The 2020-2021 school year has been unlike any other with the COVID-19 pandemic still running rampant throughout the United States. But in the little town of Ludowici, the Long County Blue Tide have something to celebrate as softball star Trista Murphy will sign a scholarship to continue her career at Fort Valley State University.
Murphy has been a key piece of the Lady Tide softball team since her freshman year. She has been the main pitcher for the Tide throughout her career and led the team to two straight playoff appearances in 2017 and 2018 along with a Sweet Sixteen appearance in her sophomore season.
Throughout her career with the Blue Tide, Murphy was named to the Region 2-AAA All-Region First Team as a pitcher in 2017, 2018, and 2019 as well as winning Region 2-AAA Pitcher of the Year in 2018. She seemed to learn a lot about the game and life throughout her time in Ludowici.
“I had some of the most amazing times on that field,” Murphy said. “It taught me several lessons, allowed me growth, gave me confidence, and most importantly taught me humbleness...memories, friendships, support, and love for the game. These past four years have taught me and molded me into the athlete I am today. No matter where softball may take me in life I will always have the lessons, memories, and heart for the game as I did on that high school field.”
Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Georgia is a Division II program in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The team has improved greatly over the last few years with Jason Bryant at the helm.
The team has gone from being a team that won just six games across the 2016 and 2017 seasons to consistently winning at least 16 games each season since 2018. The team was 6-4 in 2020 before their season was cut short due to the pandemic.
Murphy seems very excited about having the opportunity to continue her career at the next level with an up-and-coming team like the Wildcats. She likes feeling like she is in a secure place despite being hours from home.
“The biggest reason I chose Fort Valley State University was simply the fact that I felt safe being so far away from home,” Murphy said. “The environment is immaculate, and their program is full of love and support, which is a huge factor in a successful team. I enjoy the coaching staff and I hope to see how far their program will take me.”
The signing ceremony was originally scheduled for Friday, January 22, but was cancelled due to COVID exposure within the school. At this time, the ceremony will not be rescheduled.
Murphy had a rather remarkable career with the Blue Tide softball team and the entire community of Long County is excited to see her move onto the next level.