UHV sophomore and family members unite around softball
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Every home game for Marley Moehrig is like a family reunion.
Burdge Field serves as the meeting point for the University of Houston-Victoria sophomore's biological family and her Jaguar family to get together.
And at any given game, a number of Moehrig's relatives will fill the stands, cheering loudly for their hometown hero.
While grateful to have the support of her family, the Victoria Memorial graduate admits she tries to tune them out while at bat.
Sometimes, however, an unmistakable voice rings out over the rest.
"I'll pick out my Grandma," Moehrig said. "I can always hear her in the background (saying) 'Come on, you can get a hit.'"
Thursday's doubleheader against Ohio Dominican was no exception as members of Moehrig's family converged to watch the Jaguars spilt their games.
After falling to the Panthers 1-0 in the opener, UHV rallied in the sixth inning of the second contest, scoring the game's final three runs to earn a 5-3 victory, improving its overall record to 16-4.
And, as always, Moehrig's personal cheering section was extremely vocal.
"We are a very close-knit family," Marley's mother Blanche Moehrig said. "If she is out there (playing), normally it will be everybody (in the stands)."
The fanaticism is appreciated not only by Moehrig, but by her team as well.
"It means a lot," Jaguars coach Keri Lambeth said. "We pride ourselves on being a family-oriented team and having her family here and being so supportive means so much to not only me, but to our entire family.
"Our team is our family, so it does wonders."
After playing catcher on the final Memorial softball squad, Moehrig decided to attend UHV in order to remain close to home.
Once on the team, she did what most family members do for one another - she sacrificed.
After being beat out by Kristina Droz for the starting catcher position, Moehrig accepted a new position in the outfield, where she has thrived.
Through 20 games, she has a perfect fielding percentage with 14 putouts and 12 assists.
Offensively, she has been equally impressive, entering Wednesday's doubleheader, she had a .319 batting average with 15 hits, including a team-high tying two home runs, and 16 RBIs.
Unfortunately, she could not come up with a timely hit during her final at bat of the opener against Ohio Dominican.
Trailing 1-0 with two outs and runners on first and third, Moehrig was struck out looking to end the game.
"I felt like it was a little outside," Moehrig said of the game-ending pitch.
While some might hang their head after a similar incident, Moehrig displayed the poise Lambeth loves to see from her players.
"She was not happy about it, obviously. None of us were," the coach said. "But she battled back over her next few at bats (in the second contest) and did what she had to do."
Moehrig began playing softball at five years old and was heavily influenced by her uncle, former Orioles pitcher Allan Ramirez, as well as several other coaches over the years.
"I told her 'You are going to have a special pew of nothing but coaches and people who have always been there with you (at your wedding),'" Blanche Moehrig said. "She has so many people to be grateful and thankful for in her life."
And most of them can be found at Burdge Field during UHV home games.
GAME NOTES• In the opening game, UHV left a total of nine runners on base, including two in second, fourth, fifth and seventh innings.
• The Jaguars were undefeated at home before losing to Ohio Dominican, dropping their home record to 7-1 on the season.
• UHV left fielder Ariel Gomez combined to go 4 of 6 (2 of 3 in each contest) and scored one run during the two games.
• The Jaguars recorded the only extra base hits of the day in the second game as Gomez hit two doubles and Porsha Ramos also hit a double, while Brittany Arredondo posted a triple.