Canada's Dawn Bodrug Makes A Name For Herself At Stony Brook
Canadians Danielle Lawrie, Sara Groenewegen and Lauren Bay Regula have all flourished in softball’s circle. They’re some of the best hurlers that Canada has offered to the sport.
Last season, another Canadian started to make a name for herself in the circle. That's Stony Brook’s Dawn Bodrug.
For the Georgetown, Ontario native, she didn’t find the game, it found her. Bodrug’s grandmother was a softball pitcher and her mom played at the collegiate level in Canada. As a result, Bodrug and her sister were put into tee ball at an early age.
“I just kept with it ever since,” Bodrug told Softball America in a phone interview. “There have been ups and downs, of course. I didn’t really know if I wanted to continue to play it, but I stuck with it and I’ve been really happy with my choice.”
Bodrug’s inspiration to continue to grow as a softball player came from her time working with Canada's Jenna Caira. The former Syracuse star held multiple clinics in her home province of Ontario. Seeing Caira’s talent first-hand created the idea for Bodrug to try and be great in the circle.
“She’s extremely motivational,” Bodrug said. “After I watched her pitch, I was just like she’s a monster. ‘Wow, I want to be that good one day.’ I just remember looking up to her and thinking, ‘I’m never going to get to that level, or be that good.’ But you never know.”
Bodrug probably doesn’t give herself enough credit. After she transferred to Stony Brook following two years at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Fla., Bodrug found plenty of success at the Division I level. She threw 47 innings in the shortened 2020 season. Her 0.96 ERA ranked among the best, and her perfect game against Cornell was the first for the program since 2012.
“I had no idea what the season was going to look like for me because of the transition from junior college. Until the season started, I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” Bodrug said. “That day (of the perfect game) was surreal. I remembered that I just have to trust myself (and) my team. Halfway through the game when I figured out what was going on, I needed to keep my composure.”
An open mind has led to a swift transition to most things in Bodrug's life. Her journey from her home to Indian River State College measured over 1,350 miles.
Luckily, Bodrug did have Juliana Speranza, a travel teammate from Canada who currently plays at Nova Southeastern University, to make the trip with. The change was a lot easier than Bodrug thought it would be. Every part of her experience at Indian River State College was welcoming and helped her growth as a player and person.
Indian River State College’s coach Dale Atkinson had a connection with Megan Bryant, the head coach at Stony Brook. Bodrug was open to a visit with the Seawolves and the rest is history.
“I didn’t have a lot of knowledge on schools. I was open to hearing anything on all schools,” Bodrug said. “When I took the visit, Long Island took me by surprise. The town was super homey...I heard great things academics-wise from people I know back at home and at my junior college. I really just jumped on the opportunity and it felt right at the time and it still feels right.”
Bodrug has the chance to continue her success this coming season with the Seawolves, a program searching for its first postseason appearance since 2013. The former tee-baller from Canada can certainly help them get back there.