Midway through her junior season, Jackie Bishop is already the most dominant pitcher to ever step on the mound for Griffon softball.
Within the last week she became the all-time leader in strikeouts and wins at Western.
“When I’m playing, I don’t think about records,” Bishop said. “So that’s just the hard work and the part that pays off.”
Although Bishop is honored to be in the history books, she noted that individual accolades are of little importance compared to team success.
“Records are just meant to be broken and that happens along the way,” Bishop said. “Team wins are way more important than any records.”
Coach Jen Bagley says the records will bring a lot of respect to her program and that despite Bishop’s greatness, there is still plenty for her to accomplish in her final year and a half in terms of team goals like making a deep postseason run.
“I don’t think there was a bone in Jackie’s body that was hungry for that record; she’s hungry to win a conference championship,” Bagley said.
Bishop boasts a win record of 61-14 with a career 1.46 earned run average and has struck out 595 batters. She dominated right from the start of her freshman season, being named MIAA freshman of the year and throwing a no-hitter at the first ever game at the Spring Sports Complex. Bishop credits strong senior leadership for helping her transition to college and Bagley for her coaching her.
“Jonnelle Belger helped shape me into the person and pitcher that I am,” Bishop said. “Learning from her was great and I couldn’t have had a better leader when I first came in and coach Bagley helps me continue to improve by telling me what I’m doing right and wrong.”
There was no drop-off in production as Bishop returned for her sophomore season as she was named the first Griffon to win MIAA pitcher of the year in the 12 years that Bagley has been head coach. She was also named South Central Region pitcher of the year and a second team Darktronics All-American.
So far in her junior season, Bishop is off to a 12-3 record with a 1.78 earned run average while striking out 128 batters.
“There’s always room for improvement and there’s a whole bunch of other goals to set,” Bishop said. “I will just keep continuing to do the best that I can. I’m just here to win as many games as I possibly can.”