The fifth softball player to be inducted into the Keene State Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame, Lindsey Blood Prichard is one of the program’s top all-time pitchers who played for the Owls from 1996 to 1999.
Known for her infamous “rise ball,” the Center Harbor, N.H. native was a four-time All-Conference and three-time All-Region pitcher who tied the Division II season save mark (6) as a sophomore and led Division III in strikeouts per seven innings (11.4) as a senior. Blood, who holds the KSC record for strikeouts in a career (513), capped of her career in 1999 by pitching the Owls to their first Little East championship and an appearance in the NCAA Northeast Regional finals.
Despite all of the accomplishments and accolades that Blood went on to receive during her standout career, Coach Charlie Beach admits that he was initially skeptical how much impact she would have on his team. “I thought she was too small and didn’t throw hard enough,” said Beach. But he would soon change his mind.
Well-schooled in the art of throwing a softball by her father Harry and uncle Dancer, the current coach at Cornell University, Blood eventually mastered the rise ball. “My uncle taught me the pitch when I was in high school,” she said. “I was extremely embarrassed because I threw the first 50 balls over the backstop.”
Blood’s patience with the pitch paid off. As a freshman she was named the NECC rookie of the year after setting an Owl record for strikeouts in a game (13), tying the shutout mark (6) and tossing a no-hitter against Bridgeport.
Developing shoulder problems after her freshman season, Blood, transformed herself into a dominant relief pitcher. “It was an extremely difficult time,” said Blood. “I was glad that while I recovered, I could still help the team.”
As a junior, Blood returned from off-season surgery to once again reign supreme in the circle, becoming KSC’s all-time strikeout leader. “She’d strikeout so many batters that the fielders would complain that they never got a chance to play when Lindsey was pitching,” Beach said.
Blood, KSC’s female athlete of the year in 1998, saved her best for last. Posting a 15-4 record with 193 strikeouts and a 1.41 ERA in her final campaign, Blood won a pair of games in the LEC tournament and two more, including a 13 strikeout gem in a come-from-behind win over Oneonta State, in the NCAA tournament.
“Lindsey had what I wish every pitcher I had possessed – tunnel vision,” said Beach. “The house could be on fire when Lindsey was pitching and she wouldn’t know it.”
Now living in Kennebunkport, Maine with her husband Brian and sons Liam and Ethan, Blood, who graduated in 2000 with a degree in elementary education and Spanish, has fond memories of her days playing softball at Keene State.
“The memories and friends I made throughout my four years at Keene State are priceless,” she said. “From Florida trips to fall ball, pitching clinics and socials, the memories will stay with me always.”