Hoffman finishes college career in style
From day one at Susquehanna University Sarah Hoffman has experienced success.
Her freshman year the Wyalusing graduate helped lead her team to regionals and had a dominant first year.
The next two years the Crusaders were unable to match the success they experienced in her first season, but this year Hoffman helped guide Susquehanna to a level they had never reached before.
The team won a school-record 40 games, captured their first Landmark Conference title and won three games in the NCAA Tournament.
"It was really awesome," Hoffman said. "We made regionals my freshman year, but we didn't win Landmark Conference that year. It's special to go out like this."
This was a successful year for Hoffman individually as well as she finished the year 12-2 on the mound with a 1.61 ERA.
"One of our coaches kept telling me the second half of my senior year I was pitching like freshman year. It was pretty good how I finished off," Hoffman said.
The Wyalusing graduate didn't realize until after the year that there were coaches who thought she hadn't been as good since her freshman year. But, she thinks a lot of that has to do with the success the team had in her first and last years.
"I guess I never really knew that I wasn't at my peak performance since my freshman year," Hoffman said. "I still did great over my four years and I am glad I played with this program.
"We made it to regionals both of those years (freshman and senior year) and I think that is part of why those years were better. We had a shot of the conference title my freshman year and we won it my senior year."
For Hoffman the last four years have been a lot of fun.
"It was really special," she said. "I had a lot of great opportunities, played with a lot of great girls. The coaches let the girls have fun, we were always laughing about something. They took the game seriously, but they let us have a lot of fun. It was special doing college athletics and doing class work and being successful in both aspects."
It's hard for Hoffman to realize now that her college softball career is over.
"It is kind of scary thinking of that," she said. "All I have to look forward to is slow pitch now, it's going to be a big difference."
For the seniors seeing their career coming toward a close was a bit motivator in keeping the season going as long as possible.
"We had a team meeting the one day in the classroom, with all the girls saying we don't want the season to end," Hoffman said. "I was saying I don't have any fast pitch left, just slow pitch. I want to keep going and end on positive note."
And, that's exactly what happened this year.
"It was a great ending," Hoffman said. "The first conference championship we won I think in all the history of Susquehanna. And, three championships (from three sports) on the same day in the same complex as well."
Hoffman knew this team had a lot of talent, but it was partway into the season when she realized this could be a special team.
"I knew we had a lot of underclassmen that were good in the field and good hitters," Hoffman said. "I knew we had a lot of talent. The key in the middle of the season was when we beat Moravia one time in the regular season. The underclassmen showed their support and how much they contributed to the team and that's when we knew this team could do big things."