Freshman softball player finalist for national award

In just her first softball season at St. Edward’s University, freshman Morgan Alexa Dufour has put up major offensive and defensive numbers that have landed her national recognition.

Dufour has recently been named a finalist for the inaugural National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II National Freshman of the Year Award.

“At the supposed double-header against Rogers State (on April 9), Logan Lawrence came and told me before the game,” Dufour recalls as she learned of her national nomination. “I was at a loss for words.”

NFCA and its Division II Head Coaches Committee have selected 25 young ladies as finalists for this award with the “idea to honor outstanding athletic achievement among freshmen softball student-athletes,” according to the NFCA website.

To the day she was named a national finalist, Morgan led the team with 27 runs scored, 11 home runs, 33 runs-batted-in (RBI’s), and had a slugging percentage of .724.

In the two following softball series alone, Dufour went 8-13, hitting four RBI homeruns, three RBI sac-flies, two doubles, two singles, and has had two walks, improving her batting average to .385.

“I was talking to my coach and I said, ‘I want to break all the offensive records here at school,’” the ambitious Dufour added in regards to her future softball goals.

Dufour is from Oak Leaf, Texas and is batting in the heart of the Hilltopper lineup. On defense, she plays shortstop and third base. Up to date, she has a .957 fielding percentage. Off the field, she is a finance major.

Growing up, her two favorite professional athletes were Gold-Glove, Silver-Sluggers: shortstop Derek Jeter and third baseman Adrián Béltre.

Describing her first season in a SEU uniform, Dufour added, “It’s been a lot of fun. It wasn’t anything I expected, but more. I’ve enjoyed all of my teammates and my coaches. They’re just outstanding people to be around and they’ve helped me a lot.”

Currently, the Hilltoppers fourth in the Heartland Conference (HC) with a record of 25-17 (12-8 HC).

“Our team tends to do well down the stretch, so I am looking forward to seeing them play confidently throughout the remainder of the season … while we have had some ups and downs, we have had some really great moments throughout the season,” head softball Coach, Lindsay Gardner adds.

As for Dufour, she is anxiously awaiting April 30, when the list of finalists will be trimmed to the top 10.

If Morgan is among the Top 10, “the top three finalists will be selected and released on May 13. The award will be presented prior to the start of the 2015 NCAA DII National Championship in Oklahoma City, OK,” according to the SEU Athletic website.