Softball Salutes Senior Class
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Saturday, May 7 the Howard softball team will honor four of their graduating seniors in the team's season finale against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponent Maryland-Eastern Shore. Playing in their final home game of their career are seniors Jessica Hurston, Emily Johnson, Carly Martin and Christine Sborz.
Jessica Hurston (Pitcher, Wallingford, Conn., Mark T. Sheean H.S.)
Despite sitting out her senior season as a result of injury, Hurston has posted a colorful career as a member of the Howard softball team. In her freshman year she made 14 appearances on the mound and started in half of those appearances. She posted a 4-2 record in her first year with the Bison and garnered a save. Also in her first year, she posted a career-best of 29 strikeouts and by the end of her junior season she tallied 62 in total. Entering into her senior season she generated a 13-13 record, pitched 147.0 innings and garnered 19 starts in the circle. At the plate Hurston recorded a 0.393 career batting average, and recorded another career best in her freshman year with a .500 batting average in her 20 games of play.
Emily Johnson (Pitcher/OF, Jacksonville, Fla., Paxon School for Advanced Studies)
Entering into her final season with the Lady Bison, Johnson recorded 99 hits, 61 RBI, successfully stole 17-of-21 bases, scored 81 runs and boasted a 0.314 batting average. In her first three seasons she tallied 16 doubles, four triples and 11 home runs. Her junior year proved to be a breakout season in the pitcher's circle as she delivered a 2.77 ERA, posted a career-high of three saves, which ranked her No. 28 in the nation, and won 7-of-10 games that she started. In that year she pitched 96 innings and struck out 110 batters. During her senior year Johnson has been stellar at the plate and on the mound as she struck out the most batters in a game for the Lady Bison this season with 10 against Bowie State (March 30, 2011) and is currently on an 11-game hitting streak, marking the longest streak of the year for the Bison. In her last year she led the Howard in batting average (.415), slugging percentage (.732), on base percentage (.468), triples (2), homers (5), walks (10), and also in pitching with ERA (4.99) and batters struck out (60).
Carly Martin (Pitcher/OF, Hanover, Md., Seton Keough H.S.)
As one of Howard's leaders on the mound, Martin started in 49 games, made 74 appearances, and produced 23 wins throughout her career. Martin's senior season came with many successes, notably when she recorded a 0.00 ERA and struck out three batters in HU's 6-0 win over George Mason, making her the first Bison to bring forth a shutout win in the 2010-11 season. Martin was also recognized as the MEAC Pitcher of the Week (April 4-April 10) for tallying a 1.00 ERA against Coppin State and she went on to tie a then-season-best of four strikeouts for the fourth time. A day later against Coppin State she broke her season-best in strikeouts and took down an astounding seven batters. To date the senior has totaled 164 strikeouts and leads the Bison with most wins this season with eight.
Christine Sborz (Catcher, McLean, Va., Bishop Ireton H.S./Brevard C.C.)
After transferring to Howard her junior year, Sborz has posted 55 runs, 34 RBI, 93 hits and generated an honorable .314 batting average. During her senior year she posted a remarkable 14 doubles – the most posted by a Bison this season – a triple and two homers. Her .326 batting average earned her the No. 5 ranking on the team and she is currently slated third on the team in hits this year with 43, and is ranked fourth on the team in slugging percentage (.492) and runs scored (19). Sborz also tabbed a season-high of three hits on two occasions, first against Bowie State on March 30, 2011 and again against George Mason on April 6, 2011. Currently, Sborz is third on the team with most games with multiple hits (12). As the anchor behind the plate, Sborz has posted a 98.3 fielding percentage, slating her second-best for the Bison in that category, and has also caught 10 runners stealing.