By TJ Millman
Playing a Division 1 sport is the dream for millions of high school athletes across the country, but only the very best ever get to break into the ranks of D1. It is what athletes work towards when others are taking time off, and for Milford senior Morgan Petty it was only an inevitability. Petty made a verbal commitment to play softball at University at Albany in January of her sophomore year, but she finally put pen to paper a few weeks ago to officially announce her decision.
“I had a handful of schools that were interested in me back then, but Albany was the one that stood out from the rest. It felt like a family. I knew that I wanted to move away for college, but I was still looking for a place that felt like “home”, and my first trip to Albany is what won me over. Both coaches greeted me with hugs, something I’d never experienced on a visit, and the campus was beautiful. I’ve also always dreamed of playing USA softball, and both coaches said they would support me in trying to reach that goal. They have supported me through tough times, and I can text them any time,” Petty said.
Petty is also excited to play for a school that has been steadily improving. The Great Danes softball team has won their conference three years in a row and have been steadily making a name for themselves in the softball world. Aside from going to such a strong program, Petty is mostly excited to hit at the next level.
“I can’t wait to get their and earn my spot in the field, but I’m most excited about getting to face college pitching. Players and coaches say that pitching is so different in college, and I can’t wait to see what I can do. Hitting is definitely my favorite part of the game, and I love the challenge of hitting off of a girl who can spin the ball at a different level,” Petty said.
Morgan still has one season left at Milford High, and she is ready to get back onto the diamond for one last season with her family.
“As a team, I want us to form close bonds as early as possible. I know that teams play better when they’re connected, and I want to see respect and positive energy on our team. Last season is in the past, and I want to go out there and just have fun together. Personally, I want to help these younger players develop, while focusing on being more consistent myself. Everyone wants the tournament, and another ring would be a great memory, but I want to improve from last year. Last season I wasn’t consistent with my hitting or fielding, and I want to make first team for all-conference and all-state,” Petty said.
While she will undoubtedly make new memories this year, Petty still holds on to a few special memories from her years at Milford.
“Winning that state championship and getting to hit a homerun to put us up at the start of the game was really special for me. My favorite memory in general is a little odd, but it would be the day that I came back home. I left for a little while to go to Tech, and I missed the comfort that I felt at Milford. My first day back…I felt like I should have been at Milford for all of my high school years,” Petty said.
Petty is going to major in biology and plans to go to medical school after. Wherever Morgan Petty finds her “home” in life, she will always be a state champion, a big-game baller, and, most importantly, a Buccaneer.
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