Softball is still in her blood, but for Barb Fahey — formerly known as Barb Cook during her scholastic days at Susquehanna Valley High — these days it’s of the more leisurely variety.
“I think people who remember me from competitive softball will laugh, but I play slow-pitch softball now,” said the 33-year-old Stamford, Conn. resident with a chuckle. “But it is where I met my husband (Jim), I was a ringer on his corporate team. He was excited to see a girl who loves softball.”
Opposing hitters were far from excited to see Fahey during her playing days at SV, where over the course of her five-year varsity career she rewrote the Section 4 record book.
Fahey compiled a 117-13 record, leading the Sabers to three consecutive state Class B titles (1996-98), twice earning Class B Player of the Year and Louisville Slugger All-American honors (1997-98), as well as being named the Press & Sun-Bulletin Athlete of the Year in 1998.
By the time she graduated in 1999, among the Section 4 career records held by Fahey were victories (117), shutouts (77), no-hitters (25), and strikeouts (1,241). Despite her petite 5-foot-4 frame, Fahey was a larger-than-life performer during her time at SV, in large part because of her dominance.
“I was aware of the press coverage, we had a great following,” Fahey said. “But once I stepped on the mound, that was my place to tune it all out. You have to feel like you are capable of shutting people out.”
Fahey went on to play collegiately at the University of Connecticut, where she still ranks among the top-10 in program history in victories, shutouts and complete games, playing an integral part in helping the Huskies win the 2002 Big East title.
Though not one to dwell on the past, Fahey admits she thinks about her accomplishments on occasion, especially at this time of year when it’s postseason time at both the high school and collegiate levels.
“There are points when it feels like yesterday,” Fahey said. “There are a lot of great memories, I think of a lot of the big championships. What stands out was especially being able to celebrate those state titles with my father (then-SV coach Dale Cook).”
After graduating from Connecticut in 2003, Fahey spent a summer helping coach with her father for his Conklin Raiders’ travel team. But then it was time for Fahey to focus on life after softball.
She went to work for Pfizer, a pharmaceutical corporation which has its research headquarters in Groton, Conn., holding various positions, including her current job in marketing. She is celebrating her 10th anniversary with the company this year.
“I started in sales, but I just wanted to have the opportunity to do different things,” Fahey said.
It was not long before she got back into softball, however. One of Fahey’s college teammates played on the Deloitte Consulting team in the Stamford Co-Ed league, but had to leave the team and asked Barb if she would take her spot.
She did, met Jim, and they eventually got married in 2009.
As for how Fahey fares on the softball field these days?
“You feel a little bit of decline physically,” said Fahey in a light-hearted manner. “I play the outfield a little bit poorly, but I still have a decent arm.”
Aw yes, the arm.Fahey was asked if she still gives it a go in the pitching circle, trying to blow it by opposing hitters like she did in high school and college.
“I think the last time I tried was four years ago,” Fahey said. “And after about 10-15 pitches, I couldn’t move for a few days I was so sore.”