By Steve Gunn
Giddings, a 2014 graduate of Oakridge High School, has been named the Division 2 National Player of the Week for April 6-12 by the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Giddings won the honor for her sizzling performance at the plate that week. She hit .667 with 20 hits in 30 at bats, with 14 RBIs, 12 runs, four doubles, one home run, one triple and two stolen basis.
Her hot bat helped the Jayhawks post a perfect 8-0 record for the week.
“I think it’s a great honor,” said Giddings, an All-Stater in her senior year at Oakridge. “I just love playing softball and to have an honor like this is amazing. I was told about it yesterday and it’s just now setting in. It’s really awesome.”
Giddings said she’s surprised at how well she’s been doing, so early in her college career.
“I didn’t know as much about softball as I thought I did,” she said. “There is so much to learn. But I’ve been playing at the college level and learning it, it’s been coming pretty easy and it’s a lot of fun.”
The amazing part is that Giddings was chosen from countless other candidates from more than 100 Division 2 colleges, including two of her teammates, pitcher/sluggers Katie Hendrickson and Megan Jean.
MCC Coach Ryan Schalk nominated all three players for consideration.
“I’m not sure what they look at,” said Schalk, regarding the NJCAA selection process. “I’m guessing they look at batting average, where Morgan is doing very well. But the other two have been just as impressive.”
Giddings currently leads the team with a .513 batting average, and has 35 RBIs, five homers, 13 doubles and five triples.
Beyond her obvious skills, Schalk said Giddings’ biggest strengths are her work ethic and determination.
“We’re lucky to have Morgan. She can play,” said Schalk, who is also Giddings’ cousin. “She hates to lose and she hates to fail, but when she does, instead of crying about it she goes out and fixes it, any way she can.
“It’s hard to find players like that.”
Giddings is excited about her team’s recent play. After a lukewarm start this season, the Jayhawks are 29-11 overall and 16-4 in the MCCAA Western Conference. They are in second place, three games out of first.
“Our pitchers have been pretty good, we have the fielders to back it up, and our bats seem to be coming alive,” she said. “I plan on going to nationals, actually.”