MISSOULA, Mont. - Less than two weeks after pitching her Frenchtown squad to the class A state championship, Morgan Ray can add another huge accomplishment to her softball resume.
It was announced Thursday, June 6 that the sophomore Ray has earned the honor of 2012-13 Gatorade Montana Softball Player of the Year.
"You know we didn't know quite how we were going to break it to her and I just ended up giving her a phone call," said Frenchtown head coach Eli Field today. "And that was kind of fun to tell her because she is so unassuming about things like that and I think she was pretty excited."
The award, given annually, recognizes athletic excellence as will as academic achievement and exemplary character.
Despite Frenchtown's long-standing softball success with eight state championships, this is the first time a player from the Lady Broncs has won the prestigious Gatorade honor.
"That's really cool for me because our school is super supportive of softball," said Ray. "It's really cool to be able to bring that back to our school and our community."
Ray is also now a finalist for the Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award announced in June.
The 5-foot-10 ace pitcher and outfielder led Frenchtown to a 24-3 record and the stat title. Ray posted a 14-1 record in the circle with a 0.78 ERA and 203 strikeouts in 107.2 innings pitched.
"She really demonstrated that she could take over games in the circle late in the season," commented Field. "And the numbers are really astronomical."
Ray was a menace inside the batters box as well, hitting .506 this spring with six homers and 39 RBIs.
"There's a lot of really good softball players in Montana so it's a really big honor," said Ray of her award. "And it's exciting especially with a state championship under my belt too."
In the classroom Ray maintains a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the Frenchtown High student council. She also volunteers locally at a food bank and at Mountain Home Montana.
"I do work hard in the classroom and around the community and everything," said Ray. "And it makes me happy to see that's recognized."
Despite still finishing up her sophomore year Ray has already made a verbal commitment to Ohio State University for softball.