If not for her daughter successfully slugging a piñata at a friend’s birthday party at the age of 6, it may never have occurred to the mother of Morganne Flores to sign her daughter up to play softball.
Up to that point, Flores had tried many of the other typical youth sports, admittedly with not much success. But there was something behind that swing of hers that day at the party. And now the 18-year-old is in her senior year as catcher for Mater Dei High School’s varsity softball team.
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“Catching is my favorite position because I can be in every play,” says Flores. “I like…communicating with the pitcher. I love how [softball] is such a mental sport.”
The four-year varsity player also serves as co-captain for the Monarchs and enjoys leading this tight-knit group.
“I feel really privileged to be a co-captain. It’s been one of my goals,” says Flores. “There’s a mix of three captains, so we each have something that we bring to the table. I’m usually a leader by example.”
The Cypress resident has known for several years where her collegiate path will take her, committing during her freshman year to play softball for the University of Washington, one of her dream schools.
With an early commitment, there has been plenty expected of Flores, and Mater Dei’s varsity head softball coach, Tia Meza, says her starting catcher has risen to the challenge.
“From the beginning, there were high expectations and Morganne has met them every step of the way,” says Meza. “It has been exciting to see her blossom as a leader on the team and to see her continued success. Morganne is always striving to better herself and is always working on her craft.”
High expectations often bring challenges, and Flores has had her share. But the game has pushed and stretched her as she’s come into her own.
“A challenge that I’ve had is having self confidence. I’ve really struggled with that,” says Flores. “Just believing in myself is one of the things I’ve worked on the most.”
She receives support from her family, especially her father, whom she says plays a big role in keeping her calm through the rough days.
“He’s the one who makes me put things in perspective and guides me in the right direction,” says Flores.
As she heads to Seattle to compete for the Huskies and study either business or environmental science, Flores remains grateful to God for the opportunities she’s received through playing softball.
“God has always had a big impact in my life and sports,” says Flores. “I’m just thankful that he put me in this place, able to play softball, able to go to Mater Dei.
“I feel like through softball, I can get closer to God.”