BY MIKE BLACKERBY
Just before the start of the 2023 high school softball season, Farragut coach Nick Green made a bold statement.
He predicted that Elsa Morrison, a sophomore catcher from Indiana who transferred to Farragut, would be the best player in the area.
And he hinted that it wouldn’t even be close.
Boy, was Green dead on.
Morrison, the 5Star Preps Softball Player of the Year, left an indelible mark on the sport and stamped herself as a generational-type player.
“Nobody around here has ever seen a kid like that offensively,” said Green.
“By the end of the year, everybody was just terrified of her.”
And with good reason.
The 5-foot-11 Morrison, who was named Gatorade Player of the Year in Tennessee, put up prolific numbers in her first season with the Lady Admirals.
Morrison crashed a school single-season record 23 home runs and drove in 72 runs, which was one RBI shy of the school record.
Her 1.511 slugging percentage set a Farragut record and her .596 batting average was the fourth highest in Lady Admirals history.
And, oh yeah, she accomplished all of the above despite being walked 51 times, with 38 of those coming on intentional passes.
“The most amazing thing is she got that all done in less than 100 at bats,” said Green.
“She only struck out twice all season and really does a good job of putting the bat on the ball.”
Morrison hit 11 home runs and helped her team in Indiana to the sectionals as a freshman.
She took her game to another level with the move to East Tennessee.
Morrison wasn’t far off the Farragut career home run record (28) in her sophomore year as the Lady Admirals finished 33-7 and advanced to the state 4A tournament, falling just short in their bid for a three-peat.
Her 23 home runs were just two shy of the state single-season record.
“I wasn’t really expecting to do all that,” said Morrison.
So what’s the key to her success at the plate?
“I’m picky about my pitches,” she explained.
“Plate discipline is big when it comes to hitting. It’s about getting the pitch you want to hit.”
Green said Morrison is just as good defensively as offensively.
“She threw out seven of 11 runners who tried to steal on her,” said Green.
“It got to the point where nobody would try and run on her. As a coach, that’s exactly what you want: make them go station to station.”
Morrison said she enjoys her catching chores just as much as hitting.
“I love shutting down running games,” she said.
Green said the bottom line is that Morrison is simply an elite athlete.
“She plays volleyball and she’s extremely athletic,” he said.
“We went to Topgolf and she was out there hitting golf balls left handed better than most of the guys that were there. She could go out and pitch if we needed her to. She’s just a ridiculous athlete,” continued Green.
“In addition to that, she works really hard. She’s also a great teammate, a great kid and a great teammate. She exceeded all expectations for us last season.”
But Morrison isn’t satisfied just yet.
“There’s always room to improve,” she said.