Derrick Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Chapel Hill junior recently received the Georgia Dugout Club's Class AAAAA Player of the Year award after helping lead the Panthers to a state title.

By now everybody knows that Ashley Morgan was a dominating player in softball this past season.

She was a big part of Chapel Hill capturing the Class AAAAA softball title.

But little did everybody know she did it at less than 100 percent for the majority of the season.

It was discovered at the conclusion of the season that the talented junior played the last third of the season with a torn ACL injury. But that didn’t stop her from being a dominating force.

Over the weekend, she was voted the Georgia Dugout Club’s Class AAAAA Pitcher of the Year by the organization’s coaches.

“It was definitely a surprise to me,” Morgan said. “I had no ideal I was going to get it. It is definitely pleasing.”

Morgan had surgery in late December and is expected to be back by the start of next season. She will have to sit out the travel softball season because of the surgery and rehab that involved in getting back into playing shape.

“When you look at all the athletes in the state, especial in Class 5A, and you definitely realize that this is a tremendous honor,” Chapel Hill coach Mickey Harper said. “It is a well deserved honor when you look at what she did for us when it came to leadership.”

Morgan was dominating as a pitcher and hitter for Chapel Hill in helping lead the team to the Class AAAAA title. During the Elite Eight Tournament, Morgan didn’t give up an earned run in 28 innings. On the season, Morgan pitched 138 innings and compiled a 0.81 ERA. She had 166 strikeouts while walking only 27 batters. At the plate, she hit .505 in 103 at-bats to produce 21 runs. She also had 43 RBI and hit a team-leading 11 homers with 10 doubles.

On Thursday, the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association will meet to pick its all-state team and player of the year in each classification. Last season, Morgan was co-player of the year in Class AAAAA by GACA.

Morgan figures to be another key piece in the Panthers chances of repeating as champion. Chapel Hill has been reclassified by the Georgia High School Association into Class AAAA for the next two school years.

The Panthers only graduate three seniors, including two starters, off of its state championship team.

In addition to being a standout player, Morgan is also a solid student with a 4.0 grade-point average while taking some Advance Placement classes. She has already committed to signing with the Tennessee Volunteers during November’s early signing period.

“She is such a humble kid that goes about her business,” Harper said. “She is just a great competitor. Best thing is that she is a great teammate who is humble about her abilities.”

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