Carson’s Morrow making gains after getting chance
To say Carson High catcher Danielle Morrow is making up for lost time is an understatement.
After playing behind K.C. Withrow a year ago, Morrow, a senior, has blossomed as an everyday player this season.
Entering today’s game against James Logan at the annual Reed Easter Invitational at the Shadow Mountain Complex in Sparks, Morrow is hitting a robust .418 and leads the team in doubles (6), RBI (17) and on-base percentage (.491) while doing a solid job behind the plate for coach Scott Vickrey’s team.
Most players would be comfortable with those numbers, but not Morrow. She knows there can be improvement, and she’s driven to get better.
“I’d probably give myself a B,” Morrow said when asked to give herself a grade to this point in the season. “I’ve been hitting pretty good, but I can still do better. I think I’m catching pretty well.
“I’ve been working hard on hitting (last summer and this spring). It’s a matter of getting to play a lot more. I didn’t play very much last year because K.C. was back there. Knowing I’m going to be in the lineup helps confidence-wise.”
And, Morrow has a knack of getting on base at key times or delivering the key hit.
“If we need a key hit, she’s the girl I want up there,” Vickrey said. “I like her in the fifth spot the most, but we’ve moved her around depending on injuries. When Morgan (Kleine) got hurt, we moved everybody up a spot so she’s hitting fourth now.
“I don’t look for her to put the ball out, I’m looking for her to find a gap and drive in a couple of runs. I started to see her come on at the end of last year. She worked really hard over the summer and it’s paid off.”
Morrow said there is pressure to be in the No. 4 spot that she didn’t feel in the fifth or sixth spot.
“To be in the fourth spot you are supposed to be the big hitter and have a lot of power. I feel like coach put me there because he knows I can do my job. I really like hitting No. 5, but I really don’t know why.”
Vickrey said there has been no drop-off with Morrow assuming the starting position this year.
“That is the one position I had no concerns about coming into the season,” Vickrey said.
Morrow calls the game when Christa McGahuey pitches while assistant coaches Craig Kiser or Bob Carvin calls the game when Lindsey Ashbaugh throws. Both Vickrey and Morrow agree it’s a comfort level and a familiarity.
“Lindsey has worked with Craig the past couple of years and has confidence in Craig or Bob (Carvin) calling her pitches,” Vickrey said. “Christa and Danielle have played together during the summer, so they know each other well.”
“I’ve caught Christa for the last five years,” Morrow said. “We do well together. I feel more comfortable calling pitches; feel like I have more freedom.”
Morrow’s play is one reason why Carson has had success this year. The group of Morrow, Emily Collins, McGahuey, Jennifer Purcell and Ashbaugh has produced most of the Senators’ runs this season, and Morrow thinks the Senators can contend the rest of the year and in the postseason.
“I think we can finish in the top three,” Morrow said. “We have a lot of talented players and pitching depth. It all depends on which team shows up that day.”
Morrow said that the sweep of Spanish Springs should give the team momentum heading into the stretch run of the season.
Morrow would like nothing more than to end her high school career on a high note before heading off to Doane College, an NAIA school in Nebraska.
“I was looking at College of Southern Nevada, but then I went to Doane and really liked the campus,” Morrow said. “I liked Doane a lot better. It felt right. I liked the campus when I went back in January. I didn’t get to meet any of the team because they were in intersession.”
Doane coach Barry Mosley said he watched Morrow play in a summer tournament in Oregon. He later came to Nevada to sign another player, and then sat down with the Morrow family to discuss his program.
“We have a need for catching as well as all-around athletes,” Mosley said. “Danielle fits in both areas.
“We have three catchers this year (a senior, junior and freshman). The freshman has a ways to go, and the junior who we got from a Division II school is catching every other game. Besides catcher with her lanky build, I see her playing first base or outfield in addition to catching.”