Identifying where Courtney Moriarty most benefits the Taylor University softball team isn’t easy.
The starting center fielder for Center Grove High School’s Class 4A state championship squad only 11 months ago, Moriarty at different times this season has started at third base, first base and in the outfield for Taylor.
She’s been the team’s designated hitter and is its No. 3 pitcher, having worked 71 2/3 innings.
“I basically look at softball as a team sport, so it’s best to do what’s best for the team,” said Moriarty, who is fondly remembered for delivering a fourth-inning solo home run in Center Grove’s 6-2 victory against Lake Central in the Class 4A title matchup last June.
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“It was hard for me adjusting being a freshman and all because I had to prove myself as a player all over again.”
Moriarty compiled a total of two at-bats in Taylor’s first six games. She began taking on a bigger role in the team’s 6-3 win at Cumberland University at the end of February.
As Taylor (26-26), an NAIA school, prepared for Thursday’s Crossroads League Tournament game against Indiana Wesleyan (38-14), Moriarty was hitting .339 with six doubles and five home runs.
As a pitcher, Moriarty is 5-8 with a 3.22 earned-run average. She’s struck out 42 batters and walked 44.
Coach Brad Bowser said he loves having Johnson County players on his roster. There are six this season.
It’s easy to see why.
Not only is Moriarty making a favorable first impression, junior outfielder and former Greenwood player Alex Lovelace leads Taylor in batting average (.353), runs (39) and stolen bases (13).
Sophomore catcher Davis Carter, another Greenwood graduate, hits .291 and is second on the team with eight homers. Junior second baseman Anna Gunderson, a Center Grove graduate, is hitting .266 with five doubles and a dozen steals.
Taylor Murray, a senior catcher from Edinburgh, plays for the Trojans, as does freshman outfielder Andi Stewart from Whiteland.
“I knew Courtney was a great athlete, so I knew she could come in and help us as a freshman,” Bowser said. “But the surprise is her pitching. We knew she had speed, but the curveball and screwball have been her best pitches.
“She’s thrown the ball really well for us and has been a good hitter.”
Taylor is a private Christian college located in Upland, Indiana, approximately 30 minutes north of Muncie. Academically, socially and athletically, the school of 2,500 students has been everything Moriarty hoped it would be and more.
“I really like it, the smaller environment and just knowing I’m at a Christian school,” said Moriarty, who majors in exercise science and carries a 3.6 grade-point average.
“My teammates and coaches at Taylor are truly like family.”
THE MORIARTY FILE
Name: Courtney Moriarty
Family: Parents, Robert and Michele; brother, Tyler, 20
Favorite TV show: “Gossip Girl”
Favorite food: Chicken
Favorite movie: “The Last Song”
Favorite athlete: Peyton Manning
Favorite team: Indianapolis Colts