By Steve Joos.
New Harmony softball coach Jeff Moore always wanted to treat his team to an overnight stay in New Harmony’s Barn Abbey and since this was the school’s last year, the opportunity was taken over the weekend, starting with a dinner and awards ceremony Saturday.
High school softball wasn’t as successful for Moore’s charges (a 13-28 record in two reasons), but the group which made up most of New Harmony’s last softball team registered a 56-33 mark in seven years together, including a 43-5 Rural Girls record.
“It (the season) wasn’t the way I thought it would be,” Moore said. “The girls tried, we practiced hard, and these guys are my family. They have been for seven years and it’s going to be tough without them.”
Moore expected a better season in 2012, but the closing of the school, preparing to move on to another school and other things caused a number of distractions that the Lady Rappites couldn’t overcome.
He did say that coaching the Lady Rappites was a dream come true that he won’t forget.
Abby Deckard was the team’s only senior this season. Moore praised her work ethic and her efforts as New Harmony’s second baseman, adding that he wished her well after graduation.
As for the underclassmen, Moore said three of the team’s better players (Kelsey Owen, Kendall Morris Madison Worman) will move on to play both basketball and softball at North Posey and is hoping that others will try out. What about the other side of the county?
“Mount Vernon is going to get a nice pitcher in Morgan Matthews,” Moore said. “She’s been our horse all these years. She’s a horse and I’m going to miss her dearly. When we needed someone to pitch, she did it. She never complained, she just went out and did her job and that’s all you can ask from the young lady.”
Moore also said that Andrea Smotherman was going to try out for the Lady Wildcats and he hoped each of the other six underclassmen on this season’s roster would try out, but he realizes that the competition at larger schools would be tougher.
Matthews was the team’s top pitcher and hitter this season, collecting seven hits in eight at bats at the Lady Rappites’ invitational to clinch the batting crown. Deckard, Owen, Morris, Worman and Matthews each earned letters this season, as did Smotherman, Alyssa Scherzinger, Jordan Lyke, Kaitlyn Newman, Kendall Wilson and Jessica Deckard.
Wilson earned the mental attitude award, while also being named the most improved player (she was fourth on the team in hits) and played a strong left fielder in the regular season and Sectional.
Each team member received a participation trophy for being on the last Lady Rappite team in school history.
Moore thanked the community for its support over the years in both high school and Rural Girls, adding that the team was respected by the opposition.
He also thanked the Posey County News for its coverage.
Moore is retiring from coaching, but he will be back when North Posey and Mount Vernon square off on the softball field next year, but he aims to remain neutral—sort of.
Moore says he won’t pull for the Lady Vikings or the Lady Wildcats, just the Lady Rappites.
By Steve Joos.
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