On Friday, March 18, the Sacred Heart University softball team was facing the Bryant University Bulldogs. Graduate student Sarah Lawton was on the mound and felt prepared coming into the start.
“To prepare for games, I focus a lot on my mentality,” said Lawton. “Building my confidence every single day is key in addition to working on my spins and leg drive.”
Lawton struck out nine batters, walked one and allowed no hits in her second career no-hitter as the Pioneers beat the Bulldogs 2-0.
This start for Lawton was her first outing against a Northeast Conference (NEC) opponent. She spent her undergraduate years at Florida SouthWestern State (FSW) and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) before coming to SHU to pursue her master’s degree.
It was in her sophomore season at FSW that Lawton threw her first no-hitter, which was also a perfect game, according to Florida SouthWestern State Athletics. She allowed no hits, no walks and struck out four in the first ever perfect game for the FSW softball program.
“When I came out for the seventh inning, I was a little nervous,” said Lawton. “I knew what was going on, but I had to continue to pitch my game and get us the victory.”
Lawton got the last out of her no-hitter when Bryant pitcher Sarah McKeveny popped out to shortstop Kira Ferraiolo.
“It felt great to complete the no-hitter, but this is the kind of stuff that cannot happen without your teammates,” said Lawton.
Head Coach Pam London was proud of Lawton because she knew how hard she worked to achieve this goal.
“This no-hitter ranks up there with some of the best in SHU history,” said London. “Not only was this an important start for her, but it was also important for her teammates to say that she is the leader on our pitching staff and that we can rally around her.”
With Lawton completing her first no-hitter as a Pioneer and the first no-hitter for a Sacred Heart pitcher since 2018, this comes as a confidence booster for not only Lawton, but the entire team as well.
However Lawton does not want her expectations or the team’s expectations for the season to change.
“I am not going to show up to each start and aim for no-hitters”, said Lawton. “I am going to show up, throw my game and hope that we win which will bring out the good in our team.”
The Pioneers look to continue to build off this momentum as they host Siena College in a doubleheader on March 30 and play a doubleheader against Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y., on March 31.
Sacred Heart Athletics contributed to this article.