Knorzer’s consistency at plate key for Carson | NevadaAppeal.com

Knorzer’s consistency at plate key for Carson

Darrell Moody
dmoody@nevadaappeal.com

Lauren Knorzer has been a model of consistency at the plate this year for the Carson Senators.

In 21 Sierra League games, the Carson first baseman hit .347 with a homer and 20 RBIs. She hit safely in 18 of the 21 games and at one point had a nine-game hitting streak. She also produced six multi-hit games and averaged almost an RBI per contest.

Knorzer is a big reason why Carson finished third in the Sierra League with a 14-7 record and will face Reed at 2 p.m. today in the opening round of the NIAA 4A regional softball playoffs at Bishop Manogue High School.

“She hit the ball well for us last year, and that carried over to this year,” Carson coach Scott Vickrey said earlier this week. “She gets the bat through the zone real fast. She is seeing the ball really well right now and we need her to have a big regional tournament.

“She is hitting the ball really, really hard. She hit a couple of deep shots against South Tahoe that went for outs because we were playing on an adult-league softball field. They would have been out in any other park.”

Knorzer has hit safely in 12 of her last 14 games, and fells like she is near the top of her game.

“I think I’m swinging the bat great and putting the ball into play almost all the time,” said the Carson junior. “My dad (Tim) and Louie Sanchez have helped me a lot. They have been working with me for the past five years getting me ready for college.

“They work with me on keeping the ball level through the hitting zone. They also work with me on using my hips.”

And, if things aren’t going well, it’s not uncommon to see Knorzer head into her backyard for some soft toss or tee work.

When Knorzer enters the batting box, she could be staring down Destiny Levesque or Kristy Pasley, both of whom she’ll join for summer softball play on the Reno-based Attack squad. Levesque and Pasley are Reed’s 1-2 punch in the circle. Pasley is headed to the University of Indiana.

Knorzer isn’t thinking about the summer as much as she is about getting a first-round win against Reed.

“I’m really excited to play Reed,” she said. “We need to do our best and show everybody what we have.”

Knorzer prides herself on her versatility. She has played several positions during summer travel ball, but played a lot of first base last year at Carson. The Senators tried her at second early on to get an extra bat in the line-up, but it didn’t work out.

“It wasn’t fair to her,” Vickrey said. “We were trying to get Natalie (Morrow’s) bat in the lineup and we had Mo (Moriah Lane) at first. We were trying different things.”

Save for a couple of errors at first base against Douglas, Knorzer has been solid in the field.

“I’m most comfortable at first,” she said. “I played there all last year and I played there in summer ball. Second base was just a challenge. I didn’t have enough time to practice to get better. I think it’s better for the team that I’m at first.”

Whether or not she stays at first next year is up for debate. Senior catcher Megan Hein graduates as does third baseman Daria Leid. Both Knorzer and K.C. Withrow have experience behind the plate, but Withrow also is the team’s best centerfielder.

On Wednesday, Knorzer caught part of the Senators’ live batting practice.

“I have played both positions,” Knorzer said. “If I were going to catch, I’d have a lot to work on. I’d have to get my legs in shape; the squatting up and down would take getting used to again. If I worked on it during the summer. I’d have no trouble going up to coach Vickrey and telling him that I would be willing to catch if he needed me there.”