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Monday June 18th 2018



Mustang Ace Records 800th Career Strikeout

(4.24.17) By Blake Meacham – 800 Strikeouts. What a number. Who can say they struck out hitters 800 times in their collegiate career? Morningside softball ace Rachel Henks can say that for the rest of her life.

Rachel Henks

Rachel Henks

Last weekend, Henks, affectionately called “Señorita Smoke” by her family and teammates, tossed her 800th career strikeout against the College of Saint Mary’s in Omaha. A senior now, she transferred to Morningside College before the second semester of her junior year from Augustana University in Sioux Falls. She’s glad she made the switch.

“My team has a lot of chemistry, and I am thankful that I have them to back me up offensively and defensively,” says Henks of her teammates.

Before her semester at Augustana, she spent two years at Iowa Western Community College. The craziest part about the 800 strikeouts, besides the amount itself, of course, is the fact that she hardly played her freshmen year at the junior college.

“I didn’t get as much playing time as I wanted when I was a freshman, so it gave me the incentive to work very hard that summer to earn the starting pitcher the following season.  I worked with a trainer all that summer, along with my pitching coach back home.  When I returned my sophomore year, my coach was surprised when she saw me and how much stronger I was,” explained Henks.

So, she collected most of her 800 “K’s” during her last three years of her career. Go ahead; let that sink in for a minute or two before you continue reading.

Most softball or baseball players don’t wake up in the morning and think to themselves, “You know what? I’m going to set a goal: Throw 800 strikeouts in my career.” Henks was no exception.

“I have never really set a number goal, and it just kind of happened.  I just play my game, work hard, and the rest comes on its own. My parents always have told me to leave my mark. I have had people in my past who didn’t believe in me, so I just also used that to push me a little harder, to prove them wrong.  I want to go out with a bang,” said Henks.

It’s hard for a lot of people to imagine a louder ‘bang’ than someone telling you that you just struck out a hitter for the 800th time in your collegiate career. There is one person who can, though: Rachel.

“I would like to finish our season by going back to Nationals and continue to leave my mark.”