The high school softball season is over, but pitcher Hunter Middleton is keeping busy.
Middleton hurls for the 16-and-under Kansas Renegades, a traveling team that hails from Wichita.
“I enjoy the team,” Middleton said. “We have a lot of fun. I’ve been with the team for three years now. I joined the team halfway through the season because they were short on players.
“Then I came out for the team the last two years.”
Middleton was named Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year after her sophomore season at Great Bend.
“I was a little shocked at first,” Middleton said. “Then, I got excited. It’s a big honor to be awarded that. I had a great team behind me.
“That team was great and I don’t think I could’ve won the award without them.”
She went 9-3 on the season with a 1.07 earned run average. The Lady Panthers finished the season 18-4.
“I thought we had a great season,” Middleton said. “We had one more win and one less loss (than last year). The rain kind of put a downer on it, but we had one goal. We won the WAC. We didn’t win it outright, but we got it.”
Great Bend finished 7-1 in conference action, tying with Garden City to share the WAC title.
Middleton recorded 111 strikeouts and 13 walks on 72 1/3 innings pitched.
At the plate, Middleton went 13-for-28 with a batting average of .464. She had eight RBI, one home run, one triple and five doubles.
Now, she’s two tournaments into the summer season with a 2-0 record and a 4.50 ERA.
The Renegades, 9-3, went undefeated in their first tournament of the season, the Kansas City Memorial Day Tournament.
“We went 7-0 in Kansas City, and then championships Sunday was rained out, so we didn’t get to play in the championship game,” Middleton said. “We’ve been doing pretty good so far this season.”
Ultimately, Middleton hopes she can keep improving play at the collegiate level.
“I hope so,” Middleton said. “That’s what I’m shooting for. Softball has been great to me. I love playing, and I want to play in college, like, in a high-level college. Right now, I just have to keep practicing and keep playing.”