The Right Field: Morton would rather switch than pitch

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

April 5, 2007 - For Sulphur Springs senior Tarra Morton, making the switch from pitcher to right field has been one of her favorites moves during her senior season.

"I love pitching and it is one of my favorite things to do. As you can tell, we have a great pitcher in Marci (Womack), and I am not needed in that part of the field this year," Morton said. "I was moved to right field because Coach (David) Carrillo thought that fit me and I love it. I can play pretty much anywhere, but I love being out there with Kristen (McDonald) and Kelsey (Evans) and it has been one really good experience."

Morton has had 12 fielding opportunities in right field and two in district play and has a .750 fielding percentage. She has one putout in six district games.

"It is tough being out there, but you have got to understand this is high school ball and it is good to have three-up and three-down and have no hard situations," she said. "I like right field because I have already thrown out two base runners going to home in pre-district."

This season, Morton has played along senior teammate Kristen McDonald in the outfield and said the friendship between them is one of the strongest on the team.

"Kristen does a wonderful job and she is one of the best center fielders I have ever seen," she said. "It is fun being out there with your best friend and Kristen is like my sister so it is like family out there. I have come to understand this whole team is like my family and Kristen makes everything fun out there for me."

With three seniors on the team for the second straight year, Morton said it helps the underclassman learn more about the game of softball when the coach is busy with other players.

"I think it is good to only have three seniors. Having more is not bad but we can divide up and talk to the younger girls," the senior said. "All three of us seniors have been on varsity for three years and we can give our knowledge to the younger girls. I like having only three seniors and both of them are my best friends."

Morton said it has been tough seeing classmate Jordan Anderson hurt this year for the second time.

"It is so tough and I remember in volleyball season when she had her first injury I was scared she would not be able to come out and play," the senior said. "We have grown up together and have been playing softball ever since we were little. Jordan is a piece of me and is one of my best friends and when she hurts I hurt with her."

The Lady Cats go into tonight's game against North Lamar in a tie with Lindale at 3-3 in District 11-4A and 14-12 overall and have already surpassed their win total from last season when they went 9-14-1 under coach Tommy Grammar.

Morton said she was surprised at how everyone was expecting the team to perform this season with their new coach.

"What gets me is how everybody predicted we were not going to be good at all. We have shown them wrong already and I could not have asked for a better team to start off with," she said. "The girls each play a specific part of this team and it thrills me to see after the first part of district everybody was down because we were 2-3 and that is what we were last year. We came out fighting against Texas High on Tuesday and we are ready to shoot for the playoffs. We are ready to win and I think we have a good chance to be in the top three.

"Everyone has put a lot of effort into this team and into this family. Coach Carrillo is our softball daddy and we are softball sisters and it is such pride and joy to see everybody come into that. I love seeing all of them coming together this year."

Morton has an older brother and is the daughter of Rickey and Teresa Morton. She plans on attending Texas A&M in College Station to become a physical therapist.

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