YORK, Pa. – In honor of the league's 25th anniversary, the Capital Athletic Conference has been naming its Silver Anniversary Teams for each of the league's 19 championship sports, and on Thursday the softball team was announced with 16 of the 25 players having spent time in the maroon and gold of Salisbury University.
The Sea Gulls have been a force within the league since the university joined the conference prior to the 1995 season, winning 18 CAC titles and having 20 honored as Player of the Year and 153 All-CAC honorees.
Lauren Brenneman began her career at York College of Pennsylvania before transferring to Salisbury for her final three years and three CAC titles from 2008 through 2010. The catcher is the only CAC Silver Anniversary student-athlete, among all sports (covering 460 individuals) who played at two CAC schools. Brenneman was a four-time All-CAC first-team pick and was the CAC Player of the Year in her senior season.
Erika Brittingham wore maroon and gold from 2009 through 2012, and was a starting pitcher, collecting All-CAC honors in her final three years, including a pair of first-team selections to close her career. Brittingham led the Sea Gulls as the league's Player of the Year in 2011 and 2012 and earned the CAC's Unsung Hero award in 2011.
From 1995 until 1998 Jen Dodson picked up three first-team All-CAC accolades, as she closed out her career as the program's leader in doubles. She still ranks eighth with her 47 doubles, including 22 which came in her senior season, as she was named the CAC Player of the Year. Dodson was inducted into the Salisbury University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.
Lisa Gentilella, a 2013 inductee into the Salisbury Hall of Fame, was a stellar third baseman from 2000 through 2003, bookending her career with prestigious CAC awards. She was named the league's top rookie in 2000, and was the Player of the Year in her senior season. She is one of three Sea Gulls to be named first-team All-CAC four times, and a CAC Player of the Year at least once.
Between 2010 and 2013, Michelle Gravdahl was a mainstay in the Salisbury lineup, being picked as a first-team All-CAC selection each year and was the Sea Gulls backstop for her final three years in maroon and gold, recording 1,238 putouts in that time. She is tied for the program lead in career doubles (51) and sits in the top 10 in hits, runs scored, runs driven in and home runs.
April Harned, a 2011 inductee into the Salisbury Athletics Hall of Fame, is one of five Sea Gulls on the Silver Anniversary team with at least two Player of the Year honors, claiming them during her junior and senior seasons in 2000 and 2001. She was named Rookie of the Year in 1998 and claimed first-team All-CAC honors three times. Despite some great players that have come after her, Harned still holds the program record for runs batted in (202) and is tied for the program lead in career doubles (51) while ranking in the top five in home runs and hits.
Kristin Heath was the first four-time All-CAC pick in Salisbury softball history, entering the program at the same time the University joined the league, with first-team selections in 1995, '96, and '98 and a second-team choice in 1997. Heath remains in the top 10 in program history in both triples and home runs.
Megan Hopper, who was also part of the CAC Silver Anniversary team in field hockey, was a standout on the diamond from 1996 through 1999, with four first-team all-conference picks and a Player of the Year pick in 1999. She remains the program leader in career triples (12) and sits in the top five in career hits and runs scored.
With still one year left, Rachel Johnson has established herself as one of the top pitchers in the history of the Salisbury program and the CAC. Johnson will vie for her third CAC Player of the Year award, having claimed it in 2013 and 2014 while being named to the All-CAC First Team both seasons and picking up second-team honors in 2012. Entering the 2015 season, she ranks second in program history in both strikeouts and victories.
Lacey Lister is being chased in the record books by Johnson, sitting atop the program record books with 108 career victories and 1,096 strikeouts. She was a three-time CAC Player of the Year from 2004 through 2006, following a Rookie of the Year selection in 2003. Lister was named to the All-CAC First Team in each of her four seasons.
Stacey Malarkey also found herself on the All-CAC First Team four times between 2006 and 2009. She ranks in the top 10 in program history in career runs, home runs and runs batted in. Her 29 home runs are tied for third in program history.
From 2000 through 2003, Katie Mullinix was a threat in the circle and at the plate, as she ranks in the top 10 in pitching victories, as well as four offensive categories. She still sits at No. 2 in program history with 11 triples. A member of the Salisbury Hall of Fame, Mullinix was a three-time All-CAC First-Team pick, and was named Player of the Year in 2002.
Myra Parks played just three years of softball, from 1996 through 1998, but earned first-team All-CAC honors in each year, and was named the league's Player of the Year in 1997 to gain a spot on the Silver Anniversary Team. Parks, who also lettered two years in volleyball, was inducted into the Salisbury Hall of Fame in 2008. She still sits in the top 10 in program history in home runs and runs driven in.
Carly Read played in 162 games from 2010-13 and landed on the All-CAC team all four years. She was named to the second team in 2010 and claimed first-team honors in each of her final three years in maroon and gold. An outstanding defensive second baseman, Read finished her career with a .973 fielding percentage.
In four years for the Sea Gulls, from 2007 through 2010, Ali Ritter received three All-CAC First-Team awards, being named the second team in 2010. Through her career, Ritter batted .384 with a dozen home runs and slugged .542. She drove in 128 runs in her career, which ranks 10th in program history.
Salisbury's career home run leader, Kelly Waskewicz, was named CAC Rookie of the Year in 2007 and picked up Player of the Year honors in 2007 and 2008, while being named to the All-CAC First Team in her first three years. In her four years (2007-2010), Waskewicz ripped 52 home runs, and still sits in the top three in program history in four other categories.
To view the entire softball CAC Silver Anniversary team, click here.
About the CAC Silver Anniversary Teams
The CAC Silver Anniversary Teams will be announced early in the regular-season for each respective sport. Each Silver Anniversary Team honoree will receive a commemorative gift from the conference, and many will be recognized by their institution/alma mater at some time during the academic year.
The University of Mary Washington, a charter member of the CAC, led the conference with 153 current and former student-athletes on the Silver Anniversary Teams, including 40 in men's and women's tennis combined. Salisbury University, which joined the CAC in the 1994-95 athletic season, was second with 122 Silver Anniversary Team honorees. CAC charter members York College of Pa. (60) and St. Mary's College of Md. (35) were next in line for most Silver Anniversary Team honorees.
The CAC was organized as a six-team affiliation in 1989 and began championship competition with the winter sports during the 1990-91 season. Membership changes in the last decade ultimately created a 10-team conference that has become one of the strongest in NCAA Division III.
CAC teams have won 18 national team championships, and dozens of other teams have finished in among the top four in NCAA Division III competition.