Strong side, left side: Taylor Stockinger
Taylor Stockinger will go down as one of the most accomplished student-athletes to ever wear a CUA softball uniform. An education studies major with a GPA over 3.0, Stockinger is the leading homerun hitter in school history, a three-time All-Landmark Conference selection and a 2012 NFCA DIII First Team All-Atlantic Region selection.
Stockinger was a First Team All-Met selection at Sherwood High School and played travel ball with the Maryland Storm. In high school, she was a four-year starter and led the Warriors to three straight Maryland 4A semifinals. She had several Division I prospects, but Stockinger wanted to stay close to home.
"I wanted my family to be able to watch me play and the coaches were very persistent on getting me to come to Catholic, which made me feel like they really cared about me, and it made me want to come to CUA even more."
Stockinger has broken numerous CUA hitting records, including homeruns in a single season with 10 and career homeruns with 20, which she has added to this season. However, Stockinger's biggest accomplishment was winning the ECAC championship.
"Winning ECACs last season was the highlight of my career because we won it as a team, and this year we are striving to win a Landmark Conference title," the senior third baseman said. "I know my younger teammates want to win it for us seniors, and we want to win it for them."
"I knew Taylor was a leader after her first game," Head Coach Bruce McConkey says. "We lost the game and the one player that spoke up and rallied the team was a freshman, and that's pretty unusual. After that first game she became the vocal leader of this team and has been all four years."
McConkey continued to describe Stockinger as a relentless and fearless player, who has succeeded on and off the field. "I have never seen a tougher and fiercer third baseman than Taylor, and she never disappoints at the plate. We are very fortunate to have her as part of this team, not only for her relentlessness, but also for her academic achievement, because that is what I am most proud of."
After graduation, Stockinger hopes to become a teacher and softball coach. "I love kids and I don't find teaching to be a job. I want to influence people's lives and do everything I can to make it better. I also couldn't imagine my life without softball, so I hope I can coach."
Assistant Field Hockey Coach Tracey Scanlon, who played softball and field hockey at CUA, says that, "Taylor is a completely different person on and off the field. Her mental and physical toughness is unparalleled to anyone in the Landmark Conference, but off the field, she is easy going, funny, and very personable."
Megan Rizzi, who is a 2012 CUA graduate and was a standout shortstop for the softball team, was Stockinger's driving force throughout her career. "When Rizzi played well, it motivated me to play harder. Both of us worked off each other and pushed one another. Our motto was 'strong side, left side,' and we were not letting anything behind us."
With her college softball career coming to an end, Stockinger's message to her younger teammates is, "Leave it all on the field because before you know it, you will be graduating, and don't take anything for granted." She added with tears in her eyes, "We really are 20 best friends, and it's going to be really hard to leave."