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Q&A with Camry Moore

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 15, 2020 in Softball

Concordia University softball sophomore Camry Moore had been impressive in the spring of 2020. The shortened campaign saw her hit .422 with four home runs, 20 RBIs and an .889 slugging percentage. As a pitcher, she was 7-1 with a 1.27 ERA and just four walks allowed in 55 innings. We covered a variety of topics in this Q&A with the Crete, Neb., native.

You and your teammates were on a bus traveling back from Florida when a lot of the concerns were starting to be raised in the U.S. about the coronavirus. What were the discussions like with teammates during that trip in regards to how this might affect the softball season and life in general?

I don’t think any of us knew how serious this coronavirus pandemic was going to be and how much it would change our daily lives. We had heard that places in Oklahoma City were shutting down, but as far as the team knew, we were still going there to play Oklahoma City University. When Coach Semler stood up in the bus, announced that he had just gotten off the phone with administration and that we might’ve just played our last softball game of the season, I think us girls were kind of in shock. It didn’t seem real. Our bus changed routes and started heading towards Seward instead of OKC. That was probably the longest 26 hours of my life. Stuck on a bus, still dirty and sweaty from our two last games in Florida, our season was up in the air. I don’t think any of us slept very well that night. As you could expect, our seniors probably took it the hardest hearing Coach say their softball careers were probably over. For my best friend and life-long teammate, Mac Schmidt, it was the end of her collegiate career as she is going off to UNMC next year. I went and sat with her for a while on the bus after Coach’s announcement, but no words were exchanged, just silence and a few tears for the both of us. I think we all still had a little hope that we would get the chance to continue our season, but those hopes were shut down days later.

What are some ways you have tried to fill the time void over the last month without having softball?

This past month has been so odd. I’m all moved in and living at home like it’s summer, yet I’m spending much of my time sitting at a desk in my room doing schoolwork. I am trying to continue hitting and pitching at my house, but it just doesn’t feel right. I am doing individual softball workouts at home with my dad when we should be out traveling and winning games. While it’s been hard to do stuff softball related, I have been staying busy and active with my sister by working on our golf skills. We like to do what is called “hillbilly Top Golf.” We tee off next to one of our sheds and swing away into our low-cut pasture. I get my cardio in by running through the pasture picking up all of the balls. Our family is also in the middle of redoing our basement, so we have been ripping up carpet, chipping out tiles and painting. It is good to keep my mind off of what life should be like right now without this coronavirus.

What strategies have you come up with for succeeding in online classes and developing a new routine that works for you during this time?

I definitely feel like online classes are a lot more time consuming than they were face-to-face. I only have one class a day that meets at a specific time through Blackboard Collaborate. I try to keep my study and homework times as close as I can to when they normally were. The professors have been really good with communication, making sure we are staying on top of our work and answering any questions that arise. I’ve always kept track of my schoolwork in a planner, but I use that much more now that classes are online to make sure I don’t miss any deadlines. The thing is, I open up my planner for the week and all of the softball games we were supposed to be playing I already had written in. That makes me a little upset.

In what ways have you and your teammates stayed connected at a time of physical isolation from them?

As a team, we haven’t done a whole lot together. A few messages and prayer requests here and there. I think most of us are just keeping in touch with our few closer friends. Kylee (Nixon) and I still text and Snapchat on and off all day, every day. Every Friday night in Crete is Cruise Night. Last Friday night, my parents took out one Mustang and my sister and I took out another and we joined in on the cruise route. Driving down Main Street, we saw MacKinsey and the Schmidt family out cruising as well.

The team was 12-2 when the remainder of the season was canceled. What was the level of confidence like within the team that this had a chance to be a pretty special season?

This season was going to blow last season out of the water. Our team was just getting started. While we were 12-2, we easily could’ve been 14-0. When our season got canceled, we were still getting into the groove of taking ground balls on dirt and getting fly balls higher than the field house ceiling. We still had so much room to improve this season, and I was so excited to see where we’d go! We worked so hard in the weight room, in the Fieldhouse and in the Hitting Center all offseason. I think we all had a great amount of trust and confidence in each other on the field. And if one of us was struggling, there was always someone who had their back and could pick them up.

Individually, you had really taken a step forward both as a hitter and pitcher as compared to your freshman season. What was the biggest difference for you personally?

Last year was a big learning experience for me. College softball is so different than high school ball and summer ball, no matter the level you are used to. I think last year I learned how to manage softball with classwork, what college softball workouts were like, and getting used to the feel of college games. I was a little timid on the field and had more nerves than I was used to. This year I knew what to expect and wanted different results at the end of the season. At my exit meeting with Coach Semler last May, I asked if there was any way to get some kind of pitching coach to challenge and push me to be better. Right before Christmas break, Semler asked what I’d think if he asked my dad to come onto staff as a pitching coach. My dad coached me for most of my childhood and he was my pitching coach for my high school team. I was all for it, as long as my teammates were okay with it, too. I think that is one of the big reasons I was performing above my freshman level. Our pitching workouts this year were structured and challenged each pitcher to get better. My approach at the plate changed as well. My freshman season I was a little hesitant and was more worried about getting contact. This year my goal was to go up to the plate with a purpose and be ready to drive the ball. I wasn’t as worried about where I hit it, but when I’d swing, I’d swing hard.

Your high school coach Shawn Carr recently announced that he was stepping away from his position at Crete High School. What have Coach Carr and some of the other coaches you’ve had meant to you in terms of shaping who you are right now?

Coach Carr has been a huge part of my life! He made our high school team into a family. He truly loves each of his players like they are his own girls. With that being said, it was time for him to move his teaching career closer to his girls at home in Seward. His three daughters are like my little sisters! Carr is a great softball coach, but he’s an even better person. He has taught me so many things on and off the diamond. He’s taught me how to coach a team and turn a team into a family. I cannot wait until I get to use all of the lessons he’s taught me to coach a team of my own someday. Softball is just a small part of who we are and there is so much more to life than the game. I’m sure Coach Carr won’t be done coaching for long, but I know Crete Softball is forever changed because of the 15 years of hard work he put into the program.

It’s sad to see some of the seniors now be finished with their softball careers, but there’s a lot of talent coming back for next year. What do you imagine the anticipation will be like for next year, especially considering there were so few games played this spring?

Having our season cut short was/is terrible. I do think it is extra motivation to succeed next year. We are going to work extra hard to continue the upward climb of this team and show who we are and who we can be! This is also a good reminder that we never know when we will play our last game, so we should give 100% every opportunity we get. Our seniors didn’t get a chance to finish out their final season and show all of their hard work and leadership, so I think it is important that we continue what they had worked so hard on the past four years. We are going to still have a strong group of girls next year with some awesome freshmen coming in, so I am super excited to see the growth continue within CUNE Softball!