scored (122), Runs Batted In (105), walks (61), and hits by pitch (42.)
Looking to step up at catcher this season is sophomore Caitlyn Kirby, who saw only a fraction of time behind the plate since Nottingham was the frirst-string catcher. Last season, Kirby led the team in walks (23) and sacrifice bunts (11), which would lead to her being chosen as a 2014 All-Centennial Conference honorable mention pick. Incoming freshman Hannah Spohn, Gabby Edwards, and Taylor Harcum will compete for the starting spot at first base.
Pitching won’t be an issue for the Shorewomen as they kept their three top pitchers senior Christine Anderson, senior captain Kristin Cooper, and junior Sydnee Schorr while adding three more arms to the rotation. Anderson led the team with a 2.30 ERA, which was good enough to place sixth in the conference.
The Shorewomen were expected to begin their season at the Sea Gull Classic against Buffalo State and the College of New Jersey. However, due to the severe snow in recent weeks, both games were cancelled. The team expects their season to begin during spring break on March 8 in a double header in Winter Haven, Fla. against Beloit and Marietta.