Courtney Coppersmith has proven she's the dominant pitching force in the America East Conference.
Now, the Central York High School graduate will get an opportunity to see how she fares against the best NCAA Division I college softball teams in America — and she'll get to do it on national television.
The freshman left-hander led the fourth-seeded University of Maryland Baltimore County to its first-ever America East softball championship on Saturday.
That earned UMBC an automatic berth into NCAA D-I playoffs. The Retrievers will next play in the Norman Regional and will face No.1 overall seed Oklahoma (49-2) at 9:30 Friday night on ESPN 2. The Big 12 champion Sooners went unbeaten in conference play and have won 39 straights games, an NCAA record for most consecutive wins in a single season.
Depending on the result of Friday's game, the Retrievers will then play the winner/loser of the Notre Dame (35-15)-Wisconsin (40-12) match-up on Saturday. The regional is a double-elimination event.
In the latest USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association national D-I poll, Oklahoma was ranked No. 1.
The Retrievers (30-22) capped a perfect America East tournament with a 4-0 win on Saturday over Stony Brook in the conference championship game in Hartford, Connecticut.
Coppersmith recorded her third shutout of the championship, capping her standout week by earning Most Outstanding Player honors. She went 4-0 while allowing two runs in 28 innings pitched. She had a 0.50 ERA, on eight hits with 33 strikeouts. She pitched two no-hitters during the tournament and has five no-hitters for the season.
UMBC, which won all of its four conference tournament games and outscored its foes 17-2, earned its first NCAA softball bid since 2002.
The Retrievers had been picked to finish last in the conference this season in a preseason poll. Of course, that was before Coppersmith had thrown a pitch for UMBC.
In the championship win vs. Stony Brook, Coppersmith, allowed three hits, while walking one and fanning 10, which raised her season total to 342 strikeouts, which is just nine shy of the America East single-season record. That total is also No. 2 in the nation. She is also third in the nation in hits allowed per seven innings pitched (3.57).
For the season, Coppersmith is 21-12 with a 1.62 ERA in 229 1/3 innings. She's allowed 117 hits. She was the first player ever to win both America East Rookie and Pitcher of the Year in the same season.
OTHER LOCAL COLLEGE NOTES
Suburban grad Mailman recognized: York Suburban High School graduate Collin Mailman was recently named to the All-Colonial Athletic Association Men's Lacrosse Second Team.
Mailman finished the season with 22 goals and two assists. He finished fourth for the NCAA Division I Dragons in goals scored.
Mailman, a a 6-foot, 195-pound junior midfielder, made the transition to an offensive middie this year. He hadn't scored a goal during his first two seasons at Drexel.
Drexel finished 7-8 overall, including a 2-3 mark in CAA action.
K-D grad Day second in goals for Saint Francis: Kennard-Dale High School graduate Morgan Day recently finished her senior women's lacrosse season for NCAA Division I Saint Francis University.
The midfielder was second on the Red Flash in goals scored with 33 and points with 38. She had five assists. She was the Northeast Conference Player of the Week on Feb. 16.
She has 67 goals for her career over three seasons for the Flash. She missed her entire sophomore season in 2017 with an injury.
At K-D, she had 469 goals and 137 assists with 568 draw controls. She set a national high school record for goals in a career.
The Flash finished 5-10 in 2019, with a 2-5 NEC mark.
Red Lion grad Gauntt honored: Red Lion High School graduate Mason Gauntt was recently named to the All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference Men's Lacrosse Third Team.
Gauntt is a 6-foot, 2-inch, 170-pound sophomore face-off specialist for the Bridgewater College Eagles.
It was the first career All-ODAC honor for Gauntt, who ranks second in the ODAC and 13th nationally in face-off percentage (156-227, 68.7%). He ranks fourth in the ODAC in ground balls (114) and is already the program record-holder in that category after two seasons.
Bridgewater finished a program-best 13-5 overall and 6-4 in the ODAC.
Reach Steve Heiser at email@example.com.