Graduate pitcher Dawn Bodrug in a game against Farleigh Dickson on March 25. Her ERA is currently 1.28, which would be the best in America East since 2005 if no more games were played this season. SARA RUBERG/THE STATESMAN

Senior Dawn Bodrug is in the midst of perhaps the greatest pitching season in Stony Brook Softball’s history, with 174 strikeouts in 109 innings. Her ERA currently sits at 1.28, which would be the best in the America East since 2005 if the season ended today.

Bodrug’s 174 strikeouts are already the eighth most in a single season, and she has reached that mark while pitching far fewer innings than everyone above her on the leaderboard. The current single season Stony Brook strikeout record was set by Stephanie Poetzsch in 2002 with 282. 

It is unknown how many more games Bodrug will pitch in, but she is currently striking out 1.60 batters per inning. Needing 109 more strikeouts to break Poetzsch’s record, Bodrug’s current pace would see her accomplish that in roughly 68 more innings — more than are currently available in the regular season, barring five innings of extra inning play.

Alyssa Struzenberg came the closest to threatening Poetzsch’s record, recording 255 strikeouts in 2010 and 244 strikeouts in 2008, the second and third-most in a single season, respectively, for Stony Brook.

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However, Bodrug’s pursuit of the strikeout record has been impacted by the pandemic. COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of at least ten games so far, meaning the season will finish with 39 regular season games barring further schedule changes. Poetzch and Struzenberg earned their marks while on teams that played upwards of 50 games a year. 

A deep postseason run could give Bodrug enough innings to climb further up the leaderboard. Poetzch needed 236.2 innings to break the record in 2002 while Struzenberg pitched 222.1 innings in 2008 and 214.1 in 2010. With just nine regular season games remaining, Bodrug has pitched at least 100 less innings than all of those seasons.

Bodrug became a star immediately after transferring to Stony Brook last year, throwing the program’s first perfect game in eight years against Cornell in only her second start. When the season was canceled in March, she was averaging nearly two strikeouts per inning and had a 0.74 ERA.

“She got off to a great start last year, but obviously the season was shortened,” head coach Megan T. Bryant said in an interview with The Statesman following a win over Binghamton. “She came out of a junior college, had great success there. Division I is certainly a step up so we’re just really pleased with her development, and she’s been a great addition to the program.”

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This year, Bodrug proved that she could sustain that success over a full schedule. She is currently riding a streak of three consecutive shutouts and has thrown seven since the season opener, including a no-hitter against Binghamton on March 27. She has reached 16 strikeouts in a game twice. 

According to Bryant, Bodrug has not even reached her full potential yet.

“Dawn’s a talented pitcher and like every other player in our program she’s working hard to up her game and develop her game,” Bryant said. “The sky’s really the limit to what she can do.”

In most years, Bodrug would be a shoo-in for the America East Pitcher of the Year award. But last year’s winner Courtney Coppersmith has matched her every step of the way, leading the UMBC Retrievers with a jaw-dropping 0.72 ERA. Stony Brook’s three-game series with UMBC on May 7 and 8 will likely determine the conference champion, and will give Bodrug a chance to cement her season as nothing short of extraordinary.

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