An Age of Empowerment: Meet Aileen Morales
The road that led Kansas native Aileen Morales to Georgia Tech may have been a winding one, but from an early age, it was clear to her: She wanted to compete with the very best.
Her father served in the army, and their family moved frequently when she was a child, to places as far-flung as Seattle and even Germany. In the mid-1990s, though, they settled in at Fort Benning near Columbus, Georgia. “From then on, I claimed Georgia as home,” she says.
On family road trips, passing through the city, Morales was always drawn to Atlanta's bright lights. When she was old enough to start thinking about college, she set her sights on Georgia Tech. It didn’t hurt that she was a high-achieving student and a stellar middle infielder.
“When I had the opportunity to get a scholarship and play collegiate athletics here,” she recalls, “I thought, ‘This is a dream come true.’”
And from 2005 to 2008, Morales tore it up on the Flats. During her first year, she led the ACC in stolen bases and was named co-Freshman of the Year in the conference. When she graduated with a degree in management, she left as a three-time All-ACC honoree, Georgia Tech’s all-time leader in games played and bases stolen, and ranked among the program’s top 10 in runs, doubles, and triples.
“On the softball field, competing against some of the best softball players in the country, that’s what I wanted,” she says. “I wanted to be challenged. It was an amazing experience.”