Charlene Cook '98
Induction Class of 2012
A native of nearby Johnson City, N.Y., Charlene Cook played softball at Binghamton from 1995-98. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in 1998.
A masterful pitcher who hurled 70 complete games, Cook helped engineer the greatest four-year stretch in school history. During her tenure, Binghamton won an average of 29 games and advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament four consecutive seasons.
As a freshman, Cook won 18 games as the Colonials rolled to a record-breaking 37-8 season. Binghamton captured its first-ever SUNYAC title and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time. There, Cook won twice to reach the regional final, throwing a three-hitter and a six-hit shutout. She made the NCAA all-tournament team and the Colonials finished with the highest national ranking (10th) in program history.
As a sophomore, Cook went 13-4 with a paltry 1.18 ERA. During the regular season, BU lost just twice to Division III teams. She started five of the team's seven postseason games and recorded the program's first no-hitter when she stifled Brockport 3-0 in a SUNYAC tournament game at the East Gym Field. At NCAAs, Cook pitched a 10-inning gem to beat Marietta.
In her junior season, Cook won 18 games and led the team to a 30-win campaign that included a first-ever New York State crown and a third straight NCAA berth. With Cook pitching six of BU's seven postseason games, the team earned an at-large NCAA berth and after eliminating host Cortland and Brockport at the NCAA regional, BU finished runnerup at the regional for the second time in three years.
As a senior, Cook (1.09 ERA) led BU to 28 wins and the Colonials came within five outs of advancing to the College World Series. The team went on a 16-2 late-season surge that included numerous Cook gems, including an 11-inning, one-hitter to beat Cortland in a game when Cook took a perfect game into the 10th inning. She then returned 10 days later to one-hit Brockport. Accolades included her third all-region selection and NCAA all-tournament honors.
Cook holds school records for career wins (54) and is second in both strikeouts (352) and ERA (1.60). She received the BUAC Citizenship Award in 1998.
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