Updated April 17, 2017 at 2:50p.m.
When first-year head coach James DeFeo took the helm of the softball team this season, he didn’t anticipate inheriting two of the best players in program history.
A combined 10 program records are held by two Colonials – senior shortstop Megan Linn and junior pitcher Sarah Costlow.
DeFeo said that the veteran players – who hope they can drive their team to a second straight playoff appearance – have stepped up as leaders on and off the field.
“Megan and Sarah, those are two of the best you could have to lead your team, especially coming in as a new coach,” DeFeo said. “They’re locked into the games and they just really are good teammates as well as great players.”
Linn was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week for the first time in her career last Monday and captured the all-time career hits record this season in a game against Coppin State April 5. With 224 career hits, Linn snapped previous record holder Victoria Valos’ (‘15) 206 hits.
“I always saw the plaque in Smith with all the records,” Linn said. “I wanted to have my name on that.”
The Corona, Calif. native also leads the program in career steals, career runs scored, career doubles, career batting average, career sacrifice flies, and is ranked first for reached base streak, single-season stolen bases, second for single-season runs scored and tied for third in single-season triples.
The Colonials currently own the best team batting average in the A-10, hitting .310. Linn sits at .378 this season.
Linn first stepped up to the plate when she was six years old, following in the footsteps of her brother and father, she said.
“My dad played baseball in college and my brother played baseball growing up,” Linn said. “So I wanted to be like them and play.”
Linn said that as a freshman at GW, she wanted to help the team improve and be the “turning point” for the program. During her freshman season, she was named to the A-10 All-Rookie Team and the A-10 All-Conference Second Team, and has continued building on that success ever since.
The shortstop has become a defensive asset for the Colonials, DeFeo said.
“Megan’s really a huge leader on the defense,” he said. “She pretty much runs the defense out there at shortstop.”
On the mound, Costlow has done her fair share of record breaking. The junior is the program leader for single-season wins (16) and tied for most single-season starts (30).
The Riverside, Calif. local ranks fourth all-time in single-season appearances (37) and third for single-season complete games. She owns the second-lowest career ERA and ranks first in wins (38), third in total games started, fourth in shutouts and third in innings pitched.
Costlow took the mound when she was seven years old after playing T-ball for three years. It was the ability to control the game that initially hooked her on pitching, she said.
“I just love the feeling of having all the pressure,” Costlow said. “Being able to be such a pivotal player and control the tone of the game. I just fell in love with the challenge.”
Costlow, who has thrown 489 innings over the span of her three-year career, said she has had to battle through fatigue to keep throwing strikes.
“I’ve really had to just dig deep and learn to push my legs through in later innings and the second game,” she said.
Costlow was named to the A-10 All-Rookie Team for the 2015-2016 season as a freshman. As a sophomore she led the pitching staff with 34 appearances, including 30 starts.
Costlow has used her experience to guide younger pitchers this year, DeFeo said.
“Sarah’s really taken hold of our entire pitching staff and has kind of groomed them,” DeFeo said. “We have a lot of freshman pitchers and underclassman that really didn’t throw too much.”
Both Linn and Costlow share a common goal: making it back to the A-10 Championship.
The Colonials (21-19, 4-8 A-10) are on their way to beating their 23-29 record from last season with 12 games left in the season.
“Our goal is just to keep going and keep pushing through adversity and win every series and get to the tournament, and however we get there doesn’t matter,” Costlow said.
For Linn, that goal is even more important as it’s her final year donning her GW jersey.
“I would like to be remembered as just a good person and a good leader and that player that you just couldn’t get out,” Linn said. “Just the player that would always come through.”
This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet used outdated statistics in determining the career statistics. It is now updated. We regret this error.