This is the final in our eight-part Summer Year-In-Review Series. Each Monday, we have recapped one of the top stories from the 2013-14 year. In Part Eight, we move in May, revisiting record-setting seasons for Caroline Brehm and Rachel Sidney.
Records are meant to be broken, they say. Caroline Brehm and Rachel Sidney led the softball team in 2014 with record-breaking performances.
For two years, the right-handed pitcher has baffled opposing hitters for more than 458 innings. A few highlights:
• 13 strikeouts in her debut
• 36 outings with 10 or more strikeouts
• 722 career strikeouts (a program record) that included a then-program-record of 377 as a freshman
• Two-time Centennial Conference Pitcher of the Year
• All-Region as a freshman
• No-hitters on back-to-back days as a freshman
• Perfect game as a sophomore
• Eight Centennial Conference Pitcher of the Week honors
So, what's left? Well, a third Centennial Conference Pitcher of the Year honor to start, becoming just the third hurler in conference history to accomplish the feat. She was a unanimous first-team selection as well.
Then came the Centennial Conference strikeout record.
May 3, 2014: In the third inning of an elimination game against Washington (Md.) in the Centennial Conference (CC) tournament, Brehm etched her name to yet another record. The junior, who struck out 11 in the first game of the day, entered the game needing seven strikeouts to tie Lauren Davis-Macedonia's (Ursinus, 2007-10) CC record for career strikeouts. Through the first three innings, she had fanned five Shorewomen before an error allowed the leadoff batter to reach in the top of the fourth. A strikeout-looking drew her within one of the record. A strikeout-swinging gave her 1,042 and tied Davis-Macedonia. That tie, however, was about as brief as possible because Brehm wasted no time breaking the mark, getting the next Washington hitter looking to end the inning and give her the mark by herself. Brehm finished the game with 12 strikeouts, giving her 23 on the day, 325 on the season and 1,047 for her career.
And, the accolades continued to accumulate:
• Two Centennial Conference Pitcher of the Week honors
• A program-record 396 strikeouts in 267 1/3 innings (bringing her career total to 1,118)
• 21 outings with 10 or more strikeouts
The senior captain and four-year starter in center field would not be outdone by her pitcher but would join the underclassman on the all-conference first team.
Sidney finished the year with a team-best .379 batting average, rapping out 58 hits. She added team bests of 13 doubles, six triples, 37 runs scored and 24 stolen bases. She also drove in 14 runs from the leadoff spot and drew 19 walks for a .448 on-base percentage.
But, then, in her last collegiate game.
May 11, 2014: Over the two games against Alvernia, Sidney rapped out four hits to give end her career with 184 for the Green Terror, breaking Julie Backof's program record of 183. With a single to the gap, Sidney led off the second game with the record-tying hit.
Four innings later, with one out Sidney dropped a single into right field to break the deadlock with Backof.