Softball tabs two graduate student transfers

Softball bolstered its 2021 roster with two new graduate student transfers, according to a press release last week.

Infielder Amber Lotz and outfielder Olivia Vinyard will join the Colonials after four seasons with Houston Baptist and Yale, respectively.

“Their character and work ethic, both in the classroom and on the field, make them perfect fits for what we are building here,” head coach Shane Winkler said in the release. “Their experience and ability to make an impact in so many ways to our lineup will be extremely valuable.”

Lotz started in 119 of 132 contests for the Huskies and became a go-to infielder in her final season with the team, starting in all 22 games. In 2019, Lotz tabbed a career-high 2019 season, setting personal bests in starts (46), hits (34), runs (18) and runs batted in (12).

Throughout her time with the program, Lotz secured 48 runs, 20 RBI and 16 extra-base hits. Her work on the field and in the classroom earned her Easton/NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete honors three times. Lotz, who will work toward a master’s in event and meeting management, said she chose the school for its academic and athletic offerings.

“GW will give me the chance to play my final year of softball for a talented and competitive team based on discipline and respect, while also offering me a tremendous range of educational experiences on a beautiful campus in the heart of D.C.,” she said in the release.

Vinyard started in 76 of her 95 games with the Bulldogs. In her four seasons at Yale, she recorded 69 hits, 47 runs scored and a .246 batting average. She swung at a .336 clip in 2019, tacking on 44 hits and 24 runs scored, to earn an All-Ivy League Honorable Mention. She also served as the vice president of Yale’s SAAC for 2019-20.

Before the 2020 season was truncated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vinyard held a .261 batting average and a .320 on-base percentage. In her 15 starts as a center fielder, she kept her defensive sheet clean, turning all 24 defensive chances without an error. Vinyard is pursuing a master’s in political science.

“I am so honored to join the George Washington family and represent such a historic school, as well as an amazing softball program,” Vinyard said in the release. “I can’t wait to get to work with Coach Winkler and my teammates as we make strides toward winning an A-10 Championship!”

Fourteen Colonials are set to return to the team. Utility Faith Weber, infielder Jenna Cone and utility Jessica Linquist are set to return for a fifth year as graduate students – an option student-athletes could choose after their season was cut short amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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