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UMBC Softball Notebook: Former Retriever Lauren Nicholson Pitching Overseas; Shepherd Ranked Fourth Nationally in Doubles
UMBC's all-time wins leader Lauren Nicholson becomes the third Retriever to play in Europe.
Former UMBC standout Lauren Nicholson is spending the summer pitching for the Therwil Flyers in
Nicholson said at first she did not seriously consider any of the recruitment e-mails she received from teams in
Nicholson is allowed to pitch one game per week – the second game of a doubleheader – according to the European Softball rules for Americans. She also coaches the pitchers, a job in which she has experience after spending last season as a graduate assistant at
But coaching in
“The city of
Softball is a relatively young sport in
“The competition is not what I’m used to,” Nicholson said. “There is a wide range of age and talent on the team, which has been my biggest challenge so far.”
Another difference in
The Flyers are currently 12-2 and in first place in their league. The Playoffs begin in August, and the team will play in the European Cup in
Nicholson plans to finish her Master’s in 2008. She will not be able to return to coaching at
“I did learn a lot this past year about what it takes to run a Division I team, and it’s something I definitely would not rule out down the line,” she said.
Nicholson finished her collegiate career as UMBC’s all-time leader in wins (57), innings pitched (620.2), games started (97), appearances (116) and complete games (68), and she ranks second all-time in strikeouts (387) and fourth in shutouts (11).
Witten Retires, Sadowl Promoted: Assistant coach Dave Witten retired from softball at the end of the 2007 season after 15 years as a collegiate, high school and ASA travel ball coach, including three as UMBC’s first base coach. The Retrievers compiled a record of 104-69 during his tenure.
Amy Sadowl, who served as an undergraduate pitching coach last season, has been promoted to replace
In her first season as pitching coach, Sadowl guided the Retriever staff to a 2.76 ERA, the lowest it has been since 2003.
Retrievers Ranked Nationally: UMBC junior second baseman Dana Shepherd finished the 2007 season ranked fourth in the county in doubles, as she clubbed 0.38 two-baggers per game. Shepherd set a new school record with 19 doubles last season.
Other Retrievers to rank in the top 50 in the nation in statistical categories include senior catcher Krissy Licursi, who was among the toughest in the country to strike out (26th), as she was rung up just eight times in 150 at-bats; Shepherd in runs per game (39th, 0.92); and freshman Amanda Fefel in home runs per game (45th, 0.26). In addition, senior first baseman Melanie Denischuk ranked 51st in RBI per game (0.88), junior pitcher Ashley Gray ranked 69th in ERA (1.81) and senior shortstop Reilly Ward ranked 75th in walks per game (0.54).
As a team, the Retrievers ranked 14th in the country in doubles per game (1.54), 22nd in scoring (5.42 runs per game), 23rd in home runs per game (1.06) and 26th in slugging percentage (.471). UMBC also finished the season 50th in team batting average (.291) and 53rd in winning percentage (.640).