Holy Cross Junior Megan Yurchick Throws Historic No-Hitter

Jake Ruderman ’26

Sports Editor

Megan Yurchick ’24 Courtesy of Mark Seliger Photography.

Last Wednesday, junior Megan Yurchick stepped to the mound for her 22nd start of the season. As the starting pitcher for the first game of a doubleheader vs Merrimack College, Yurchick knew she had to set the tone early. A dominant pitching performance could be exactly what the Crusaders needed to energize the team and turn their season around. Yurchick understood the weight of the situation, for another loss would spell trouble for Holy Cross. After a brutal series of Spring Games and a tough 0-9 start to the season in Patriot League play, it was now or never for the Crusaders to get their wheels turning. 

As she took the field for the first time that day, Yurchick got into a groove. Mentally, she was locked in, ready to put the team on her back and control the pace of the game. Physically, she was absolutely dealing; her stuff was working the way she wanted to, and she was building on positive momentum from her last start the day before, against Brown University, when she had pitched 3.1 scoreless innings. The first couple of innings came and went normally. Yurchick had surrendered a couple of walks which caused some trouble on the basepaths, but had gotten out of it with some timely strikeouts. It was the third inning where Yurchick really found her groove, collecting two swinging strikeouts and a quick groundout. In the fourth, she repeated the same formula: two swinging strikeouts, and an easy flyout. As soon as she allowed another walk in the fifth, she forced a double play to escape any potential drama; after another strikeout, she was through five scoreless. Things got a little scary in the sixth, where a walk and an error allowed a runner to advance to third, but Yurchick herself fielded a groundball to get out of the jam. Unfortunately, while Yurchick had been dicing up the opposing team, her own team had struggled to score as well: the Crusaders had no runs entering their final at-bat of the seven inning double header they were playing. The seventh inning came and went, and the Crusaders still found themselves scoreless. Yurchick knew she wasn’t in position for the win yet, so she had to continue her reign of terror against Merrimack batters. Groundout, flyout, swinging strikeout. It was simply coming easy for Yurchick that day, as she completed a technical no-hitter, having pitched the allotted seven innings without surrendering a hit; but the game wasn’t over yet. In the top of the eighth, Holy Cross was finally able to break through, scoring on a two-out RBI double off the bat of freshman Ali Sniegocki. When asked how she felt seeing that run come in, Yurchick said she was “ecstatic” and “could feel the win was close, but [the team] still had one more defensive inning to play.” With Holy Cross now in the lead for the first time all game, Yurchick finally had a chance to close things out, cementing a much-needed win for the team and placing herself in the Holy Cross record books. Heading into the eighth inning, Yurchick had new momentum, saying “Us scoring that run gave me the energy boost I needed to pitch the 8th inning.” As per the extra innings rules, Yurchick had to start the bottom of the eighth with a base runner on second. On the cusp of greatness, Yurchick would have to simply muster one more hitless inning, a task that would prove to be her toughest yet. A quick swinging strikeout, followed by a groundout, meant that Yurchick was only one out away from solidifying her dominant performance. But the runner was able to advance to third on the groundout, which meant the tying run was only one play away from scoring. A four pitch walk didn’t help the situation, as the runner quickly stole second, meaning there were now two runners in scoring position, with Merrimack having a chance not only to tie the game, but to snatch a walkoff win from a near hitless performance. With Yurchick so close, she just barely surrendered a brutal, full count walk to load the bases. But with the pressure at its most intense, Yurchick remained calm. She came through, forcing a groundout, and being backed up by her teammates to end the game. In her dominant outing, Yurchick threw eight no-hit innings, striking out a career-high 11 batters in the process, while evading intense jams in clutch situations. Yurchick was able to keep her calm demeanor the entire game, even when it seemed like Holy Cross might not pull it out, and simply put the team on her back. Holy Cross was able to ride their momentum from Yurchick’s incredible performance into the second game of the doubleheader, winning that one 1-0 as well. 

As for her personal career, Yurchick has improved every season thus far. After a solid freshman year in which Yurchick threw about 70 innings to the tune of a 4.18 ERA, she followed it up with an impressive sophomore season of nearly 100 innings pitched with a 3.09 ERA. After her remarkable sophomore campaign, Yurchick was undoubtedly the ace of the team, and came into her junior year ready for an increased workload and heightened responsibilities. So far this season, Yurchick has already surpassed her career high in innings pitched, with 114 and counting. And with thirteen games still left this year, Yurchick should easily clear 130 innings pitched, good enough for one of the five highest totals in the Patriot League. Though her junior stats may not be quite as dominant as her sophomore season, Yurchick’s command and leadership have filled in the gaps. And, obviously, she just threw a no-hitter, so her play is at an all-time high. Yurchick likes to remain humble though, and always “feels like there’s something [she] could have done better.” 

While this has been a challenging season for the softball team, Yurchick’s no-hitter was a much needed bright spot and helped spur the doubleheader sweep. When asked about the season, Yurchick said she’s most “proud of my team’s fighting attitude. We never give up. Sometimes, wins don’t happen, that’s how life is. You’re not going to win every game, but that doesn’t discourage us at all.” Hopefully, the team can use this historic event to propel themselves to clawing back in their Patriot League play. Regardless, this is a feat to be proud of, and one that will stand the test of time in the Holy Cross record books. 

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