SEWARD, Neb. – It would have been difficult for Hhana Haro to dream up a better freshman season. On Thursday (May 10), Haro pulled in one of the highest honors possible for a Concordia softball player. As voted upon by league coaches, the conference has named the native of Garden Grove, Calif., the Hauff Mid-America Sports GPAC Softball Player of the Year. She’s only the second player in program history to claim the player of the year award.
Naturally, Haro also landed on the first team of the honor roll released by the GPAC. She was joined with first team honors by fellow Bulldog MacKinsey Schmidt, also a freshman. Another Concordia rookie, catcher Allysia Thayer, picked up honorable mention All-GPAC accolades.
Haro is the first Bulldog to be named GPAC Player of the Year since Clarissa Eloge garnered the same lofty honor in 2009. Haro topped all GPAC players in batting average (.494), on-base percentage (.530) and hits (76) in 2018. Over 42 games (154 at bats), Haro broke program single-season records for hits and doubles (20) while adding 35 runs scored, two triples, five home runs, 38 RBIs and 115 total bases. She slugged .747 and struck out only 10 times all season. Comparatively, in her player of the year season, Eloge batted .429, slugged .746 and totaled nine doubles, two triples, nine home runs and 24 RBIs.
Schmidt, a Crete, Neb., native, kept getting better in her first season with the Bulldogs. Overall in 41 games (38 starts), Schmidt batted .333 (39-for-117) with a .394 on-base percentage, 28 runs, five doubles, one triple and 17 RBIs. All the while, Schmidt played exceptional defense whether placed in center or left field. She also produced a team high seven stolen bases. In GPAC games only, Schmidt also batted .333 (22-for-66).
Thayer, who hails from Etiwanda, Calif., took over the starting catcher role and played in 35 games in 2018. She batted .256 (23-for-90) with three doubles, a home run and nine RBIs. She also threw out six runners attempting to steal.
Head coach Todd LaVelle’s 2018 squad finished the season with an overall record of 21-21.