Morrill ready to lead in final season

Hayden Boudreaux

Senior infielder Shelby Morrill is in her final season as an Eagle and she, along with her teammates, is looking to do something the Georgia Southern University softball team has never done: win three straight Southern Conference championships.

In her final season, with the team in search of its third straight SoCon title, Morrill and her team have a need-to-win attitude.

“Seven of us are seniors. So I think the need to win in our heads is a little higher than it has been,” Morrill said.

The season has several big-name opponents on the schedule. This includes the University of Florida, the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia. Morrill is not looking too far into the future, because she concerns herself with winning a third SoCon title.

“To have a three-peat would be awesome; it has never been done before,” Morrill said.

Morrill was a three-sport athlete at Morgan County High School in Madison, lettering in basketball, track and softball. It was clear softball was her strongest point as she was elected first team All-Region in 2008 and 2009.

She was the recipient of her school’s offensive most valuable player award three straight seasons from 2006-2008. All of this success culminating in winning the MCHS all-around MVP award her senior season.

Once Morrill arrived at GSU she quickly earned playing time, starting in 16 of the first 21 games in her freshman season. However, in a series against Wofford College, an injury sidelined her for the remainder of the year.

Her inaugural season ended with a .296 batting average, one home run and six RBIs. In the field she committed only one error in 23 chances.

Her sophomore year Morrill was able to successfully bounce back from her injury and exceed expectations. She started in 35 of the 42 games played and served as a designated hitter. When the season wrapped up with a SoCon championship, Morrill had compiled a .235 average, a .343 slugging percentage, a .325 on base percentage and 11 RBIs.

Last season the pressure to have a second championship mounted and Morrill rose to the challenge. She started in all 63 games and compiled a .340 average over 188 at-bats. She managed to knock in 33 runs and slugged .548 as the Eagles won their second-straight conference championship.

The first contest of the season will begin on Feb. 7 as the Eagles host the Eagle Round Robin. They will face off against Oakland College, University of Tennessee and Northern Colorado University. The first match will be against Oakland Friday at 5 p.m. on Eagle Field.