MISSOULA, Mont. - Frenchtown junior Morgan Ray was named Montana softball Gatorade Player of the Year for a second consecutive season on Thursday. And it's certainly hard to argue with the numbers: Ray had a record of 23-1 as a pitcher this year with a 0.72 ERA. She also recorded ten no-hitters. On the offensive side, the two-time all-state selection batted .598 with 12 home runs and 54 RBI's.
"I just want to thank my coaches and my team," said Ray about the season she put together. "It was honestly the best season in my high school career and I will never forget it."
The Frenchtown softball program has enjoyed a ton of success with now nine state titles. However Morgan Ray is the only individual Bronc to be named Gatorade Player of the Year.
"Obviously she's got an amazing amount of talent, but she's put it to use and she's maximized it," said Broncs head coach Eli Field.
Ray says it's a tremendous honor to be the player of the year yet again, but it would not have meant nearly as much if they hadn't first gotten that repeat state title.
"It makes it so much more special that our team excelled just as much," explained Ray. "It's just so cool to get a two-peat state championship and then to get a two-peat Gatorade Player of the Year, that's pretty cool as well."
Of course the Gatorade honor is not just for on the field accomplishments, besides volunteering locally in her community, one statistic that's been the same for Ray both last year and this year is her 4.0 GPA.
"It's really an accomplishment for myself," admitted Ray of her off-the-field success. "I've worked so hard to get that 4.0 and this year I struggled a little bit but I kept it up."
"They do a nice job in the classroom. They do nice job out here on the softball field. So it's really nice to see them get recognized for things they do," said Field.
Ray is already one of only two players in Montana to ever win the award twice for softball. If she could do it again next year as a senior, she'd be the only player ever to accomplish that three times.
"I'm just going to do the best I can next year and our team is going to work so hard and hopefully get another state title," said Ray. "And if I get the award then that would just be amazing."
Ray has already verbally committed to play softball at Ohio State after high school; she said she's looking forward to signing her letter of intent this coming fall.