CHESTERTOWN — After two full weeks of playing softball at warmer, drier venues, Washington College boasts an 11-1 slate — following a program-record 8-0 start. Along the way head coach Lacey Lister picked up her 100th career win, and first baseman Lauren Dockrill and pitcher Kristin Cooper established program records.
On March 14, the final day of the Rebel Spring Games in Florida, Washington knocked off No. 5-ranked Cortland, N.Y., 8-7, and Muskingum of Ohio, 5-3.
Cooper, a junior from Georgetown, Del., earned her school-record 30th win in the opener against Cortland, last year’s Division III national runner-up. She improved to 30-18, passing Diane Green, who won 29 games from 2003 to 2006. Cooper also is Washington’s all-time leader in strikeouts (267) and wins by shutout (eight).
Washington pushed eight runs across in the top of the fourth inning to wipe out a 5-0 deficit. Cooper scored the first run on a throwing error; in her second plate appearance in the bat-around she singled up the middle to drive in two runs, including what held up as the winning run.
The Red Dragons (5-4) scored twice in the bottom of the fifth inning to close to 8-7. They had the tying run on second in the seventh inning, but Cooper got the batter to fly out on a foul ball to first baseman Dockrill to end the game.
Cooper (5-1) got the win in relief of sophomore Sydnee Schorr, allowing two runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings. She walked one batter and struck out three. Cooper (two RBI), Suzanne Patinella (two RBI) and Kylie Nottingham each had two hits.
Washington also had to come from behind to defeat Muskingum in the final game of the spring trip. The Shore ladies scored four times in the last of the sixth to pull ahead, 5-2. Cooper (2-for-3) had a run-scoring double in the rally.
Schorr, an Easton High School standout who has transferred from NAIA Division I Savannah College of Art & Design, picked up the win in relief. She improved to 4-0 after allowing one run, unearned, on one hit over the final two innings. Schorr spelled junior Christine Anderson, who gave up six hits, two earned runs, walked two and struck out one in five innings.
Weather and field conditions permitting, Washington will open its home slate Saturday, March 22 when conference rival Franklin & Marshall is here for two games.
Lacey Lister returns for her sixth year as the Shore ladies’ head coach. She picked up her 100th career win March 2 when Washington defeated Allegheny, 12-3. After the successful spring break trip, she raised her record to 108-101-1.
Also back are 14 players from last year’s record-setting 27-win campaign that included the program’s first conference championship and first appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
“We’re excited coming off a great year and looking to improve on it and take the next step,” said Lister. “We’re deep as a team, and as long as we work hard and stay healthy, I expect us to have another great season.”
Key returnees include junior pitchers Kristin Cooper and Christine Anderson, senior shortstop Claire Mattox, senior first baseman Lauren Dockrill and senior catcher Kyle Nottingham, a graduate of Stephen Decatur High School. Nottingham holds the school record of 92 career RBI. Dockrill holds the school record of 183 career hits, and is on pace to become the first player in Centennial Conference history to finish with 200-plus hits.
Dockrill also holds school records for career doubles (50), at bats (483), total bases (238), putouts (972) and total chances (1,034).
One of the prized newcomers is SCAD transfer Sydnee Schorr, who played on three state championship teams for Easton High School. Schorr as a freshman was 8-3 with a 1.45 ERA in 72 1/3 innings in 2012 at the Savannah College of Art & Design, which shelved its program at the end of the 2012 season. Schorr walked just 16 hitters while striking out 72.
Cooper went 14-10 in 2013, setting the program record for wins in a single season. She struck out 118 hitters and registered seven shutouts — both school records. She threw a program-most 156 innings in 2013, when she also posted two saves.
Anderson (10-8) set the program record for starts in a season with 22 in 2013. She went the distance in 14 games, and made a total of 28 appearances.
Freshman Audrey Hubbard also could see time in the circle. She is the sister of middle infielder Brittney Hubbard. They are graduates of North Dorchester High School.
Another valued returnee is assistant coach Sally Snover. She made 152 consecutive starts at third base for the Shore ladies from 2009 to 2012, and appeared on the conference’s all-star first team, All-Sportsmanship Team and Academic Honor Roll.
In a preseason poll of coaches, Washington is favored to repeat as the Centennial Conference champion. Lister’s squad received 57 vote-points and was picked first by four of the eight other head coaches; coaches are not allowed to vote for their team in the poll.
Washington edged Muhlenberg by one point; three coaches placed Muhlenberg first on the ballot.
Haverford, the runner-up to Washington in last year’s conference playoff tournament, was third with 48 vote-points. McDaniel (47) received one first-place vote. Gettysburg (40) was picked fifth and received the other first-place vote.
Ursinus (28), Dickinson (18), Franklin & Marshall (17) and Swarthmore (13) complete the coaches’ poll.
The conference champion earns an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament.