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Softball's senior nine bookended their four years memorably









LEWISTON, Maine -- The 2012 Bates softball team tied the program record for wins in a season, with an 18-12 mark, and its best winning percentage (.600) since 1994, which was all a fitting bookend to the softball careers of the team's nine members of the graduating Class of 2012. As rookies, after all, this class played a significant role in Bates earning its first-ever berth in the four-team NESCAC Softball Championship, in 2009.

Bates' lineup was so dominated by seniors this season, in fact, that over 70 percent of the team's at-bats went to one of the nine: in alphabetical order, they are shortstop Lauren Dobish (Chambersburg, Pa.), pitcher Kristen Finn (Winthrop, Mass.), infielder Kelsey Flaherty (South Portland, Maine), utility player Libby King (South Portland, Maine), catcher/first baseman Leah Maciejewski (Tewksbury, Mass.), center fielder Kelly McManus (Plymouth, N.H.), left fielder Courtney Talcott (Millbury, Mass.), right fielder Karen Ullmann (Ramsey, N.J.) and utility player Kiely Webster (Bethesda, Md.).

Many of the 36-year-old softball program's offensive and pitching records were rewritten this season, along with the tie for wins in a season and a new team-record winning streak of nine games, and a new program standard for road wins (10). Below is a synopsis of some of the individual records:

  • Karen Ullmann already owned Bates' career triples record before the 2011 season ended. By hitting a conference-high and team-record eight triples this season, she finishes with more than twice as many (17) as anyone else in team history. But that's just the beginning of Ullmann's resume of records: her 96 career runs are 21 more than the next player on the list; and she has more singles (92), stolen bases (45), and walks (45) than anyone. Ullmann ranks second on Bates' all-time hits list with 124,  only three shy of 2009 grad Stacia Saniuk's record, and she is also third all-time in total bases (173). Ullmann's 32 runs this season are yet another team record, and her 16 stolen bases were the second most in team history.
  • Already the owner of the club record for doubles in a season (14, 2011) and in a career before the season even started, Lauren Dobish extended the career doubles mark to 42, 12 more than the No. 2 player on the list. Dobish ranks second on Bates' all-time list in extra-base hits, with 48, only one shy of the record held by Saniuk. She is also second all-time in total bases (181), fourth all-time in in hits (121), and third in runs scored (73). Her 29 runs this season were the fourth-most in team history, and her 32 runs batted in this year were the most by a Bates player since at least 1998 (The team record is 43, set by Rachel Clayton '90 in 1988).
  • Kristen Finn made 20 appearances in 2012, tying with her rookie self for the third-most in team history and putting her on top of the team's all-time list in that category, with 71. She posted career-best numbers as a senior for wins (8), ERA (3.20), innings (92.0) and strikeouts (40). Finn's 59 starts are six more than anyone else in team history, and her 344.1 innings are second only to Kristin Masino '07. Finn also ranks fourth on the team's all-time strikeouts list (139)
  • Leah Maciejewski's productive four-year career finished with a bang, including 36 hits, the sixth-most in club history, pushing the two-time captain to third on Bates' all-time hits list with 123, only four shy of Saniuk's all-time record. Maciejewski ranks second on Bates' all-time list in singles (89), second in doubles (30) and fourth in total bases (165). Earlier this week, Maciejewski was named to the CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District Team.
  • Kelly McManus struggled with a .179 batting average as a junior, but rebounded to make a big difference in the team's fortunes in 2012, playing some outstanding defense in center field and enjoying her best offensive season as Bates' No. 2 hitter, with a .327 average, 22 runs, 16 RBIs and eight steals. McManus totaled a team-record 12 sacrifice hits (flies or bunts) in 2012, meanwhile setting Bates' career record for sacrifice hits, with 28, seven more than anyone in team history. She now ranks fourth in team history in runs scored (68), eighth in singles (68).

Bates will return a small, but strong, core of players next year in first-year pitcher Brenna Callahan (Milton, Mass.), first-year pitcher Kelsey Freedman (Falmouth, Maine), sophomore infielder Alayna Garbarino (Reading, Mass.), junior infielder Mary Lewis (Gardiner, Maine), junior catcher AnnaMarie Martino (Plymouth, Minn.), all of whom were major contributors to the team's success in 2012.