Greenwood, Ind. – After a year in which she rose above the competition, Transylvania softball senior pitcher Renae Morton has been chosen as the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's Women's Athlete of the Year, the conference announced Monday.
Morton, a senior from Olivet, Michigan (Olivet HS), set the standard in pitching for Division III softball in 2018, leading the Pioneers to a 34-9 record and their second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance with dominance and consistency in the circle.
In her final campaign with the Pioneers, Morton led the nation during the regular season in earned-run average with a 0.53 ERA. That mark served as one of many impressive elements by Morton during the 2018 season.
Morton pitched 150.2 innings for Transylvania, producing 183 strikeouts, 24 walks, and a win-loss record of 19-7 along with four saves.
As the season continued, Morton raised her game, pitching six consecutive strikeouts from April 6 through May 4. In total, Morton registered nine shutouts for 2018, which served as the second-most shutouts in the regular season in Division III softball.
Morton's 8.8 strikeouts per seven innings ranked 20th nationally for the regular season; the senior ranked ninth in the country in hits allowed per seven innings.
Morton captained a rotation which ranked second nationally in earned-run average and first in strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.53).
In a masterful season full of memorable performances, Morton delivered arguably her finest showing on April 10 in a 10-inning 1-0 win against Franklin. In that victory, Morton pitched all 10 innings, tying a single-game career high with 14 strikeouts while yielding no walks, no runs, and just two hits.
With Morton leading the charge, the Pioneers produced their second straight 30-plus win season, their third straight regular season HCAC title, and second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.
The HCAC men's and women's athlete of the year awards are voted on by sports information and athletic communications directors of each member institution.
Morton adds the conference women's athlete of the year honors to a decorated trophy case in 2018, in which the senior was recently named NFCA All-American, NFCA First Team All-Region, and the conference pitcher of the year for the second straight year.
Morton's selection marks the second straight year a Transylvania student-athlete has captured conference female athlete of the year honors, following Jordin Fender of the Transylvania track and field team in 2017. Morton is the second Transylvania athlete in the five-year history of the conference award to win the award.
For the official conference release, CLICK HERE