Blue Raider Softball Wants Moore

April 22, 2006 · MT Media Relations
Middle Tennessee freshman hurler Laura Moore's first season has been a rollercoaster ride. After riding the downhill slide for almost a month, Moore is finally on the upswing.

In late March, Moore and the Blue Raider softball team got some devastating news. A nagging injury would sideline her for the rest of the season.

"I almost felt helpless when I was sitting on the bench and I knew we needed the pitching and I couldn't do anything about it," Moore admits. "I felt bad for our pitchers being out there throwing their arms off and I am just sitting there without an answer."

While Moore realized her season may have come to a halt with the untimely injury, she wasn't ready to give up on the idea of climbing back on the mound for Middle Tennessee - this season. Her desire to return to the mound was not just because of her yearning to compete, but also to help a team that had been riddled with injuries and was down to just 10 players, including two pitchers.

Moore went for a second opinion and it paid off. What first seemed like an injury that would sideline her for the year turned out to be an injury that was nagging but still allow her to play.

"For some reason I still had a gut feeling that I wasn't done with pitching this season so I decided to get a second opinion," Moore said. "When I did that I found out that I couldn't hurt it any worse and as long as I could tolerate the pain I couldn't hurt it any more."

Moore returned to the Middle Tennessee lineup on April 15 against North Texas. Her first appearance was in relief and her return was auspicious at best. However, Moore was determined to shake off her rusty start and prove she could return to the mound with a vengeance.

"During our game Friday I pitched in the bullpen all day and I have to admit I was rusty," Moore said. "The first game when I went out there I figured I would be nervous, but I wasn't. It was just that I hadn't been able to practice in a month and it threw me off."

In the second game Moore shook of the cobwebs from her arm and shocked North Texas in the second game. She tossed six innings allowing one run on four hits enroute to the Blue Raiders' 11-1 victory and winning the first Sun Belt series of the season.

"I think it was good for Laura to just sit back and have to watch some of the games when she was injured," Podlesny admits. "She got to see different aspects of the game and I think it has made her a better pitcher. She is a lot more patient and does a better job with her pitch selection."

"I just told myself, in the second game, that I was going to do this and just had to get mentally prepared," Moore said. "I have done this all my life and I wasn't going to let 20 days off slow me down."

In addition to Moore's return to the lineup, Middle Tennessee is also starting to regain its depth and get healthy with the return of senior outfielder Michelle Wilkes, following an injury, as well as, freshman first baseman Samantha Floyd, who saw action in Tuesday's wins against Tennessee Tech.

Moore currently leads the Blue Raiders with a 7-10 record and has recorded a team-high 53 strikeouts for the season. Her return brings a calming effect to the team because the club knows there are more pitchers in the rotation and there can be a variety thrown at the opposing batters. Moore also has had experience against some of the top teams in the country and is ready to show her pitching prowess in the Sun Belt Conference.

After all the struggles and bad breaks it seems Moore's return is going to turn a stomach-churning rollercoaster ride into a rip-roaring good time.

Middle Tennessee will host Troy at noon. in a doubleheader on Saturday at Blue Raider Softball Field. The single game of the series will be Sunday beginning at noon.

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