BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Valdosta State softball player Morgan Johnson was named the Gulf South Conference's Women's Commissioner Trophy winner as the league's top female student-athlete at the annual GSC Awards Banquet Monday evening.
The 2013 honor marks the second straight year Johnson has earned the Conference's top honor, making her just the sixth student-athlete in the 38-year history of the honor to win the honor in back-to-back years, including the third Blazer to garner that recognition in consecutive years. The last back-to-back winner was North Alabama baseball player Douglas Hargett, who won the award in both 2001 and 2002 while Lion volleyball player Rachel Price was the last female to earn the honor twice, having done so in 1999 and 2000. VSU's Chris Hatcher was also a repeat winner in 1994 and 1995 while former Lady Blazer basketball standout Bridgett Moore did so in 1986 and 1987, as she was the first back-to-back winner in GSC history. Tennessee-Martin basketball player Mary Kate Long also repeated as she won the honor in both 1988 and 1989.
Johnson earned the honor after a standout season that saw her bat .374, with 67 hits in 179 at-bats. She connected on 17 doubles, two triples and 12 home runs and drove in 49 runs while scoring 55. She earned first team All-America honors from Daktronics and third-team recognition from the National Fast Pitch Coaches Assocation (NFCA) at the conclusion of the season. Johnson concluded the year ranked in the Top 10 in the GSC in 14 different offensive categories.
Johnson was just as successful in the classroom as she graduated in May with a grade point average of 3.69 in Nursing. She was a first team Capital One Academic All-Region honoree, as voted on by CoSIDA, and earned Academic All-GSC for the second straight year. Johnson was a member of both the Georgia Alpha chapter of the Alpha Chi Honor Society and of the Golden Key Honor Society.
While she excelled in both her academics and athletics, Johnson also found time to give back to the Valdosta community. She performed 71 hours of community service during the 2012-13 school year. Johnson helped organize the VSU Softball Blood Drive and assisted at the local dog shelter. She also volunteered at the VSU Heart Health Expo and organized free softball clinics for children 10 and under in the Valdosta area.