The Angelo State softball team is picking up right where it left off last season. The Rambelles are 13-1, ranked No. 5 in Division II softball.
Senior lefty Morgan Hill is a big reason why. Hill was part of the pitching staff for last year’s 60-win, national runner-up team, but pitched primarily in relief. This year, she has transitioned into a full-time starter.
That transition has gone seemingly well. Despite taking a tough loss in her first game to No. 3 Colorado Mesa, Hill has reeled off eight straight wins, allowing just one earned run over that span. Her hot streak earned her the most recent Lone Star Conference pitcher of the week honors.
Hill has a few favorable advantages helping her early success. She shares the circle with a returning All-American, and backing her up in the bullpen is her sister (and oddly enough, right-handed) Meagan Hill.
We caught up with Hill to ask her about her season and playing with her sister:
NCAA.com: Last season you tied the school record for most saves in a single season. Now you’re a weekly starter. What’s been the biggest difference?
Morgan Hill: You have to be ready to go from the minute you step on the field. It’s the same when you’re closing, but you have to be able to maintain that for seven innings, rather than two. That’s been my hardest transition. You have to get in better shape, and last those seven innings.
NCAA.com: Last week, you went 2-0, didn’t allow a run and struck out 15 while just walking two. People are noticing. How’d it feel picking up that first award of the season?
MH: It’s awesome. It’s a great honor with all the great players in the conference. Our conference is really tough, for me to be named pitcher of the week is a huge honor. It’s something I’ve worked for for my entire life.
— Lone Star Conference (@LoneStarConf) February 20, 2018
NCAA.com: You share the circle with Brandy Marlett. What’s it like having her as your rotation-mate?
MH: We both compliment each other really well, me being left-handed, her being right-handed. Just to know that she’s an All-American and comes out there, it fuels me a little bit. It pushes me to do better, but also we challenge each other to the point that we benefit the team.
NCAA.com: Angelo State is a family affair. What’s it like having Meagan to back you up out of the pen?
MH: I always joke that this is something that my dad has dreamed about since we were little. We’re best friends. We went to the same pitching coach, so we know how to help each other when one of us is struggling because we have the same habits.
If it’s something on the mound I can go back and say, ‘Hey Meagan, my ball is breaking too much. What would coach back home say?’
NCAA.com: How often do you have to be the big sister and lay down the law?
MH: Meagan is very independent. She’s completely capable of anything she sets her mind to. Obviously, I’m the proud big sister while she’s out there, but if she’s struggling, I don’t help her unless she asks me to. I know she can handle it.
NCAA.com: So, since this is your dad’s dream come true, does he get to make the three-hour trip to see you play?
MH: They do. My parents make it to almost every home game. They’re our biggest supporters, them and my little brother. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
— AngeloSports (@AngeloSports) February 21, 2018
NCAA.com: Does this team have similarities to last year? Does it have what it takes to get back to Salem (Va.)?
MH: We have a lot of returners. We know what that feeling was like to win last year, but we also know what it’s like to be that close and lose. And I think that is fueling me and a lot of my teammates. We’re competitors. We don’t like to lose.