The top 10 pitchers in D-III softball

The top 10 pitchers in D-III softball

Saving the best for last, here is my review of the top pitchers in D-III women’s college softball.

The woman who tops the D-III list, St. John Fisher’s Lindsey Thayer, had a season that was literally off the charts. For the first time that I’ve ever seen, Thayer had a FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) that ran negative at -0.23. FIP uses the statistics that a pitcher can control (walks, strikeouts, and home runs). In other words, FIP attempts to remove factors outside of the pitcher’s control such as the performance of defense and luck. How good was Thayer in 2017? Over 168.1 innings she allowed 30 walks, struck out 346, and allowed 2 home runs. An unbelievable season, as recognized by Thayer’s FIP! It’s amazing that Thayer lost 5 games this season, which again goes to show that won-loss records aren’t reliable when evaluating pitchers.

Here are the top 10 pitchers in D-III softball based upon RA7 (Runs Allowed per 7 Innings Pitched).

Player RA7 Rank RA7 ERA Rank ERA FIP BABIP IP Off. RPG W-L Saves
Lindsey Thayer, St. John Fis. 1 0.62 1 0.42 -0.23 .252 168.1 6.71 23-5 0
Hanna Hull, Va. Wesleyan 2 0.89 2 0.53 1.02 .228 157.1 6.89 24-2 3
Josie Novak, Moravian 3 0.98 7 0.77 1.61 .180 135.2 5.98 18-3 2
Maitlin Raycroft, Texas Lu. 4 1.07 15 0.96 0.97 .190 131.1 7.07 20-2 0
Alison Meagher, Staten Isl. 5 1.12 4 0.75 1.86 .222 56.1 7.22 8-1 0
Jessica Rozick, Penn St.-Be. 6 1.16 8 0.81 1.62 .247 120.2 6.57 17-3 1
Sydney Jones, Hope 7 1.21 13 0.95 1.45 .251 133.1 4.79 15-5 0
Anna Gurr, Claremont-M-S 8 1.23 11 0.90 2.26 .213 194.2 3.33 16-8 5
Whitney Romero, Texas-Ty. 9 1.30 31 1.21 2.69 .208 86.2 7.81 13-1 0
Jacqueline Cautela, Staten Is 10 1.35 5 0.76 2.85 .198 119 7.22 15-3 0

One pitcher on this list is very familiar to me: Anna Gurr of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges. It will be interesting to see if Gurr repeats as an All-American in 2017. Although her statistics were even better this season, her record wasn’t as good due to a significant decrease in run support from her team. Gurr’s run support was the lowest of any pitcher in this list at 3.33 runs per game. My fear is that the All-American selection committee will ding Gurr for her 16-8 record, something largely out of a pitcher’s control.

Alison Meagher of Staten Island likely won’t qualify for All-American consideration due to her 56.1 innings pitched, but she is on an 8 game win streak over her last 8 appearances as the Dolphins enter the playoffs against RPI. Her teammate, Jacqueline Cautela, also made this list and has a better shot at All-American status with 119 innings pitched.