Softball, Sports

Hardy enters elite class of BU pitchers

The no-hitter is one of the greatest feats of endurance and precision in all of sports. Very few pitchers will ever get to feel the rush of putting down an entire team of hungry batters. In the history of Major League Baseball, there are a select few who can say they have done it.

In softball, no-hitters are more common, given that there are only seven innings instead of nine. Even so, the best pitchers who throw a few no-nos in their career can look back on their accomplishments and give themselves a well-deserved pat on the back.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘

Senior Cassidi Hardy of the Boston University softball team has three no-hitters this season. Pat on the back received.’

Hardy’s first no-hitter came against Western Michigan University on March 6. In that game, the junior faced 23 batters, striking out four and allowing just two walks. Two weeks later, Hardy clocked seven strikeouts in her second no-hit gem, this time against Columbia University.

Hardy fanned seven in her latest victory against the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. Hardy is the only America East pitcher who has thrown three no-hitters this season.’

‘She understands situations. She understands batters and what she needs to do to get people out,’ BU coach Shawn Rychick said. ‘She’s hitting her spots, and it’s resulting in good performances.’

Hardy’s season thus far has been her best on record, and the senior is one of the best pitchers BU has fielded in a number of years. In a little over a month, Hardy has cracked into the top two on BU’s all-time leaders list in the no-hitter category, a position that has remained untouched in more than a decade.

There are only two other pitchers in Terrier history that have thrown multiple no-hitters in one season. Audrey West threw four no-hitters in 1994, and Shannon Downey threw a no-hitter and a perfect game in 1993.

With many games left to play this season, Hardy is on track to be one of the best Terrier pitchers ever. But how does she compare to West and Downey? The pair, both of whom hail from Oceanside, Calif., still lead in several categories on the Terriers’ all-time list. Right now, Hardy still has a lot of catching up to do.

In her career at BU, West was the America East Pitcher of the Year three years in a row. She leads the Terriers’ all-time lists in 12 different categories. Among those leading numbers are most strikeouts in a season, in which she holds both the top two spots. In 1994 and 1996, she accrued 323 and 351 strikeouts, respectively.

In those two years, West made a total of 104 appearances. She is first and second in innings pitched as well, with 230 in both 1994 and 1996. She also holds the top two spots in wins in a season with 27 in each of those two years. Her career ERA is 0.65 – another BU all-time list-topper.’

In just two years at BU, Downey cemented her legacy as one of the Terriers’ best. She holds both the third and fourth spots in strikeouts in a season behind only West. She has the third most career strikeouts with 544. She is a mere hundredth of a point behind West in career ERA at 0.66.

Although Hardy’s numbers are good, she has her work cut out for her. Her season-best strikeout total is 196 ‘-‘- more than 200 behind West. In career wins, she’s tied for sixth with several other BU pitchers, trailing West by 11.

Despite some of West and Downey’s seemingly insurmountable records, Hardy could definitely create a legacy of her own with a good rest of this season.

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