Bridge Sports Complex Athlete of the Week: Delaney Haller - Lincoln Softball

Haller threw her 750th career strikeout this weekend as the team won the Big X championship.
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 1:52 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - In 2020, athletes across the country at the high school level lost a year of play due to the pandemic. Unlike those at the collegiate level, it was simply erased.

Career milestones are now a bit restricted. In basketball, 2500 points was a mark hit by one active player. In softball, 1000 strikeouts meant that you had to average 333 per season.

While Lincoln’s Delaney Haller is running out of time to hit that margin, history will show that she was on pace. This weekend, in the championship game of the Big 10 Gold Bracket. Haller threw her 750th strikeout, ending the game with 269 on her senior season. Even with the lost season, she continues to never take things for granted.

“That means so much, especially after we lost our freshman year,” said Haller. “It is still fueling us every game. I have an awesome team behind me. They have so much confidence in me and they always have my back. It’s an awesome week. We’re coming up on senior night. It’s bittersweet, knowing that it is coming to an end, but I’m trying to play every game like it’s my last. Eventually it will be, so I’m just enjoying it while I have it.”

The career night in the circle came alongside a storybook inning. After throwing four strikeouts, Haller would then hit a ball into left field that, as she puts it, might have been the deepest one she has hit past the fence.

“I knew as soon as it went off the bat that it was gone,” said Haller. “She got me on the change up the pitch before, so I was expecting it.”

The win in the Gold Bracket marks the 3rd consecutive Big 10 title for Lincoln, a mark that head coach Yancey Weaver says is a product of the team’s overall talent.

“This group of girls has been together a long time,” said Coach Weaver. “To do this three years in a row is big. Delaney pitched a heck of a game, and our hitting was solid. I thought that we all hit the ball well. I’m very pleased. This is a big accomplishment for us.”

Haller also set a career high of 20 strikeouts in a win against Liberty this weekend, a mark that she nearly hit again the next night, throwing 18. With 38 strikeouts in 2 games, Haller’s career average of 1.7 strikeouts per inning, 12 per game, is one that has allowed her to hit heights that even she did not see coming.

“It’s so important for me. This is something I’ve been working for. Of course, I never expected to get this high, but I put in so much work. It goes back to my team as well, they’ve always had my back, even in my sophomore year, when I definitely wasn’t as good as I am now, they’ve always had my back.”

What’s her goal now that the final week of softball is here? Well, it may be pretty close by.

“800 would be nice. I don’t think I can hit a 1000,” said Haller. “That was my main goal coming in was to hit 1000, 250 every year. Of course we lost our freshman year. I’m never satisfied, but that would be a great number to hit.”

Haller needs 35 strikeouts to reach a mark of 1000 in her career.