2023 Softball All-County: Warren Central senior Abby Morgan earns second POY award
Published 4:00 am Sunday, June 4, 2023
For a full month, Abby Morgan entered the kind of zone most players only dream of.
The Warren Central pitcher was nearly unhittable. She allowed a total of 12 runs and 12 walks in a span of 13 games and averaged more than a strikeout per inning.
Her team excelled as well, surging to to a run of 11 wins in 15 games. It was a dominant stretch that led the Lady Vikes to the second round of the MHSAA Class 6A playoffs, and landed Morgan the 2023 Vicksburg Post softball Player of the Year award.
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“It’s really honoring. I’m very thankful for everything — my coaches, my teammates and my parents who pushed me,” Morgan said.
Morgan also won the Post’s award in 2021, although that was more for her hitting. She batted .516 that season to rank among the top averages in Class 6A.
Morgan had a good offensive year in 2023 as well — her .338 average led Warren Central — but she earned the Player of the Year award this time for her pitching.
Morgan had a solid first half of the season, then turned it on in the second half. Beginning with a 12-0 road win at Pearl on March 23, in which she threw a five-inning no-hitter, Morgan gave up one earned run or less in 12 of the next 13 games.
Warren Central went 11-4 over a 15-game stretch covering that same timeframe. They won a first-round playoff series against St. Martin before losing in three games to Brandon in the second round.
Morgan’s best game might have been March 31 at Clinton. She entered in relief in the first inning and struck out 14 batters over the next 6 2/3 innings. She also homered and went 3-for-5 with two RBIs.
“If she was on and having a good game, then it carried over to everybody else,” Warren Central coach Dana McGivney said. “And she knew that her defense had her back. So even if she wasn’t striking everybody out, if somebody put a ball in play she knew that her defense was going to have her back. That helped a lot, too.”
Besides piling up zeroes on the scoreboard, Morgan did the same in the strikeout column. Over 54 1/3 innings, Morgan had 85 strikeouts and only walked 12 batters.
“It’s really like a high,” Morgan said. “Sitting there throwing strike, strike, strike, it’s like, ‘Wow, this is awesome.’ A lot of times after you work so hard you surprise yourself with what you can do.”
As her strikeout total climbed, Morgan said that adding to it became a goal. She had 46 strikeouts in 2021 and 91 in 2022. Her initial goal for this season was 100, but that was adjusted once she blew past it on March 30.
She finished with 174 strikeouts, which is the second-highest total in the program’s 23-year history. Lauren Anderson had 217 in 2002.
“This was a big goal for me,” Morgan said. “My past years, I didn’t even hit 100 strikeouts. After hitting 100, I set my goal to 150. And then I went past that. It’s a very satisfying year.”
VICKSBURG POST PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
2023 – Abby Morgan, Warren Central
2022 – Jenn Smith, Warren Central
2021 – Abby Morgan, Warren Central
2020 – Hannah Embry, Porters Chapel
2019 – Kelsey Lockridge, Warren Central
2018 – Kelsey Lockridge, Warren Central
2017 – Hannah Embry, Porters Chapel
2016 – Brooke Patterson, Warren Central
2015 – Darby Gain, Warren Central
2014 – Brooke Patterson, Warren Central
2013 – Megan McCullough, WC
2012 – Krista Cortezie, Warren Central
2011 – Mallory McGuffee, St. Aloysius
2010 – Chasity Hearn, Warren Central
2009 – Mandy Fuller, Warren Central
2008 – Sarah Franco, St. Aloysius
2007 – Sarah Kerut, St. Aloysius
2006 – Sarah Kerut, St. Aloysius
2005 – Lauren Anderson, Warren Central
2004 – Lauren Johnson, Porters Chapel
2003 – Laura Beth Lyons, St. Aloysius
2002 – Katie Barnett, Warren Central
2001 – Katie Barnett, Warren Central
2000 – Emily Mathes, Vicksburg