The NCCAA recently named Rachel Ray of Southwestern Assemblies of God University as the 2018 Softball Game Plan 4 LIFE Character Award recipient.

A senior pitcher from Brazoria, Texas, Ray is a highly decorated player for SAGU. She has been named NCCAA and Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) player of the week several times in her career and was also named NCCAA all-region, third-team All-American, and has four National Pitcher of the Week awards.

At SAGU, Ray is the career holder in wins (24) and strikeouts (279).

Ray has accomplished many things in her two-year career at SAGU, including leading them to a program-best 30 wins this season. However, what she does off the field is much more important to SAGU softball head coach Sarah Harman.

“Rachel is a light on and off the field," Harman said. "She has been one of the reasons for our recent success, and she has such a servant’s heart. She is willing to do anything for anyone and she always puts the team first.”

Ray is also a bright light in the classroom as a student-athlete. She is an elementary education major with a 3.82 GPA and was named to the SAC Academic All-Conference team, as well as an NCCAA Scholar-Athlete.

Harman added, “Rachel truly deserves this award because of her heart for God and her obedience to His call on her life. She will be missed on our team."

The other finalists for the 2018 Softball Game Plan 4 LIFE Character Award included Tanya Hatton, of Houghton College, and Kelsey Kooistra, of Indiana Wesleyan University.

According to the official announcement, The purpose of the Game Plan 4 LIFE Character Award is to recognize NCCAA student-athletes who epitomize the Christian character qualities of:

LOVE: demonstrating a caring and consistent love for others (I Corinthians 13)

INTEGRITY: living out ethical principles in a clear consistent manner (Job 27:5)

FAITH: acknowledging a life of faith and sharing that faith with others (Hebrews 11)

EXCELLENCE: striving to do all things at the highest standard (Philippians 4:8).