As we continue with our Alumni Spotlight project we sit down with Dickinson Softball star Liz Barry, class of 2011. Liz was part of a four-year run for the Red Devils that saw the program hoist its first ever conference championship during her junior year and both host and play in the conference tournament her senior season.
Liz was born and grew up just outside of Boston in a big baseball family and began playing softball around four or five years old. She would go on to be a three-sport athlete in high school excelling in field hockey, basketball, and softball. "I loved field hockey," Liz said. "Softball was the sport I loved to practice not just play. Field hockey and basketball, I enjoyed the games but I knew that if softball was the one I enjoyed going to practice for then that was the one I should stick with."
When the time came for Liz to select where she wanted to spend the next four years of her life she focused her search on softball specific schools. When she thinks about it now she laughs saying, "I thought wanted a city school, which is pretty funny based on where I actually ended up." She would apply to one school and one school only, Dickinson College, knowing from the start it was where she wanted to spend her collegiate career both on and off the field.
What made Dickinson such an appealing school to Liz was the beautiful campus and location. Even more importantly, Liz loved that there was an encouragement, almost expectation to go abroad as a student-athlete and not just focus on your sport. She also felt an immediate connection with Head Coach Matthew Richwine. "He was very calm in his coaching style," Liz stated. "That was not the case with other coaches I had been with or other coaches elsewhere and I trusted how he was going to coach and run the team." Liz could also see the upward trajectory that the program was on. After playoff appearances the last few years prior to her arrival she knew it was a program that she could help continue the momentum and reach new heights.
On the field the team did just that during her four-year run in the Red making the playoffs three of her four years including two consecutive trips to the Centennial Conference Championship. "Funny enough during the 2010 season we were not having a good year," Liz stated with a laugh. "We just couldn't get it together, one day the defense would be great but the offense wouldn't be or vise versa. We scrapped our way into the playoffs that year." However, for that weekend Liz recalls that the team played perfect softball and it was truly an incredible feeling. The Red Devils would claim the first title in program history over that weekend, in which Liz remembers it being some of the most fun softball she had ever played.
Off the field Liz knew she wanted to pursue a law career post Dickinson but because as Liz said, "Law school doesn't care what you study as long as you do well and demonstrate an ability to analyze arguments and communicate effectively" she was able to try out the variety of things Dickinson offers. She majored in Philosophy, which she found extremely beneficial to her development and preparation for law school.
Now serving as the Assistant District Attorney at New York County's District Attorney's Office Liz pulls on the lessons learned at Dickinson, not just in the classroom but also on the softball diamond. "It's funny but so much of being an athlete my entire life and playing on teams has impacted how I am as a lawyer and handle what I do on a day-to-day basis," Liz stated. "I am a trial attorney and at my work I didn't realize it was going to be so teamwork oriented until I got there."
When she looks back Liz recalls that it was and is her teammates that made her time in a Red Devil uniform so memorable and was the reason she pushed herself to be her best every single day.
Liz had a great career at Dickinson and was part of one of the most dominant pitching staffs in program and Centennial Conference history. She was a two-time All-Conference selection and a member of the Conference Academic Honor Roll. She was voted a team captain as a senior and was named the team's Most Valuable Player in 2009. Liz tossed a perfect game in 2009, marking one of the first in conference history. She had two no-hitters and at graduation ranked third in career appearances and fourth in career starts.
She ranked in the school's top 10 in numerous categories, including complete games, wins, earned run average, shutouts and strikeouts. She helped lead the Red Devils to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010 after they won the first conference title in program's history. They also advanced to the conference championship game in 2008 and 2011, and captured the regular season title in 2011.
Click on the video below to watch Liz's exclusive interview.