Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe softball standouts Maryanne Morgan and Courtney Crawford recently were awarded scholarships to continue their careers on the diamond at Chattanooga State.
The four-year-starters for the Lady Warriors both agreed they're excited about going to a program that's rich in tradition like their high school program.
The Lady Tigers won the 2012 National JUCO championship and begin the 2013 season under new head coach Blythe Golden, ranked No. 17 in the nation.
Crawford, arguably one of the best shortstops in the region, batted .445 and finished the season with 11 doubles, one triple, scored 23 runs, stole four stolen bases and had 23 RBIs. She was also named the 2012 LFO Homecoming Queen.
She said she was looking forward to playing softball on the next level and the JUCO route was a good choice for her now.
"I've always wanted to play softball in college," she said. "Chattanooga State has a good program and it's close to home. I love their coaches and I'm looking forward to it."
Crawford, the daughter of Rick and Donna Crawford, said she wanted to thank her parents, her teammates and the coaches who have helped her along the way. She said that included LFO head softball coach Lisa Rogers and former softball coach Tony Ellis.
Rogers said she thought Crawford would be a “phenomenal college athlete.”
“Courtney is very versatile,” she said. “She can play different positions and she has a lot to offer a team because she can play so many different positions.”
Crawford said, "It was really special playing at LFO. I came in and got to start my freshman year although I wasn't expecting to. Every year someone graduates (from LFO) and goes on to play (in college). I'm thankful I can too."
Crawford, who has GPA of 3.8 said she plans to major in education. She is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Young Life.
Morgan had a sensational senior year at LFO, batting .476 with an on-base-average of .667 while hitting in the leadoff spot. She had seven doubles, three triples, a home run, scored 22 runs, stole 14 bases and had 16 RBIs.
Her speed on the bases made her one of the toughest outs when she put the ball in play.
"I'm really excited about playing at Chattanooga State," she said. "I wanted to stay close to home and it's overall a perfect fit. I know they've always had a strong program. It feels good to know we'll be able to go to a program that has tradition."
Morgan said she enjoyed her time at LFO and described one of her most memorable moments as delivering the game-winning hit her junior year against Greater Atlantic Christian in the state playoffs.
Morgan, who has a GPA of 3.5 and is involved in the FCA, is the daughter of Bruce and Patsy Morgan. She said she would like to thank her parents and all the coaches who have helped her in softball, including Rogers and Ellis.
Rogers said she thinks of speed when she thinks of Morgan. She said she would definitely benefit the Chattanooga State team.
“She’s going to bring a lot of speed (to their team),” she said. “Defenses are really going to have to bring it with her because once she gets on (base) it’s hard to keep her from scoring.”