Senior pitcher Dawn Bodrug established herself as a transcendent player almost immediately after transferring to Stony Brook before the 2020 season. With her second career no-hitter on March 27 against Binghamton, she staked a claim as one of the best in Stony Brook Softball’s history.
It was the fifteenth no-hitter by a Seawolves pitcher dating back to 2001. Bodrug also became the fifth pitcher to throw multiple no-hitters — she threw a perfect game last year against Cornell.
Stony Brook followed Bodrug’s gem with a blowout of Binghamton later in the day, sweeping their conference-opening doubleheader to begin America East play 2-0.
“It means so much to get an achievement like this because I know it came from the whole team,” Bodrug said in a postgame press release. “I can’t have that no-hitter under my name without amazing defense behind me. It’s so much fun playing with a team that hypes each other up and has each other’s backs.”
In the 1-0 victory, Bodrug fanned 14, struck out the side twice and allowed only two baserunners with walks in the first and seventh innings. In between those walks, she retired 18 straight batters. Her ERA dropped to 1.24, a mark that would be the best ever by a Seawolves pitcher if she can maintain it.
A fielding error placed runners on first and second with two outs in the seventh inning, but Bodrug struck out freshman right fielder Shelby Carvalho on a 2-2 count to end the game.
“As far as having the tying run on base in the seventh, I really just had to take myself back a step and go back to basics, trusting one pitch at a time instead of trying to be a hero with a strikeout,” she said.
Stony Brook nearly squandered her performance, but a solo home run by graduate outfielder Jourdin Hering in the third inning provided the lone run of the game.
Graduate catcher Jordyn Nowakowski got the only other hit with a single in the fourth, marking the first time this season the Seawolves were held under three hits.
If the first game was a reminder of how strong Stony Brook’s current roster is, the nightcap was a celebration of their history. The 10-0 victory was head coach Megan Bryant’s 900th career win since becoming manager of Stetson’s softball team in 1986.
Bryant, by far the most successful coach in team history with 576 victories, took over the program in 2001. She has led the team to 12 winning seasons and three NCAA Tournament appearances while earning three America East Coach of the Year awards.
“It’s been a crazy but a great journey, and I’ve loved every minute of it,” Bryant said in an interview with The Statesman.
Senior shortstop Nicole McCarvill batted in three runs, ending the game by mercy rule with a 2-RBI single in the bottom of the fourth.
All of Stony Brook’s runs came in the third and fourth innings, beginning with scores from sophomore outfielder Shauna Nuss and Hering on consecutive Binghamton throwing errors and a sacrifice fly by McCarvill.
The barrage continued when Nowakowski hit her first home run of the year on the first pitch of the fourth inning, bringing the score to 4-0.
The next three batters all reached to load the bases, allowing Stony Brook to score during each of the following four at-bats — a run capped by graduate pitcher Melissa Rahrich’s conference-leading fifteenth RBI of the year. By the time McCarvill finished the game, nine batters had reached base in the fourth inning alone.
Rahrich struck out six in five scoreless innings, continuing to regain her confidence on the mound after beginning the season with a 4.24 ERA.
Including Thursday’s doubleheader against Fairleigh Dickinson, the Seawolves have now earned four straight shutouts for the first time since at least 2001. Considering that three of those were won by mercy rule, this may be one of the best stretches in program history.
“I think the shutouts really are a tribute to our pitching staff and our defense,” Bryant said. “This is a very strong defensive team behind a very good pitching staff and I think that makes all the difference when it comes to keeping the other team off the scoreboard.”
Stony Brook will look to keep their momentum going this Wednesday at the Fordham Rams before traveling to Connecticut to battle the Hartford Hawks for their second in-conference series.