Mount Si softball team rallies for sidelined senior
May 23, 2012
Two unrelated, preseason concussions sidelined Maura Murphy’s senior year with Mount Si High School’s softball team, and now her teammates are dedicating the remaining season to honor her.
Murphy, 18, made the varsity team her freshman year as a shortstop/second baseman, impressing her teammates and coach ever since.
“She’s a real leader for this team, both on and off the field,” head coach Larry White said. “Everyone who meets her just falls in love with her.”
Murphy signed on with The George Washington University in D.C. on a softball scholarship, which now could be in jeopardy, White said.
His voice cracked and he held back tears when he said, “She’s like a daughter to me. I’d hate to have to see her softball career end like this.”
Murphy said the east coast university approached her about playing softball.
The school had just hired a new coach who came from Western Washington University.
“He had seen me play and convinced them that they should take a look at me,” Murphy said.
Murphy, who plans to study pre-med in college, plays summer softball league and has been ever since she was “tiny.”
Last summer during a game, a runner ran into her on first base and her head “just smacked the ground,” Murphy said, which resulted in the first concussion.
Then this year, a friend at school who was just goofing around smacked the side of her head. She said he wasn’t trying to hurt her or anything, and it wasn’t really hard, but it did result in her concussion symptoms returning.
Murphy suited up in her number six uniform for all of the Wildcats’ games this season, and cheered her teammates on from the bench.
“This sport and this team mean the world to me,” she said. “Not being able to play has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
Now, just as the Wildcats are heading into tournament season, Murphy won’t even be on the bench to cheer them on.
White said doctors want Murphy to lie down at lunchtime and go home after school and take it easy.
“It’s horrible,” she said May 8, after the Wildcats’ final regular season game and the last one she’ll be attending. “First, I wasn’t able to play. And now, not even being able to watch — it’s just so frustrating.”
White said doctors are trying to retrain her brain, adding that it’s everyone’s hope she recovers and the doctors will clear her to play at George Washington next year.
To honor Murphy, all Wildcats’ softball helmets will be sporting the number “six.”