SOFTBALL: Madi Morris signs with Chattanooga State

Among those on hand to see Heritage senior Madi Morris (seated, center) sign her letter of intent with Chattanooga State included Heritage assistant softball coach Alan Broom, Heritage assistant softball coach Megan Crawford, Chattanooga State head softball coach Blythe Golden and Heritage assistant softball coach Courtney Crawford. On the back are former Heritage head softball coach Jason Carter, current Heritage head softball coach Tanner Moore and Stephanie and Randy Morris. (Photo by Scott Herpst)

Madi Morris began playing softball at the age of four with thoughts of perhaps one day playing the sport in college.

The final step toward making that dream a reality came this past Wednesday when the Heritage High School senior standout signed a letter of intent to play for Coach Blythe Golden and local powerhouse Chattanooga State.

"It's an exciting day," said Morris, who is the 17th player in Heritage softball history to sign on to play at the next level. "I'm really excited because I think this is a good fit for me for the next two years and I really think I'm going to enjoy it. I always hoped this day would come because it's always been my dream to play in college. It's really cool I can do that now."

After three solid seasons with the Generals, Morris had a record-setting senior campaign.

She hit .455 with an on-base percentage of .509 and a slugging percentage of .909, adding nine doubles and three triples, while her 10 home runs broke the Heritage single-season record. She also collected a school-record 50 RBIs to go with 42 runs scored and seven stolen bases.

"Something just clicked this year and I just started making better contact," she explained. "It was just a great season in general. I just let loose, had fun and tried to enjoy myself. (This season) was a lot of fun and I think it was just an awesome way to end my high school career."

All of those numbers earned her a spot on the All-Region first team for 6-AAAA, the All-State first team for Class AAAA and Catoosa County Player of the Year honors.

"I'm really excited to have Madi and I think she'll bring a lot to the team," Golden said. "She has a lot of power with the bat and she also has a lot of speed. Generally, outfielders are quick, but kind of short-game players offensively, so she'll bring a different element to our team.

"Plus she's a great kid and really dedicated to her academics too. I think she's going to be a good leader for us."

Heritage head coach Tanner Moore, a former college softball coach, said he believes Morris will be remembered as one of the best hitters in Generals' history.

"She has Division I power and there's no doubt about that," he explained. "She got started a little late in the recruiting process, but Chattanooga State is a perfect fit for her. It's an unbelievable program with an unbelievable coach. (Heritage assistant coach) Courtney Crawford was a big help in facilitating it and making it happen. Coach Golden is getting a good one that I know she's excited about, and I know Madi is excited about it as well."

Morris said she wants to go into the medical field and will likely start out by majoring in Biology.