- Special Sections
- Public Notices
By GOOSE LINDSAY
If a poll had been taken among Roane County softball teams about who was the best hitter in 2008, Oliver Springs’ Ellie Morgan would have most certainly been at or near the top of the list. Now the former Lady ‘Cat will be doing her damage close to home as the hard-hitting C/3B signed scholarship papers Tuesday afternoon with Roane State Community College.
“I’m really excited,” Morgan said. “It’s a lot like here (Oliver Springs); it’s a small school. Plus I already know a lot of the girls on the team so it’s not that new.”
“I’m extremely proud of Ellie,” Lady ‘Cat head coach Matt Headden added. “She’s worked hard for this and I think she’ll do well.”
Lady Raider head coach Sue Niemi is also excited about Morgan as she envisions a big stick being added to the Roane State lineup.
“I like her hitting,” Niemi said. “She’s a strong, powerful hitter. She’ll have to adjust to the speed of the college game, but she has a lot of potential.”
“She’s probably the most consistent hitter I’ve had in the program,” Headden added. “She started all four years and she’s hit over .400 for her career. She can really hit a softball.”
Morgan says she owes a lot of her success to her hitting coach, Todd Skeen.
“I really like hitting,” she said. “Todd Skeen has taught me a lot. I used to have a problem keeping my eye on the ball and turning my hips, but he’s worked with me for four years and made me better.”
While hitting is Morgan’s claim to fame, she’s also a solid defender with a strong arm at two positions, catcher and third base. That versatility is something else that caught Niemi’s eye.
“She’ll probably play both positions in college,” Niemi said. “College programs, especially at the junior college level, like to have players that play more than one position.
“I like her defense. At third she can be imposing to hitters. As a catcher, she has a really good arm and has a real good understanding for the game.
“I think the biggest adjustment for her will be calling her own pitches. She’ll have to work with our pitchers and learn their strengths and weaknesses, but she’ll like it more than having a coach call all the pitches.”
“Ellie’s got a real strong arm and a quick release at both positions,” Headden said. “She has the ability as a catcher to not even come out of her stance and make strong throws. She can throw runners out from her knees.”
While Morgan says she will play anywhere the team needs, she admits that she hopes to behind the plate. She also knows that playing time will depend on how hard she works.
“I’ll play anywhere, but I like catching a whole lot better,” Morgan added. “I know I’ve got to work on everything though. I think I frame pitches pretty well and my throw downs are good, but I’ve got to learn how to work with pitchers at this level. I’ve just got a lot of work to do.”