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  • Isabella Custodi

Softball hall of famer's record threatened as Giese nears milestone

By Isabella Custodi, Sports Reporter

Andrea Bunten-Sykes pitched for Canisius softball from 2002-05 and currently holds the program record for career strikeouts sitting at 663.

Bunten-Sykes was the 17th softball player to be inducted into the Canisius Hall of Fame in 2016 after her various accomplishments during her time at Canisius. She was named MAAC Softball Championship MVP twice in 2004 and 2005; she’s one of six members in MAAC history to do so. In 2005, she was also named MAAC Pitcher of the Year. 

The pitcher appeared in 104 career games with 42 wins, 10 saves and with an ERA of 2.03 in 506 innings pitched. She is fourth in career program history for having 16 shutouts and second in Canisius history for having 10 saves. Bunten-Sykes also sits at first and second as season leader in strikeouts having 238 in 2004 and 211 in 2005. She is also one of the few pitchers at Canisius to have thrown multiple no-hitters. 

It took lots of determination and hard work for Bunten-Sykes to accomplish what she did. “I survived on ball movement, so there were many hours of extra workouts, fine-tuning drills and mental preparation. It was necessary to always push myself beyond my comfort zone,” she said.

Bunten-Sykes currently holds the most strikeouts in program history, but senior Megan Giese is slowly approaching that title. Giese currently has 623 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.07 in 135 innings pitched. Giese still has at least 5 more games to play to reach Bunten-Sykes’ milestone of 663 strikeouts. 

Bunten-Sykes expressed that knows her record could potentially be broken by Giese and is of course sad that it could be trumped; however, she also said she would be proud someone was able to achieve something as great as she did. “There is a sense of pride and accomplishment in setting a record like that, and seeing someone excel enough to surpass it can be bittersweet. However, I am genuinely happy for Megan and the journey she is on. I have so much admiration and respect for her. No one is more deserving than Megan,” says Bunten-Sykes.

Bunten-Sykes was a major asset to her team, and the same goes for Giese. With the regular season coming to a close, Giese’s teammates need her more than ever to keep throwing strikes. Her pitching could take them all the way in the MAAC Championships.

“Giese’s resilience and mental toughness is visible when she steps out on the field, and anyone who has had the pleasure of watching her play, would attest to that fact,” her teammate said. “At this stage of her season/career, what truly counts is her mental strength and the support of her team. The strikeouts will naturally keep coming.”

You can see Giese and her team in action on April 27 and 28 in a three-game series against Marist in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

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