Kelsey Cockrill gives the softball team her full performance
Philip Zoppi – Sports Writer
Kelsey Cockrill has been one of the bright spots in what has been a tough season for Southern’s softball team.
Cockrill owns a 2.36 earned run average, along with 105 strikeouts, which is good for fourth in Northeast-10 Conference.
Racking up that many strikeouts requires a pitcher to have some pitches that can put away a batter. Cockrill has that.
“I like to go to my movement pitches just because I’ve worked on them so much,” said the senior, Cockrill. “I like to use my drop-curve and screwball with two strikes.”
College athletes are always trying improve as their career progresses, and that is exactly what Cockrill has done. Cockrill posted a 3.01 ERA in her junior season, which is 0.65 higher than the ERA she has now, in her senior year.
Even though Cockrill has gotten better, the same can’t be said for Southern’s softball team as they currently sit at a 10-27 record.
The biggest difference from last year to this year is the pitching depth. Samantha Peltier holds the second best ERA, of 4.20, on the current roster. Finding a consistent pitcher behind Cockrill has been a struggle.
Cockrill is doing all she can to cover up that weakness, as she has pitched 11 complete games and 104 innings. Cockrill knows that kind of strain on the arm is not something to mess around with.
“The athletic trainers are a big help,” said Cockrill when referring to how she treats her arm during the season. “It’s just really important to use ice after the game and make sure you’re taking care of yourself or otherwise you won’t last.”
Just a couple of weeks ago, Cockrill threw 12 innings in the game against the Owls cross-city rivals University of New Haven. Cockrill took the loss in the game, but the performance is still noteworthy as she threw over 250 pitches in the contest.
This kind of gutty performance is something that Cockrill hopes resonates with the underclassmen on the team. With Cockrill’s college softball games numbered, she hopes that she left behind a big impression on the team.
“My biggest thing is playing with your whole heart and never giving less than 100 percent,” said Cockrill. “One day your career is going to be over, and you’re going to regret it if you don’t put it all out there every chance you get.”
Another strong trait that Cockrill possesses is consistency.
In Cockrill’s junior season she was fifth in strikeouts in the NE-10 Conference, one spot up from this year. One similarity from this year to last year, was that Cockrill led the team in strikeouts with 111.
She could easily top that number this season, as she already has 105 with seven games left on the schedule.
In addition to her strikeouts, this past Sunday against Le Moyne, Cockrill become the all-time leader in strikeouts for Southern’s softball program. Surpassing the mark left by Jayme Larson in 2012 with 494 career strikeouts.
The only main difference from last year to this year is that Cockrill’s record was 11-10 last year compared to 6-7 this year.
Even though Cockrill’s senior year is not the way she wants it to end record wise, she still thinks it’s important to pass all she has learned during her career so that Southern softball can turn things around in the coming seasons.
“I’ve tried my best to pass along what I’ve learned throughout my career. I’ve learned a lot from the different coaches I’ve had and I’ve tried to pass it onto the other girls so that they can use it in their careers,” said Cockrill.
Cockrill’s next time to take the mound will be on April 20 when the Owls take on Southern New Hampshire at Pelz Field.
Photo Credit: SCSU Athletic Communications