Future Trojan presents $1,000 to Troy Miracle League

Published 7:24 pm Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Upon learning this summer she was selected as the Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year, Brantley native Leanna Johnson did not hesitate when asked who she wanted to present a sizable donation, on behalf of Gatorade.

Wednesday afternoon, the fast pitch state record-holder presented a check of $1,000 to athletes of the Troy Miracle League, an organization Johnson looks forward to volunteering with as an incoming freshman and Lady Trojan for Troy University.

“I am going to be in school here in the fall, and I thought it would be nice to donate to the community that I was going to be in, and also to allow the players of the Miracle League to have more,” said Johnson. “I know the Troy softball team volunteers for the Miracle League, and I am looking forward to getting more involved with it.”

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There have been very few young ladies to come through the state with the success of Johnson.

The 5-foot-7 senior right-handed pitcher led the Bulldogs (53-4) to the Class 1A state championship this past season. Johnson compiled a 48-4 record with a 0.45 ERA, along with a .374 batting average, seven home runs and 43 RBI. She struck out 536 batters in 265.2 innings pitched.

Johnson also threw 15 no-hitters in 2018 – a state AHSAA record – five for perfect games, and 31 shutouts, second-best ever in Alabama.

The Most Outstanding Player at the state tournament, Johnson has been named Class 1A Pitcher of the Year three times.

A devoted member of her church youth group, Johnson has volunteered often on behalf of the Brantley Parks and Recreation Department and youth softball camps. Johnson also maintained an A average in the classroom.

While recruited by many major college programs, Johnson said signing with Troy was never in doubt.

“I chose Troy because it was close to home, and Troy is a small community similar to what I came from in Brantley,” said Johnson. “I really wanted to stay close to home, and I’ve always loved Troy. It has always been my number one pick.”

Johnson began playing T-Ball in the recreation leagues of Brantley, but knew at a young age that she wanted to be a fast pitch pitcher.

“I started playing in Brantley, with T-Ball, and I grew up in that recreational league,” said Johnson. “I got serious about it when I was 10, when I started pitching lessons in Kinston with Lane Harrison, and I’ve been with him ever since.
“If pitching it is something you are really passionate about, you really have to be in love with the game. You always respect the game. If you really want to be a pitcher, work hard at it. If you know it is for you, keep working and never give up until you reach where you want to be.”