March 26, 2013

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS: Moore enjoying success at Thomas

By Matt DiFilippo
Staff Writer

Thomas College softball coach Terry Parlin can list off Sam Moore's attributes as a catcher very easily.

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ALL-AROUND LEADER: Sam Moore hit .293 last year, with more walks than strikeouts, and led the Terriers in hits and runs.

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College: Thomas

High school: Nokomis

Sport: Softball

Position: Catcher

Statistics: Career .301 hitter at Thomas

"She's obviously an experienced catcher who pretty much knows the game real well," Parlin said. "She does a good job of handling younger pitchers (and) has a good, solid arm to keep runners from moving up on the bases."

A catcher is usually the leader on the field, so Parlin is asked what Moore is like in that regard. He answers more carefully, with a pause and a smile.

"Definitely has a mind of her own," Parlin said.

"That's extremely accurate," said Moore, an Etna native and a graduate of Nokomis Regional High School. "Coach Parlin and I have definitely had our moments -- some trying moments. I think that's just part of the coach-player mentality and it's being able to move past that so that we're all here for the same reason."

Moore, a senior, has a career batting average of .301 for the Terriers. She's off to a slow start this year with a .148 average, but Thomas was 1-11 in Florida and has a team batting average of .127. Moore isn't worried -- Thomas was also 1-11 in Florida last year, and went 15-14-1 from that point to finish second in the North Atlantic Conference tournament.

"We had the same record as we did last year (in) Florida," Moore said. "We went to the same place. We had the same results. So, hopefully, we can keep doing that and work from there."

Moore was originally recruited by former Thomas coach Paul Rodrigue. When Parlin took over, he saw Moore was interested and continued the recruiting process after seeing her play.

"I think it's worked out really well, actually," Moore said. "I mean, it's probably not the best decision, to go to school based on the sport that you want to play, but I've enjoyed this experience -- completely."

Moore usually bats in the 3-4-5 spots in the lineup and has gained more responsibility on the field over the years.

"She's got so that she can call a good game herself," Parlin said. "She's been working with Coach (Colin) Campbell a lot. He does call a lot of the pitches, but there's times when he can just leave her and let her call (the game), and she does a real good job with that, too."

As a sophomore, Moore hit .349 and was a second-team all-NAC selection. Despite hitting .293 last year, with more walks than strikeouts, and leading the Terriers in hits and runs, she was not selected as all-conference last year. Moore and Parlin are both making that a goal this season.

"It seems like they go on batting average, instead of all the other things you do for the team," Parlin said. "Without that stat, you just don't get selected."

As for being a leader, Moore will naturally extend that to giving instructions to her teammates. Parlin is fine with that, too.

"Oh absolutely, I want her to," he said with another smile. "That's part of the job."

Matt DiFilippo -- 861-9243

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