BRATTLEBORO >> While Jennie Finch was dominating in the circle for the University of Arizona and Team USA, another hard-throwing blonde was mirroring her in New England.
Meghan McLoughlin, who struck out 422 batters while pitching for the Keene State College women's softball team from 2002-2005, will be inducted into the Little East Conference Hall of Fame on Oct. 23.
"I'm completely shocked. It was very unexpected. I am incredibly honored," said the daughter of Charly and Mary McLoughlin.
After pitching the Colonels to a 17-2 record during her senior season, McLoughlin would go 39-14-5 in the circle for KSC. She was a two-time LEC Pitcher of the Year recipient, fanned a school-record 15 batters in one game versus Norwich, threw the first-ever perfect game in program history, and finished her college career with an impressive 0.39 Earned Run Average.
"Throwing a perfect game during my junior year," responded McLoughlin after being asked what her best college softball memory was. "I had no clue until the game was over. Our defense was on and I was focused on getting outs."
And she won't ever forget the LEC Tournament during her senior season, when the second-seeded Owls blanked Western Connecticut, RIC and then Eastern Connecticut for all the marbles.
"I was always so glad you were on my team so I didn't have to hit against you," Adria Schuneman wrote on her former KSC teammate's Facebook page. "I honestly said that to myself every time you took the mound. I'm still so in awe of your talent."
The 12 members of the 2016 LEC Class will be celebrated on Oct. 23 at 3:30 p.m. at the Providence Marriott Hotel in Rhode Island. The induction ceremony is open to the public and the cost is $50 per person. Tickets can be purchased at http://mkt.com/LEC and the event will be streamed live at www.littleeast.tv.