OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Association of Division III Independents announced today their final weekly and monthly awards of the 2017-18 athletic year. Adrianna Nester (So./Anaheim, Calif.) has been named the next Association of Division III Independents softball Player of the Month and her teammate Payton Hintz (Sr./Almond, Wis.) was named the Association of Division III Independents softball Player of the Week.
The two were instrumental in the final stretch for the Blue Angels. Nester has been a consistent bat all month long, but the innings that the sophomore worked in the circle may have propelled her to her second AD3I award in as many weeks. While Hintz came through in her last week of play with a stretch of brilliant hitting.
Going 11-for-29 at the plate in her 12 games pushed Nester's batting average above the .300 mark and as a result has the sophomore sitting in seventh place in the AD3I for BA. During the month of April, Nester record three multi-hit games for her team and drove in a dozen RBIs.
In the circle, Nester delivered with a number of big performance including a one-hit shutout against their AD3I rival Maranatha Baptist University. Nester frustrated the Sabercats for 4.1 innings not allowing a single baserunner, but a one-out single to center field broke up the perfect game bid. Nester fired back and struckout the next batter and got a groundout to complete the only shutout of the season for the Blue Angels.
Nester grabbed one more win in April and was able to whittle down her ERA to 8.49. The sophomore hurler now sits in third in the AD3I in ERA.
In her final weeks in collegiate softball, Payton Hintz came through time after time for her Blue Angels. The senior finished game one going 2-for-2 with two walks and three RBIs. All three of the RBIs crossed when Hintz launched a deep shot to left field. The only homerun of the season for the Blue Angels gave MMU a comfortable 11-4 lead over their rival.
Hintz drove in two more runs in game two for the Blue Angels. Hintz drilled a double in the bottom half of the sixth inning to collect both her RBIs in the game and give MMU an 8-2 lead.
In the very last doubleheader for Hintz, she helped her team score two of their five runs in their 6-5 loss to Rockford University going 1-for-2 with a double. Then Hintz got her team to rally in their final game of the season driving in five runs. Hintz was clutch all game long and finished a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with two doubles and a walk. The hitting spread throughout the lineup and the Blue Angels recorded 15 hits in their 13-8 win over the Regents.
Voting for the AD3I All-Association teams will begin shortly. Check back to mtmaryathletics.com for updates and news on your Blue Angels.