For two decades, Stephanie Poetzsch’s single-season strikeout record remained untouched. The former Stony Brook softball pitcher fanned 282 batters in 2002 — the most by any Seawolf during a single season.
But after Stony Brook softball’s weekend series against UMass Lowell on May 6 and May 7, the strikeout record now belongs to Dawn Bodrug.
It all came down to the final regular season series of 2022, but Bodrug has officially climbed the mountain. She took the circle in game one sitting at 279 strikeouts on the 2022 regular season — just three away from tying Poetzsch’s record.
Not only did she fan three batters in game one to tie the record, but she held the River Hawks to just one hit and tossed a complete game shutout to help the Seawolves secure a 2-0 victory: their 31st and final regular season win of 2022.
The final two games of the series were a different story. The River Hawks exploded for double-digit runs in both games, defeating Stony Brook 11-3 in game two and 10-2 in game three. However, the third installment featured a historic moment. Bodrug retired UMass Lowell’s power-hitting catcher Morgan Fisher in the first inning to secure Stony Brook’s single-season strikeout crown. She later struck out two more River Hawks and currently holds the new record of 285 single season strikeouts.
Bodrug’s historic outing on Saturday was not enough to contain the River Hawks, but it was just one of a few memorable individual performances from Stony Brook’s season finale.
Second baseman Sofia Chambers made history of her own when she smacked her first career home run over the left field fence in game one. The solo shot was timely on multiple levels. Not only did it come in the final games of 2022, but it came in the seventh inning of a 1-0 game.
Chambers’ home run ended a three-inning dry spell for the Seawolves. More importantly, it padded Stony Brook’s lead heading into the bottom half of the seventh inning. Unsurprisingly, Bodrug was dominant through the final three outs and the Seawolves were able to take game one with ease.
Like Bodrug, catcher Corinne Badger was on the hunt for a single-season record. The junior is no stranger to the long-ball; she hit seven home runs over the course of the first seven games of the season this year. Entering Friday, she led the America East with 14 home runs. More importantly, her 14 long balls were creeping up on Stony Brook’s all-time single-season home run record held by former outfielder Bria Green (19).
In game two, the Seawolves were held to just one run through the first four innings of play. On top of this, pitcher Shelbi Denman and the Seawolves struggled with run prevention. Denman only lasted two innings and gave up four earned runs. Stony Brook’s defense crumbled in the second inning and gave the River Hawks a chance to run away with a seven run lead. By the fifth inning, UMass Lowell had a 9-1 edge over the Seawolves.
But this was not enough to discourage Badger.
With shortstop Kyra McFarland standing on first base in the fifth inning, Badger launched a two-run home run over the left wall. It was her 15th long ball and it inched the Seawolves six runs closer to tying the River Hawks.
Badger’s bomb marked the end of Stony Brook’s scoring output in game two. UMass Lowell went on to score two more runs by the final inning. However, Badger was one home run away from securing the fourth-place spot for single-season home runs.
With one game left to make history, Badger failed to disappoint. On Saturday, the Seawolves found themselves in a similar situation to Friday’s second game. Even with Bodrug on the mound, Stony Brook quickly fell into a six-run deficit by the end of the second inning. However, Badger struck again, this time with a fourth-inning solo home run.
Badger’s fourth inning bomb gave her a total of 16 home runs in 2022. It not only tied Greene’s 2014 home run total, but it also landed her fourth on Stony Brook’s all-time single season home run list. Besides Greene, Badger follows behind Hayley Durham, as well as 2021 graduate Melissa Rahrich, both of whom hit 17 home runs in 2005 and 2019, respectively.
Once again, Badger’s success at the plate was not enough to catapult the Seawolves into a winning position over the River Hawks. UMass Lowell continued to pile onto their lead in the late innings of game three. Pitcher Jennifer Slanovec eventually shut Stony Brook down in the final two innings, leading the River Hawks to a 10-2 win to close out the season.
Despite a lopsided finish to the regular season, Stony Brook’s 2022 campaign was well-fought. The Seawolves finished 31-16 (10-6 AE), marking the 10th time since 2001 that the team has reached 30 wins in a single season. They ended their last season in the America East second only to UMBC (28-9, 12-5 AE) in the conference standings.