Bill Plummer III

Morgan shines on and off softball diamond

by Bill Plummer III June 14, 2010 in Softball

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This year hasn’t been any different for Charlotte Morgan than any of her previous three years of playing softball for the University of Alabama. She unfortunately, however, has had to play through pain.

With this her senior year, Morgan had hoped to lead the No. 1 seeded Crimson Tide to a third consecutive berth in the NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. But after winning the first game of the Super Regional against 16th seeded Hawaii, the Crimson Tide lost the next two games, 8-7, and 5-4, to finish the season 52-11.

It certainly wasn’t the way Morgan wanted to end her senior season. “It hurts because we worked so hard,” said Morgan. “Obviously, we are going to be disappointed a little bit. I think this team has worked hard, stayed together and persevered. I don’t think we should hang our heads at all. We worked hard that game. We fought and came back. It was one pitch, and they got the hit. It happens. That’s why certain teams make it to the World Series, and it’s different teams each year. If we didn’t want to play a game with adversity, we wouldn’t play. We had a great year. I have no regrets. Everyone worked hard, and it was a great team to be on. The fans were amazing. I hope everyone relishes in that and the country sees how softball can be.”

Although Alabama wasn’t in Oklahoma City, Morgan made the trip – because her determination and effort has paid off, however, and she has been named winner of the 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for softball, awarded for the fourth consecutive year. Previous winners were Caitlin Lowe (Arizona), Angela Tincher (Virginia Tech) and Stacey Nelson (Florida).

Morgan received the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award during the opening day of the NCAA Women’s College Softball World Series at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.

“It’s a great honor,” said Morgan.” There are so many outstanding players. It’s great to be recognized and to be the first Alabama player honored is special.”

Alabama head coach Pat Murphy, who recruited Morgan, said “I can’t think of a bigger honor for both Charlotte and our program than the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Our entire organization is extremely proud of Charlotte and what she has done to bring our program to another level of success. She will go down as one of the most popular student-athletes we have had on our campus.

“If Alabama athletics were to sell softball jerseys, No. 34 would be the biggest seller.  Kids from Gulf Shores to Guntersville know Charlotte Morgan by name and face.  She has been the face of our program for four years by not only playing great on the field but by also being a presence in the community throughout her career.”

In her four seasons of college softball, Morgan has had more than her share of injuries. She had a shoulder injury her freshman season.  Then, as a sophomore, Morgan played through a fractured bone in her right foot. Three surgeries didn’t solve the problem, however, with 20 percent of the bone in her right foot dead and Morgan not being able to move the four toes on her right foot. This resulted in her wearing a special boot for two years and a special shoe this season for the stress fracture.

The injuries had an effect on Morgan.

“Basically, it’s been a rough road, but I don’t take anything for granted,” said Morgan, who earned her degree in criminal justice this spring and finished with a 3.80 GPA. She is the first Alabama softball player to earn Academic All-America accolades all three seasons of eligibility and the second player in school history to earn first-team honors.

Despite the injuries, Morgan prevailed and persisted and had some outstanding seasons for the Crimson Tide playing first base and pitching. For the past two years, she has been named the SEC player of the year and has been one of the most decorated athletes in Alabama softball history. She batted .358 her freshman season before putting together two back-to-back .400 plus batting averages (.417 and .406).

She holds the Alabama single-season RBI record (79 in 2008) and is first in career RBIs, and second in career home runs, slugging percentage, on base percentage and total bases. Besides her offense, Morgan also took her turn in the pitching circle, compiling a career 51-12 record.

Morgan, who started playing softball at age nine, graduated magna cum laude from Valley View High School in California after attending Moreno Valley High School her first three years. UCLA and Texas were among the schools seeking Morgan, but she selected Alabama.

The only Californian on the Alabama team, Morgan knew after visiting the Alabama campus that she would be part of the Crimson Tide softball program.

“They always told you that you know when you go on campus that’s the school for you,” Morgan said to the Mobile Register in an earlier interview. ”I got that feeling here, and I didn’t have that anywhere else. I wanted to go somewhere where it wasn’t I was following else’s footsteps. I wanted to make my own mark.”

Morgan did indeed make her mark at Alabama. Her future plans include attending graduate school plus playing pro softball after being drafted by the Florida Pride. She ultimately would like a career working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“I’d like to work in the investigate division,” said Morgan, who also has been a credit off the field for Alabama in various community events including teaching middle school students the finer points of softball. She even goes to their middle school games to see how they are progressing.

She also was involved with a D.A.R. E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program in a nearby county. “If I can inspire a kid to stay off the streets and stay away from drugs and get into sports, then I feel like I’ve done what I’ve set out to do. I’m not set on earth by God to just play softball.”

Whether it’s playing softball, tutoring youngsters or helping kids overcome drugs, Charlotte Morgan knows if there’s a will, she will find a way. She found a way to play four years of college softball and become an All-American despite playing each year injured.