Nobody would have questioned Ashley Morgan if she would have sat out the last third of the softball season.
After all the talented junior pitcher has a bright future ahead in the sport she loves.
And it was because of her love for the game and her teammates that Morgan made the ultimate sacrifice this past fall. She continued to pitch through the pain because her team needed her and she wanted a state championship ring.
Morgan and the Chapel Hill team got it with her leading a dominating performance throughout the state tournament.
Morgan played the last third of the season with a torn ACL injury. During a game against Allatoona, she hyperextended her knee and sat out a few games.
Little did she know it was a much more serious injury. But Morgan elected to play through the pain to reach the glory of a state title.
Over the weekend, she was award another high honor for her hard work on the diamond this past season.
The Georgia Dugout Club awarded her the Class AAAAA Player of the Year award.
It was a well-deserved recognition for a young lady that poured her heart and soul into the season.
“It was that much more special getting this award knowing that I played with a torn ACL,” Morgan said. “It was pretty crazy.”
Already respected and liked by her teammates, the admiration was raised to another level once the injury was discovered by her teammates.
“She is definitely a very unselfish player,” Chapel Hill junior outfielder Bella Caricari said. “We could tell something was wrong during the season but didn’t know what. She is a team player. I’m so proud of her for winning this award.”
Only a junior, Morgan has already committed to sign with the Tennessee Volunteers during November’s early signing period. She showed why she is one of the top players in the state and country.
Morgan has helped lead the Panthers to three straight region titles and capped this season with the school’s first state softball title.
Now, Morgan will face six to nine months of rehab following surgery last month. Although she will miss all of her travel ball season, she is expected back in time for the high school season.
“I had no ideal that the injury was that serious,” Morgan said. “I use to be sore but I just played through the pain. I guess I have a high tolerance for pain.”
And a bigger will to succeed.
“It just says a lot about her strength and conditioning for her to play those many games with a serious injury,” Chapel Hill softball coach Mickey Harper said. “It is pretty miraculous what she did.”
It was all for the love of her team and sport.