Softball: Providence’s Morgan Greenwood eager for big finish to season
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org May 21, 2014 7:08PM
Morgan Greenwood, of Providence | Gary Middendorf/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 24, 2014 7:08AM
Morgan Greenwood made Providence softball history in a win Saturday over St. Viator when she belted the 16th home run of her career.
The blast moved her ahead of Chloe Oprzedek and into the No. 1 spot all-time.
“Coach told me in our little team meeting after the game,” Greenwood said. “I was like, ‘Wow. Really?’ I didn’t even know. That shocked me.”
It was the latest in a long line of contributions that Greenwood has made for the Celtics (18-12).
The junior first baseman entered the week with a .408 average, seven homers, 22 runs and 28 RBI.
“She is beginning to heat up down the stretch, which is exactly what we need from her,” Providence coach Jay Biesterfeld said. “She will be a key hitter for us to make a deep postseason run.”
Greenwood, for one, can’t wait.
A year ago, she had to sit and watch the state playoffs after suffering a dislocated left ankle during a late-season game.
“It was a freak accident,” Greenwood said. “I just took an extra base being aggressive, and hit second base wrong with my left leg.
“When I went down, I just looked up at the sky and said ‘Why now?’
“It was very difficult to watch my team play without me. During the last game (against Lincoln-Way North) I was literally sitting there thinking, ‘Just give me a bat. Give me something I can do.’ ”
Greenwood spent four weeks on crutches and four more in a boot. She missed the whole summer season, but returned for fall ball. After winter conditioning, she was back at 100 percent.
“I told myself, ‘This is your junior year in high school. Half of your high school career is over. Make something of it,’ ” she said.
Greenwood can handle both corner positions in the infield and also catches. Her main position in 2014 has been first base.
Her defense is solid, but it’s been her bat that has gotten her the most notice since a freshman season in which she hit .417 with five homers and helped the Celtics to third place in Class 3A.
“When I get into the box I really don’t think,” Greenwood said. “I think of a song and I always sing the song in my head. I really don’t think about anything else. When you start thinking about anything else, that’s when trouble starts to happen.”
She chose softball over several other sports that she tried as a youngster.
“My parents always said, ‘You’ve got to do something,’ so I’ve played about every sport,” Greenwood said. “I started out with soccer, but that was may too much running for me. I did play basketball, and thought there was way too much physical contact.”
“I just love playing this game,” she said. “I can’t imagine myself playing any other sport. When I get on that field, it’s just me. If I didn’t play softball I don’t know what I would do.”