When Charley Morgan Halford joined the Brighton High School softball team as a freshman three years ago, she figured she would be in a battle for playing time on one of the strongest programs in West Tennessee.

What she could not have imagined is having to battle injuries throughout most of her career. She basically missed her entire sophomore season after undergoing knee surgery and an ankle injury put a serious dent in her junior year.

Halford, now a senior, kept battling and it all paid off Monday morning when she signed a softball scholarship with Freed-Hardeman University.

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“I worked hard because I knew I couldn’t just quit softball like that. I just kept working,” Halford said. Now I feel good. I’ve never felt more healthy in my life. I’m excited. It shows me you have to work hard and you have to keep pushing because it’s going to work out.”

“She’s really resilient,” Brighton coach Robin Jacobs said about the outfielder. “She’s always been a hard worker. There’s never been a question about. She’s just had some bad luck. Hopefully this year is going to better for her. She has a chance to play a lot.”

It’s no coincidence Halford landed at Freed-Hardeman, a private school in Henderson, Tenn. that is associated the churches of Christ. She’s a longtime member at Covington Church of Christ. Her youth minister, Jeff Phillips, said a prayer during the signing ceremony.

“While growing up it’s been a part of my life with the church going to summer camps at Freed,” Halford said.

Her parents, Tim and Shelley Halford, attended Freed and Tim was a basketball standout there.

Charley said she feels like the process of overcoming injury has made her stronger.

“It was a hard process, mentally and physically, to get back to where I needed to be, but it was a good experience to have.”

Halford is the fourth class of 2020 Brighton softball player to sign a scholarship.