COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – If you take one glance at the Tennessee Tech softball record book, it is easy to see why Brandy Henry will join 13 others above the center field fence on the Wall of Honor this Saturday.
If you take into consideration that she only played two seasons, it is hard to fathom how Henry was able to accomplish all that she did.
Henry, a two-year starting pitcher for the Golden Eagles from 1999 to 2000, was a dominant presence in the circle who left a lasting impression on the TTU softball program. She finished her career with the second most wins in the program’s history at that time, and her 30 wins in 2000 marked the highest single-season total by a Golden Eagle.
“I don’t know that there will be many two-year players who will be able to do enough to be recognized at this level,” said Tory Acheson, Golden Eagle head coach.
The team’s top starter in both of her seasons at Tech, Henry helped Tech to a 40-win season in 2000 after pitching a then-record 284 innings. She led the Golden Eagles with a 1.43 ERA and 30 victories while notching 11 shutout wins. She struck out 161 batters and went the distance in a program-record 33 of her starts.
“She was a workhorse and did a really good job of handling the work load,” Acheson said. “To earn 75 percent of a teams wins in a year is quite an accomplishment. When she had the wins record, I didn’t think anyone would ever come close to it.”
The previous season, Henry led the team with 17 victories and a 1.39 ERA to go along with 20 complete games and five shutouts in Acheson’s first season at the helm.
“She was one of the transition players when I started and really made a positive impact on our program from the start,” Acheson said. “Of all the players in the transition, there were a handful that really bought into what we were trying to do. She was a really strong supporter of the changes we were trying to make.”
After playing her first two seasons at Chattanooga State, Henry joined the Golden Eagles as a junior and immediately displayed what she was capable of. In the first month of the 1999 season, Henry tossed a no-hitter against IUPUI to become the third player ever to accomplish the feat.
She continued to mow down opposing hitters throughout the season and was recognized as the team’s Most Valuable Player and Pitcher of the Year. She also garnered first team all-OVC accolades and was Tech’s second-ever all-region selection.
“Brandy was really consistent and very hard-working,” Acheson said. “She was one of those players that every time she pitched, she gave us a chance to win.”
Her consistency was on full display during her senior campaign as she repeated as the team’s MVP and Pitcher of the Year. After earning three OVC Pitcher of the Week honors during the season, Henry was once again named to the all-OVC first-team. Along the way, Henry recorded her second career no-hitter when she held UT Martin at bay in a game during the heat of the OVC regular season title race.
Not to be lost in the mix was how Henry handled herself off the field.
“She was the total package,” Acheson said. “She was a really strong student and always had a good, level head.”
A two-time winner of softball’s President’s Award – the highest honor a Tennessee Tech student-athlete can receive – Henry appeared on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in each of her four semesters at Tech. During her senior season, Henry joined six Golden Eagles before her when she was recognized on the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team.
“She was a very good all-around player and all-around person,” Acheson said. “When she arrived, we were trying to take the program to a higher level, and she was a key for us to make that happen. She did a lot of in two years.”
Henry will be enshrined on Tech softball’s Wall of Honor between games one and two of Saturday’s doubleheader against Southeast Missouri.