Sydney Campbell becomes Oakland’s all-time winningest pitcher


Noora Neiroukh

Sydney Campbell winds up to pitch against Detroit Mercy on April 10.

Sydney Campbell is not only Oakland softball’s leader and star pitcher when she steps out on the mound, but she is also history in the making. 

With the Golden Grizzlies’ 8-1 win over the IUPUI Jaguars in a split doubleheader on March 21 at IUPUI’s Softball Complex, Campbell broke the school’s record with her 49th career win, becoming Oakland’s all-time winningest pitcher. 

“Going into the game, I had read an article saying that I was only one win away, and so it was awesome,” Campbell said. “I didn’t even know that my teammates were even aware, or even my coach, so feeling the love afterwards was just amazing. I think that was my favorite part.” 

With Campbell’s great ability to locate her pitches with a high level of consistency, her strong suit is hitting her spots, spinning the ball and knowing when to switch it up throughout the game. OU’s game plan against IUPUI worked very well for her. 

“This being my third year throwing to these Horizon League teams, they are starting to learn me a little bit, and so I think we’ve just been kind of adjusting our pitch calling and trying to keep the hitters off guard,” Campbell said. “I think that’s what really worked on Tuesday.”

“In the first inning, they were hitting me a little harder,” she said. “We were doing more of what I did last year with the pitch calling and throwing the same pitches, and then towards the end of the game, we just tried to keep them off balanced and throw some things that they normally wouldn’t see from me and hoped to get them fooled on it.” 

In her three years as Oakland’s star pitcher, Campbell’s 49 victories are now complemented after an incredible 2022 when she was named the Horizon League Pitcher of the Year and All-Horizon League First Team.

She also led the team with a 2.23 career ERA and 165 strikeouts. These recognitions are just a few of her many pitching accolades throughout her time so far at Oakland. 

“I feel like I have big shoes to fill this year again, and a lot of expectations are already set on me being pitcher of the year again and continuing to set and break records, so I’m trying not to focus on it and let it get to me, but it is definitely in the back of my mind,” Campbell said.

The redshirt junior from LaGrange, Ohio started playing softball at the age of five, and at the age of eight, her father signed her up for a pitching lesson.

“Since then, I haven’t stopped,” she said. “It’s been something challenging and frustrating at times, of course, but it’s been so rewarding.”

Campbell was destined for greatness as a Division I pitcher. Her pitching success shows just how passionate she is about the game and who she gets to represent. Now, representing Oakland as the winningest pitcher in all of program history.

“It’s an honor, truly,” Campbell said. “I mean, I consider myself lucky every single day to be here at Oakland with such a wonderful coach and such supportive administration. An honor is what sums it up, but it’s awesome to put that jersey on and battle with this group of girls every single day.”