Sarah Baker Sets All-Time Wins Mark
By Kevin Kleps, Lake County News-Herald
WILLOUGHBY, OHIO -- Senior
Baker (Mentor/Lake Catholic) knows how to set a
record in style. Monday, in the Baldwin Wallace softball team's 3-2
win over Chatham (Pa.), the pitcher and Lake Catholic graduate
became the Yellow Jackets' all-time wins leader with 41.
In the fifth inning, Baker's two-run home run gave BW the lead, which the senior made sure the Yellow Jackets held by throwing six shutout innings after allowing two runs in the first frame. Her homer was also the 100th hit of her BW career, and it landed on the lawn chair of her mother, Gale.
"I guess it went right to them," Baker said of her family, who was stationed outside the outfield.
Baker, batting second, finished 2-for-4, and the homer was the third of her career.
"I was pretty nervous the whole game," she said. "Even when I
broke the record, I was kind of out of it. It didn't seem
It might seem too good to be true for the pitcher and outfielder, butBaker is first in BW single-season history in wins (19) and innings (185), and second in complete games (21). All of the marks were set in 2010, when she was 19-1 with a 2.38 ERA as a sophomore.
The last two seasons, she hasn't had to start the bulk of BW's games, as sophomores Tabitha Murray (4-4, 2.39 ERA this season) and Justina Wise (2-2, 2.33) have shared the pitching load.
In her senior year, Baker, an early childhood education major, has still been the staff ace, compiling a 5-1 record and a career-best 1.40 ERA
The Yellow Jackets entered Thursday's doubleheader against Case
Western at 11-7.
Last season, they were 28-11, won the Ohio Athletic Conference tournament and were 1-2 in the Adrian (Mich.) Regional.
"I feel like every year I've been here we just
keep getting better,"Baker said. "Our
sophomore class this year is huge, and they're all incredibly
talented. They can do it all — hitting, pitching and
The Yellow Jackets are 0-2 in the OAC after getting swept by Otterbein last weekend, but Baker believes they can make a repeat trip to the NCAA Division III tournament.
"We definitely have set our goals to go back to the (OAC) tournament and win it," she said. "In the past, just getting there was a big deal. But the program has really turned around, and we expect more. We want to win the conference (regular-season title), not just the tournament."
After what she hopes will be an extended postseason run, Baker will deal with a life that doesn't include softball — but will feature some coaching.
Baker and her father, Jeff, who was an assistant coach at Lake during Sarah's tenure, are assistant coaches for the Lady Lasers, an 11-and-under travel team. She said her father has only missed one game in her career.
"It definitely feels crazy," Baker said of the soon-to-be end of her softball career. "I keep thinking of what I will do to take up the time. Every game, it feels like such a big deal. You put all your effort into every game, and you can't imagine it being over."