By: Lauren Lowther
Junior pitcher Kristen McCann recorded her first career no-hitter against the University at Albany Great Danes on March 3. The accomplishment came during the Winthrop/Adidas Invitational in Rock Hill, S.C. She was later recognized as the Northeast Conference (NEC) Pitcher of the Week.
McCann recorded eight strikeouts as the Pioneers (5-4) shutout Albany (2-6) 4-0 during the first game of a doubleheader played on March 3. Sacred Heart was unable to capitalize on a two-run lead in game two, falling 4-2 to EKU (8-5).
“I am really competitive and want to beat every batter every time I take the mound,” said McCann. “I’m also really fortunate to have a strong team to back me up each and every game.”
McCann is a very confident player and prepares herself before getting on the mound for a game. She even has some quirky superstitions which she feels has helped her over the years.
She realized that a no-hitter was possible toward the end of the game and tried not to overthink it. There was one close call at third base but her team was able to pick her up, she recalled.
McCann was fortunate to have her family and friends attend the game who experienced and celebrated her no-hitter.
Junior pitcher Emily Orosco continues to be impressed by McCann.
“I always have Kristen’s back and she has mine,” said Orosco. “We have different styles of pitching and so we are able to complement each other well.”
Pitchers come away with the glory when a no-hitter is thrown. But the entire team also contributes to the success.
“When a no-hitter is in the making, you must step up and make sure there are zero errors,” said junior infielder Hailey Desrosiers. “We are always playing as a team but we have the opportunity to help one of our teammates do something really special.”
When there is something at stake like McCann’s no-hitter, the Pioneers feed off the pressure. They never want to have an error, but in times like this everyone remains extremely focused and team dynamics are at their absolute highest.
Desrosiers is really excited about the team’s momentum and the outlook for the season.
“We entered the season ranked fourth and we continue to grow and develop every day,” said Desrosiers. “We are a whole different team from the start of the season and our potential is underestimated by our competition.”
The team’s goal is to get back to the Northeast Conference (NEC) Tournament and to have a winning season.
“As a pitcher, it’s about first-pitch strikes, minimizing walks and having quick innings. If you can control that, it sets the rest of the team up for success,” said Orosco.
There are seven juniors on the team and they have all been playing together since freshman year.
“We have great chemistry and get along on and off the field which really gives us a strong connection and a competitive advantage,” said Desrosiers.
In addition to many upperclassmen, the team also has seven freshmen on the roster, which is a healthy balance as they continue to teach and build the bench for the future.
The team also has two co-head coaches, Elizabeth Luckie and Pam London, who add tremendous value to the leadership and dynamics of the team.
“We are riding the wave and capitalizing on our high moments and learning from our mistakes. It’s important not to stay down too long, learn and move on,” said Desrosiers.
The Pioneers first home game of the season will be played Saturday, March 24, against University of Massachusetts Lowell.