JEROMESVILLE — If there was a Mount Rushmore of Hillsdale pitchers, Taylor Morgan has made a compelling argument for inclusion.
The two-time reigning area Pitcher of the Year, Morgan would at least be in the conversation, along with such Hillsdale greats as the late Susie Hardy, Lori Bach, Hope Gardner, Leslie Eberhardt, Adrienne Young and Sydney Long.
The University of Findlay-bound Morgan led the Falcons to a piece of their 27th Wayne County Athletic League championship this spring. She was 14-6 with two saves as Hillsdale (18-6, 12-2) shared the WCAL title with Northwestern and Norwayne.
The Falcons moved up to Division III this year and fell to Keystone, another perennial state power, in the district championship game in Wellington. Morgan surrendered just four hits and one earned run in the 2-0 loss.
“I can’t say enough about Taylor,” Hillsdale coach Hannah Moore said at the time. “She kept fighting.”
Morgan struck out 215 batters in 123.1 innings pitched and sported a tidy 1.42 earned run average. In the past two seasons, she was a combined 33.8 with 457 strikeouts in 259.1 innings of work.
Morgan was an All-Ohio second-team pick in Division III. She was a Division IV honorable mention selection last spring. She is the crown jewel of an all-area pitching staff that was a combined 72-29 with 909 strikeouts in 632.2 innings pitched this spring.
Layla Azmoun, Madison: A junior, Azmoun led the Rams to just the second Ohio Cardinal Conference championship in program history and first since 2013. Madison shared the title with Mount Vernon and New Philadelphia. Azmoun was 16-4 with 136 strikeouts and a 3.44 ERA in 128.1 innings of work. She was selected the OCC Pitcher of the Year.
Makenzie Back, Plymouth: The senior right-hander led the area with 278 strikeouts in 161.2 innings of work. Back was 15-10 with a 2.29 ERA, leading Plymouth to its first district championship since 2016. She was selected the Firelands Conference Pitcher of the Year.
Shelby Morris, Centerburg: The Trojans won an outright Knox Morrow Athletic Conference championship thanks in no small part to Morris. The senior righty was 17-3 with 170 strikeouts and a 1.53 ERA in 123.1 innings. She was the KMAC Player of the Year and an All-Ohio honorable mention selection in Division III.
Maddy Cotsamire, East Knox: A senior, Cotsamire was a Division III All-Ohio honorable-mention pick. She was 10-6 with a 2.69 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 96 innings as Bulldogs reached the district championship game before falling 1-0 to eventual regional champ Johnstown.