0

Panthers' Robinson putting up amazing season

THE ROBINSON FILE

Who: Morgan Robinson

Sport: Softball

School: Parkview

Class: Senior

Favorite TV show: "SportsCenter"

Favorite sports team: New York Yankees

Dream job: Physical therapist for an NFL team

Noteworthy:

• Has committed to Georgia Southern

• Will graduate with Parkview career records for hits, doubles, RBIs, slugging percentage and on-base percentage

• Single-season records at Parkview will include batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs and walks

• Maintains 3.7 GPA

• Father Gerald played in the NFL and holds Auburn's career sacks record

Strikeouts typically amass so regularly for most hitters that each blends into the next, making sure that no one at-bat stands out more than another.

Unless the strikeout happens so rarely, which is the case for Parkview first baseman Morgan Robinson.

The senior's incredible offensive season includes just one strikeout, on a called third strike in her second at-bat against Greenbrier during a game played at Georgia Southern, in her 111 plate appearances.

And even that may not have been a strikeout.

"It was low and away, full count," Parkview fastpitch softball coach Joey Farah said. "I thought it was ball four."

That out stands alone in a season full of positive results for Robinson, who has broken the bulk of the Panthers' season and career hitting records this season.

The left-hander takes a .585 batting average, a 1.032 slugging percentage and a .649 on-base percentage into this week's Class AAAAAA state tournament opener at Milton. She has eight home runs, 53 RBIs and 18 doubles. She also has walked 17 times.

In a two-game evening at the recent Region 8-AAAAAA tournament, she was 6-for-7 with two homers, two doubles and seven RBIs.

Those eye-popping numbers --Farah called it the best season he's seen in his 10 years of coaching high school softball --wow everyone but the player behind them.

"I don't like to look at my stats," the Georgia Southern commitment said. "I don't like to check them out at all. It's not about me. It's about my team. I just want to do what I can so my team can be successful."

Robinson posted big offensive seasons as a sophomore and junior, too, hitting higher than .370 both seasons. But nothing like this.

Her career numbers will fill the Parkview record book when she graduates --a current .473 batting average, 40 doubles, 14 homers, 99 RBIs, 80 runs and 47 walks.

"Every time she gets up to the plate with runners on, somehow she's getting it done," Farah said. "In big situations all year, she's been even better. ... She's everything you could ask for in terms of work ethic, getting better, being a team leader.

"As a first baseman, she's only made two errors all year and she's saved us probably 25 outs by picking balls, reaching up for balls and coming off the bag to make the tag."

Robinson points to several reasons for her softball improvements, including recent work with her Georgia Elite travel coach Leonard Moody and her hitting coach James Phillips, the father of Cincinnati Reds player Brandon Phillips.

One of the more noteworthy change has nothing to do with her powerful bat.

"She's never been a very vocal leader in the past, so that's why when she speaks the girls listen," Farah said. "She's really gotten better with being vocal."

Robinson, who maintains a 3.7 GPA, agreed with that assessment.

"I definitely have a lot more confidence now and I believe in myself," she said. "I'm definitely a more vocal leader now. Before I was really quiet. ... It just kind of happened. On my travel team, we have to be really vocal or we get in trouble. It feels like it helps my pitcher if I'm out there talking."

Helping also is part of Robinson's future goals outside the softball field. She plans a career as a physical therapist, an interest sparked by watching the plight of her father, Gerald.

The all-time sacks leader at Auburn, Gerald also tallied 19 sacks in eight NFL seasons with the Vikings, Chargers and Rams. He also had a total of 15 surgeries during his playing career.

Now 49, he needs replacement of two knees and a shoulder.

"Because my dad's on disability, I want to help football players so they don't have to go through the pain he's had to go through," said Robinson, whose younger brother G.G., a sophomore, is Parkview's starting tight end. "He goes to the doctor a lot."

Robinson expects to major in kinesiology at Georgia Southern, where she will join a typically competitive softball program as well. First, she hopes her high school softball career lasts a little longer.

The Panthers enter as a No. 4 seed, but she hopes for a surprising run at state.

"Columbus (for the state finals) is definitely our goal," Robinson said. "We know we have the ability to do it. We just have to believe in ourselves. We know we have the talent."