Central grad hurls no-hitter, earns conference honor, ranks among top NCAA D-I pitchers

STEVE HEISER
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Courtney Coppersmith was named the America East Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday. She's 11-2 on the season with a 0.73 ERA.

Even for Courtney Coppersmith, Saturday’s outing was rather remarkable.

The Central York High School graduate has put up some staggering performances during her college softball career at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Saturday, however, Coppersmith enjoyed one of the finest performances of her NCAA Division I career. Against UMass Lowell, the junior left-hander walked the first batter before retiring the next 21 in order, striking out 17 of them.

It was the seventh no-hitter of her UMBC career, but her first this season.

The no-hitter helped Coppersmith earn the America East Softball Pitcher of the Week Award on Tuesday. It is the fifth time she’s earned the honor this season and the 13th time in her career.

For the season, Coppersmith is 11-2 with a 0.73 ERA and one save. She’s struck out 161 in 86 innings pitched and given up just 25 hits.

She leads all NCAA Division I pitchers in strikeouts per seven innings pitched (13.17) and she’s fourth nationally in ERA.

Coppersmith is also excelling at the plate. She’s tied for the UMBC lead in RBIs (15) and is second on the team in slugging percentage (.571) and homers (three). Overall, she’s hitting .306 with a .370 on-base percentage.

She’s helped the Retrievers to a 16-9 overall record in 2021, including a 5-3 mark in the America East.

Standout pitching efforts are nothing new for Coppersmith. As a freshman in 2019, she had arguably the greatest season by a freshman in program history, when she became the first UMBC softball player to be named an All-American (Softball America All-America Honorable Mention). That year, she also became the first player in America East history to earn Rookie of the Year and Pitcher of the Year in the same season.

She finished that year at 21-14 with a 1.97 ERA. She had 346 strikeouts over 238 1/3 innings, helping he Retrievers win the America East title and earn an NCAA Division I playoff berth.

As a sophomore, Coppersmith was 3-1 with a 0.19 ERA, striking out 82 in 37 innings before the COVID-19 pandemic ended the Retrievers’ season.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.