Softball: Lincoln-Way West’s Dieringer is quite striking
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org May 14, 2014 9:50PM
Morghan Dieringer for Lincoln-Way West Softball for Spring Photo Day at Andrew High School, Sunday, March 23rd, 2014 in Tinley Park | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 17, 2014 1:35PM
Lincoln-Way West becomes more like the “Wild, Wild West” when Morghan Dieringer’s name is announced during softball games.
She’s known as “Machine Gun Dieringer.”
“I think it was during my sophomore year he (the school’s announcer) started calling me that and it kind of stuck,” the senior pitcher said with a laugh. “I think it’s funny. I’m going to have to ask him if he did it because of my last name.”
More likely it’s because she mows down batters in an incredibly rapid fashion.
Dieringer leads the Southland with 196 strikeouts in 112 innings and is tops in the area with her 0.81 ERA. She’s one of the big reasons the Warriors entered Wednesday’s play with a 24-1 record.
“I’m very happy,” she said. “We’re just performing every day. It’s exciting to go out there.”
Dieringer’s career at West has been an escalator going up.
After earning a spot on the varsity as a freshman, she gained all-SouthWest Suburban Red honors as a sophomore and All-Area honors after a junior campaign in which she led the area in strikeouts.
“Morghan is a special pitcher,” Warriors coach Heather Novak said. “She epitomizes the word determination. And while she is an excellent pitcher, she is an even better person. She is humble, hard-working and one of the nicest kids that I’ve worked with over the years.”
She’s not so nice to opposing batters, though, employing a wicked rise pitch and a curve spin pitch taught to her by Warriors pitching coach Jack Podlesny after her freshman year.
“When I started my sophomore season I felt more confident because I could throw stuff that moved,” she said. “It helped me to be a lot better.”
Dieringer always has been an overachiever. As a gymnast in fourth grade, she competed with girls who were in sixth and seventh grade.
“I was actually pretty good (at gymnastics) for how young I was,” she said. “I just played softball actually because I thought it was fun. I never thought I would be playing (someday) for such a good high school team and at such a high level.
“I’ve been a pitcher since maybe sixth or seventh grade, but I’d say I became serious about it between my freshman and sophomore years.”
In her latest outing, Dieringer pitched a three-hitter and struck out 13 in a 2-1 win over Lemont. She is poised to blow past last year’s total of 205 strikeouts. Going into Wednesday she was just five strikeouts away from crossing the 600 mark in her career.
Dieringer still is undecided on her college choice, although she said she is leaning toward Illinois Wesleyan. Her career goal is to work as a physician assistant.
For now, she’s working to get even better in the circle.
“I definitely would like to work on my fielding as a pitcher,” she said.
A quick draw with the glove. Seems to fit.