Dec. 9, 2013
Northwestern is unveiling its Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2013 this week. Check back each day this week as we reveal another member in the newest class that has been selected to receive Northwestern's highest athletic honor. These elite Wildcats will be formally inducted during Hall of Fame weekend Feb. 7-8, 2014.
The Athletic Hall of Fame was inaugurated in 1984 to honor former athletes, coaches and administrators who have helped establish a proud tradition in intercollegiate competition at Northwestern. Individuals are eligible for Hall of Fame recognition beginning five years after their final competition at NU. For more information and to view the complete membership, visit the NUsports.com Hall of Fame website.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern softball pitcher Eileen Canney Linnehan, who led the Wildcats to a pair of top-3 finishes at the Women's College World Series and a Big Ten championship during her career, has been elected to the NU Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2013.
Canney 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 to this day remains the NCAA single-game strikeout record holder with 28 in a complete-game, 18-inning win at Minnesota in 2006.
"I grew more in the four years I spent at Northwestern than any other period in my life," Canney said. "This honor shows me that maybe in a small way I was able to give back to a community that has given me so much in life."
Canney now joins fellow 2007 softball graduate Garland Cooper as a Hall of Fame inductee. Cooper was inducted in 2012.
"I don't consider this to be an individual honor," Canney said. "I consider it to be a testament to the culture both my coaches and teammates created. I will always remember the amazing times we shared playing at Sharon J. Drysdale Field all the way to the Women's College World Series."
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 Japan and 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.
Canney now serves as the pitching coach at UIC and is married to fellow Northwestern alum Andrew Linnehan.
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