SOLON– Former Lady Spartan Quinn Morelock is the first of Solon’s female softball players to receive a top honor.
The outfielder totes statistics that are just one and two points short of breaking state records and others that exemplify her exceptional high school and softball career.
A highlight of her achievements includes a .502 batting average and a slugging percentage of 1.057, a five-year letter winner recipient and a Gatorade Team Player of the Year in 2005.
Yet, surprised is how she described learning of her Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Hall of Fame nomination, which she received just six years after completing high school.
“Some people have to wait longer than that, so it was unexpected,” she said.
The nomination period begins five years after the player graduates, and it closes 20 years later. Only coaches and school administrators can submit the recommendation.
Morelock’s former coach, John Begley, nominated her.
Begeley noted two specific statistics that influenced his decision: She had 23 home runs in 2005, which was one short of the state record and 45 home runs in her career– just two short of the state record.
“With those statistics, she’s very well deserving of the nomination for the Hall of Fame,” he said.
Morelock’s Hall of Fame induction was officially announced during the girls’ softball state championship at Ft. Dodge this summer.
“The award sums up all my hard work,” she said. “It’s an honor to be placed with the best players.”
Before graduating high school in 2005, Morelock helped the Lady Spartans compete in several championship games and received other notable statistics. She holds four school records and helped the team to back-to-back conference titles in 2004 and 2005. She was named team MVP all five years of her career, and she led the team to state championship in 2003 and a runner-up finish in 2005.
“It became apparent early in her career that she was definitely interested in being an Iowa Hawkeye,” coach Begley said. “She achieved the goal and did great.”
The University of Iowa graduate said playing softball at the college was much different than playing in high school because competition increased.
“You’re playing with highly-skilled girls,” she said. “You’re not the star of the team, and you have to compete for your position.”
She also said learning to balance baseball and coursework also posed a challenge her freshman year.
“I had to go class before practice, go to practice, and then study after practice,” she said. “Then I’d wake up for 6 a.m. lifting and conditioning; it was difficult the first year.”
But she developed a routine– which meant studying on the road– and communicating with professors when she’d miss class.
Morelock became a four-year letter winner, and as a junior, she was a third-team All-Big Ten selection and helped the Hawkeyes reach the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
An extended list of achievements appears on the University of Iowa’s official athletic website.
Morelock graduated in 2009, and instead of walking across the graduation stage, she closed her collegiate baseball career in Atlanta where she helped the team compete in a Division I regional game against Georgia Tech.
“I enjoyed it, and I met a ton of people who are still my good friends,” she said.
Morelock holds a degree in health and sports studies, and while her softball play has calmed, she recently lent her knowledge of the game when she coached a group of 10-and-under softball players.
“I relayed what I learned through my experience with softball,” she said. “A lot of it was just ‘keep your head up,’ and don’t get frustrated when you’re doing bad.”
Morelock doesn’t play as much, but she probably won’t stop completely since softball has always been part of her life.
“I started Tee ball when I was five, and we’d play wiffleball in the yard when I was a toddler.”
The hall-of-famer said she’ll continue with recreational softball or what she calls slow pitch and beer league baseball.