Rachel Cunningham has been eating and breathing softball for years.
The three year Cougars varsity starter began her high school career in 2016. There she landed on first base and in right field, and in her inaugural year found recognition from the Spirit, receiving an Athlete of the Week shoutout. The Cougars ended the 2016 season with a successful 18-11 record, and head coach Tori Hutto found herself a new left and center fielder in the newcomer.
In her sophomore year, Cunningham helped the Cougars to a 17-16 record, falling to the Patriots in sectional play in early May. Before succumbing to Washington, the Cougars dropped Hampshire out of the Section 2 title run with a two game victory – two games that Cunningham played a pivotal role in.
They first beat the Trojans 7-5 before finalizing the title game matchup with a 9-1 win. Coming off of Tori Hanes’ 11 strikeouts and two hits, Cunningham collected two RBIs for the Cougars.
Cunningham also logged a double in the final loss to Washington, but the Patriots wouldn’t allow a single Cougar to cross the plate holding their rival to a goose egg.
Last season the Cougars took a slight dip in their record (13-15) but Cunningham continued to shine. She once again started in left field, and when it came time for sectionals the Cougars snapped a six-game losing streak stunning Spring Mills 11-0 to close their regular season.
After defeating Hampshire in the opening rounds of the Section 2 tournament, they moved on to face the formidable Patriots. The Cougars nearly closed the gap, but would ultimately fall in two games to Washington 6-4 and 6-5, respectively.
Cunningham was 12-15 at the plate in the last four games of the Cougars’ season (including sectionals), securing a home run and 10 RBIs.
She was also named to All-EPAC First-Team after closing the season, and was the Journal Player of the Week. Cunningham finished her junior season with a .386 batting average, the second best on the team, and had 32 hits and RBIs, 25 runs, and one homer.
In 2018 the Hagerstown Community College Hawks finished their season with a 24-17 overall, 13-5 conference record. The team held a batting average of .349 and an on-base percentage of .419. The Hawks defeated Cecil College in three games (5-2 and 7-4) to advance to the Regional tournament where they lost to Chesapeake (5-3), and were finally knocked out of the tourney with a 7-6 loss to Potomac State College.