Class of 2013
Eileen (Canney) Linnehan was Northwestern's most dominant pitcher since Lisa Ishikawa led the Wildcats to four-straight Big Ten titles in the mid 1980s. A two-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, two-time NFCA All-American and four-time All-Big Ten selection, Canney began her career as the 2004 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and at the time of her induction remained the NCAA single-game strikeout record holder with 28 in a complete-game, 18-inning win at Minnesota in 2006.
In an era of collegiate softball when the circle was dominated by names like Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott, it was Canney who bested both to lead the Wildcats to back-to-back Women's College World Series semifinals in 2006 and 2007 -- something no private institution had ever accomplished before. Canney recorded four wins in her two appearances at the WCWS and was named to the All-Tournament team in 2006.
As a senior in 2007, Canney racked up a 33-11 record to give her a 97-35 career record; both win totals tied Northwestern's single-season and career records set by Ishikawa, who is one of the greatest pitchers in NCAA history. Canney fanned 386 batters as a senior to become the first Wildcat to ever whiff more than 300 in consecutive seasons. She finished her career with 1,142 strikeouts, second all-time at NU.
In 2006, Canney pitched NU to the national championship series, where the Wildcats would eventually finish as national runners-up. She also led the Wildcats to the Big Ten title with a 10-1 record, an 0.50 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 83.1 innings pitched in conference play.
Canney finished her career with a 1.63 ERA, 39 shutouts, eight saves and a .177 opponent's batting average. She tossed three career no-hitters including one of four perfect games in school history. Following graduation, Canney went on to play professionally in National Professional Fastpitch where she was named the 2009 NPF Pitcher of the Year. Canney also was a member of the USA National Team in 2010 and 2011.