Cynthia Washburne to be Inducted into Eastern Connecticut State University Hall of Fame

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – (Augsut 13, 2008)... Manchester Community College Athletic Director Cynthia Walz Washburne has been selected for induction into the Eastern/E-Club Hall of Fame, according to an announcement by committee co-chairmen Dr. David G.Yeo and Scott Smith. Washburne contributed to six regional and three national softball championship teams at Eastern Connecticut State University as a player and coach.

An East Hartford native, Washburne lettered four seasons in the program as a player between 1982 and 1985, remained with the program as an assistant coach over the next two years, then returned for the 1996 and 1997 seasons to serve as the program’s fourth head coach. As a player and assistant coach, Washburne was part of six straight regional championship teams between 1982 and 1987, three of which went on to capture NCAA Division III national championships (1982, 85-86).

Washburne has been MCC’s Athletic Director since August 14, 1998.

The 15th induction ceremony/luncheon social is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 2 at 12:30 p.m. at the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center.

A right-handed cleanup hitter and left-handed first baseman/pitcher, Washburne batted .345 in a 129-game playing career with a .480 slugging percentage, 160 total bases, and 83 RBI. Defensively, she collected 445 putouts and a .967 fielding percentage on 490 chances. In limited pitching appearances (34 2/3 innings), she was 3-1 with a 4.45 ERA.

Washburne’s crowning achievement came on the final day of her career. Batting cleanup as a senior co-captain, she drove in the only runs of either game with first-inning, two-out doubles as the Warriors shut out Trenton State College (the College of New Jersey) twice on the final day by scores of 1-0 to win the 1985 NCAA Division III national championship at Howard Spector Field. After an 0-for-11 start in the first three national tournament games in 1985, she had two hits in each of the final three games and drove in five runs.

From the starting lineup in that 1985 national championship game, Washburne becomes the seventh individual to gain Eastern Hall of Fame induction.

In addition to gaining first-team All-New England honors as a designated hitter in her first starting season in 1983 and as a first baseman in 1985, Washburne was named to the national tournament all-tournament team in each of her three starting seasons (1983-85). She is one of only two players in program history to hold that distinction, and the only player to be named all-tournament at the nationals in three successive seasons.

Washburne led the team in RBI in each of her three starting seasons – the first to achieve that feat in program history -- and in hits and total bases as a junior and senior. In each of those final two seasons, she struck out only five times each year and only 13 times in 333 career at-bats (once every 26 at-bats).

Upon graduation, Washburne held most all of the program’s career offensive records, including those for batting average, RBI, doubles (18), triples (12), total bases and slugging. She was also tied first in career games and was second in hits (115). As a senior on a team which set a current team record of 39 wins, she batted .351 and set season records for hits (47), RBI (30), doubles (9), triples (7), total bases (63), putouts (384) and chances (410). The two fielding records remain today.

After five seasons as head softball coach at East Stroudsburg University, Washburne returned to Eastern in 1996, where she compiled a record of 33-43 as a part-time head coach.

Since its establishment in 1986, the Eastern/E-Club Hall of Fame has enshrined a total of 79 former athletes, coaches and administrators and has also recognized the contributions of 12 “friends” with the Michael A. Atkind Exceptional Service Award and has honored 19 individuals as “Pioneers” for their efforts in helping to establish the tradition of the Eastern athletic program.

Tickets are priced at $45 and must be reserved in advance by contacting Dr. David G. Yeo at 860-465-5166 or at yeo@easternct.edu or Scott Smith at 860-465-4326 or at smithsc@easternct.edu.
News Item Posted On: August 13, 2008
For Additional Information Contact: Paul Ofria - Assistant Athletic Director/Sports Information Director at 512-3354