Softball coach Sally Miller collected her 500th victory on April 18 with a 13–1 win over New Jersey City University. Here’s a look at some of the more memorable wins she got along the way.
No. 1 > March 16, 1996
Lions 7, St. Xavier University 0
The rookie head coach snagged her first victory after taking over for legendary Lions coach June Walker. “It was stressful and intimidating to take over for someone [so] great because I didn’t want to disappoint anybody,” Miller says. “And that is still my attitude today, 19 seasons later.”
No. 38 > May 20, 1996
Lions 7, Chapman University 2
Miller wrapped up her first year by winning the Division III National Championship. In the process, the Lions avenged a 2–1 loss to Chapman from earlier that season in which the team was one-hit by Chapman pitcher Christy Guidorizzi. “The girls were loose and definitely didn’t feel the pressure that I felt,” recalls Miller. “I remember preparing for that game and trying to figure out how we were going to hit [Guidorizzi]. In the end, it was just a matter of the kids trusting the information they were given and letting it play out on the field.”
No. 300 > March 29, 2006
Lions 3, Muhlenberg College 1 (8 innings)
The game is forever etched in Miller’s memory not because of the milestone, but because of what happened to Lions pitcher Jessica Kohut ’07, who was hit directly in the face by a line drive. The injury required reconstructive surgery, but Kohut courageously returned the following year to play first base for the Lions and win the 2007 Honda Inspiration Award.
Win No. 477 > March 23, 2013
Lions 3, SUNY–Cortland 0
The college opened Dr. June Walker Field with a victory. “It was a great day because [longtime Cortland manager Julie Lenhart] coached against Dr. Walker and really had a lot of respect for her, so that was neat that we were able to share it with her and her team,” Miller says. “It was even better that we got the win.”