Harmon selected MWC Pitcher of Year
News Photo
Softball - Sat, May 6, 2017

MOUNT VERNON – Coach Shanda Ness' Rams landed a league-best five players on the 2017 All-Midwest Conference Softball Teams, headlined by the MWC Pitcher of the Year in sophomore Haley Harmon (SO/Becker, Minn.).

Harmon was joined by junior teammates Melissa Orton (JR/Downers Grove, Ill.) (first base) and Stephanie Xavier (JR/Aurora, Colo.) (utility) on the 15-player first team. Senior catcher Kendra Christensen (SR/Lakewood, Colo.) and freshman outfielder Carley Robison (FR/Brighton, Colo.) were chosen to the second unit.

Harmon, a two-time first team selection, is the second Ram in school history to claim Pitcher of the Year honors (Jackie Sernek, 2013). The right-hander breezed through opposing lineups during a dominant regular season in which she went 17-2 with a 1.95 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 111.1 innings.

Harmon tossed 14 complete games and four shutout wins. She entered the postseason having won her last nine decisions. Harmon finished 18-3 in the circle, tying the school record for wins in a season.

Orton was voted the league's top first baseman, sporting a .405 batting average with 27 runs, 12 extra-base hits and 27 RBIs. The two-time all-MWC performer hit .435 and slugged .516 in conference-only games while committing just one error in 90 fielding chances.

The versatile Xavier played four different positions for the Rams, including 17 at shortstop. She hit .382 during the regular season with 36 runs, nine doubles and 19 RBIs. Xavier was 13-for-15 in steal attempts. She scored 22 runs in 18 MWC games.

Christensen made history as only the fourth Cornell player selected all-conference at least three years (2nd team – 2016, 1st team – 2015). The Rams' career home run leader batted .391 with seven doubles, three homers and a team-high 30 RBIs. She reached base in each of the final 19 games of her career. 

Robison had an impressive rookie regular season, leading all Rams in batting average (.434), runs (37), hits (49) and stolen bases (14). The left fielder tallied a team-high 17 multi-hit games and came within four hits of Cornell's single-season record.

Cornell took second in the MWC regular-season race with a 14-4 mark. The Rams went 2-2 in the MWC Tournament, bowing out to St. Norbert in the championship round.

Lake Forest tied Cornell with five all-MWC selections, including the Newcomer of the Year in freshman first baseman Riley Frisbie. Grinnell's Kayla Morrissey (Jr., 3B) was picked Player of the Year.