Lane hits it off with new club – the Senators
CARSON CITY – It’s said that first impressions are the most lasting.
So, when junior first baseman Moriah Lane, a transfer from South Tahoe High, hit the scoreboard the first day of softball practice at Carson High this spring, it’s safe to say she opened some eyes and earned some respect from her new teammates.
Lane has been a hit machine for the Senators. Heading into Thursday’s game with Damonte Ranch, Lane was hitting .481 with two homers and nine RBI while solidifying the middle of the Senators’ batting order.
“I saw her the last couple of years when she was in the other dugout,” Carson coach Scott Vickrey. “I knew she was a pretty good player. We lost a big hitter when we lost Cassie (Vondrak). I’d put her (Lane’s) bat right up there. She’s taken on Cassie’s responsibility as well as anybody could.
“Moriah knows how to take the ball to the opposite field. She has consistently put the ball in play. She is going to play somewhere at the next level.”
Lane’s success isn’t a surprise to several of her teammates. Lane played last summer for the Carson Sharks. Several of her current teammates, including catcher Megan Hein, were members of that team.
“She’s brought us alive,” Hein said. “I knew what she could do. You can always depend on her. I’m not surprised. I played with her this summer.”
Lane credits her early success as a hitter to her father, Lou, who used to take her to a nearby field in Tahoe every day for practice.
“I went out every day and hit 250 pitches,” Lane said. “I lived pretty close to the field. My dad knows a lot about baseball. We’d do tee work and he’d pitch to me.”
Lane started playing Little League at the age of 6 and didn’t stop until she was 13. She absolutely terrorized opposing pitchers, hitting 13 homers in her last two years in the major division of the South Tahoe National Little League. She spent three years in the majors and made the all-stars each year.
“I could tell they (the boys) were jealous, but we did get along. I was the target for teasing because I was the only girl,” she said.
Lane smiles when she remembers an all-star game when she was 13. South Tahoe was playing a Reno team, and the father of the pitcher was sitting behind the backstop.
He said, “‘Easy out; she’s a girl,'” recalled Lane, who went on to hit a homer.
Lane gave up baseball after Little League, turning to softball because that’s where her future was going to be in high school and beyond.
While her dad helped in the early stages of her career, Lane has started taking lessons from former UNR baseball great Andy Dominique, who currently serves as an assistant softball coach at Nevada.
“We’ve done a few lessons,” Lane said. “He’s really improved my swing. He’s really a great coach. I just started with him this year. He’s been working on getting my top hand to the ball, throwing my hands at the ball and using my lower half and not just my upper half of my body.”
Lane said hitting was a big adjustment when she switched from baseball to softball.
“The pitching was different,” Lane said. “The ball is coming at different angles (in softball compared to baseball). I caught on pretty quick. Adjusting to slower pitching has been tough. I have problems with changeups at times.”
Lane played shortstop at South Tahoe, but has been primarily at first base since coming to Carson.
“I loved playing shortstop,” Lane said. “I’m more comfortable at first base.”
Carson has been struggling in the field this season, and Vickrey has been looking for a way to add Natalie Morrow’s bat to the lineup. Lane took some balls at shortstop after practice, and Vickrey hinted he could experiment with Lane elsewhere in the infield during the Reed Easter Tournament.
One of the things that makes Lane happy is that she is on a team that has a legitimate shot to make the playoffs every year. South Tahoe has been perennial second-division team in the Sierra League.
“It’s nice being on a team with a chance for the playoffs every year,” Lane said. “When we beat Douglas earlier this year, I remember saying, ‘So this is what it’s like to beat Douglas.’
“At South Tahoe we were indoors for a good part of the season. They just had a snow day (Monday). It’s hard going from indoors to outdoors.”
And, Lane seems to have blended in with her new teammates. Playing with the Sharks last summer certainly helped pave the way for her.
“It’s really nice being here,” Lane said. “I was scared at first. Up in Tahoe you know everyone else and then you come to a place like Carson and you don’t know anybody. My parents own a restaurant here in Carson. They had been commuting for two years, and they were always tired. Moving made it a lot easier for them. Maybe it helped me a little bit, too.”
It certainly has helped the Senators.
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