Conner achieves Morningside Triple Crown
Abby Conner, a senior third baseman from McCook Lake, S.D., accomplished a feat for the Morningside College softball team during the 2018 season that had not been achieved since 2009.
Conner collected 36 hits in 98 at-bats to lead the Mustangs with a .367 batting average and paced the team with nine home runs and 36 RBIs to become the first player to lead the Mustangs in the Triple Crown hitting categories since Cara DeStigter hit .387 with eight home runs and 55 RBIs in 2009. Conner led the Mustangs with a .704 slugging percentage, a .467 on-base percentage and 15 extra base hits, ranked second on the team with 19 walks and third with six doubles. Conner was at her best in pressure situations with batting averages of .465 with runners in scoring position and .417 with runners on base.
Conner hit .355 with 26 home runs and 126 RBIs over her Morningside career.
Hallie Misiaszek, a junior pitcher from Mitchell, S.D., was the ace of the Mustangs’ pitching staff. Misiaszek posted a 22-7 record with six shutouts and a 2.67 earned run average. Her 22 victories was the seventh highest single-season total in Morningside history. Misiaszek paced the Mustangs’ hurlers with 31 appearances, 27 starts, 19 complete games, 173.1 innings pitched and 146 strikeouts.
Misiaszek twirled an abbreviated six-inning no-hitter in an 8-0 victory against Concordia University on April 10 and had a season’s high 12 strikeouts in games against Bethany College, McPherson College and Hastings College.
Tracey Edwards, a senior outfielder from Ojai, Calif., led the Mustangs with 55 hits in a team-high 156 at-bats en route to a .353 batting average. Edwards led the Mustangs with 33 runs scored and 16 multiple hit games, including four three-hit performances. She maintained a batting average of .333 or higher throughout the entire season after she went one-for-three against Columbia College in the season opener. Edwards was the Mustangs’ best contact hitter with only nine strikeouts in 156 at-bats and did not fan over her last 46 at-bats of the season.
Lexie Stolen, a freshman second baseman from Sioux City, was the Mustangs’ co-leader with eight doubles and two triples while ranking third on the team with four home runs and 25 RBIs.
Mara Amsberry, a senior shortstop from Bennington, Neb., was the Mustangs’ other co-leader with eight doubles as well as the team leader with 21 walks and 21 sacrifices.
Mackenzie Lose, a sophomore outfielder from Indianola, Iowa, batted .336 and was the Mustangs’ co-leader with 15 extra base hits with six doubles, two triples and seven home runs. Lose was the Mustangs’ co-leader with two triples and ranked second on the team with seven home runs and 26 RBIs.
Carson Cameron, a freshman outfielder from Herman, Neb., compiled the Mustangs’ longest hitting streak of the season when she hit safely in 16 consecutive games from April 10 to 28. Cameron batted .346 with four doubles, two home runs and 22 RBIs and was successful on all eight of her stolen base attempts to lead the team in stolen bases. She finished the season on a hitting tear with 36 hits in 90 at-bats for a .400 batting average over her final 28 games.
Ashton Whited, a sophomore catcher from Elkhorn, Neb., provided the Mustangs with a fifth .300 hitter in their starting lineup. Whited batted .317 with four doubles, one home run and 10 RBIs and ranked second on the team with seven stolen bases.
Morningside posted a 29-13 record in the 2018 season to extend its streak to 17 consecutive winning seasons since a 25-28 finish in 2001. The Mustangs were Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) co-champions with a 16-4 league record to win their eighth GPAC crown in the last 12 years.