After achieving success locally, an Estevan high school student is on track to continue her softball dream.
Morgan Walter committed to the Universty of Mary in Bismarck, N.D. and will continue playing next year at the NCAA Div. II level. For the 5’3” centrefielder/shortstop, it’s been a long road to get to the level of play she’s at now.
“I started playing when I was quite young and I just stuck with it,” said Walter. “The coaches kept pushing me to be involved in the sport. I just kept competing and just wanted to keep getting better and better.”
Family has been instrumental in helping kickstart Walter’s interest in softball and keep it going.
“If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here today,” she said. “They put me in multiple sports, drove me all those places and worked with me every day after school. They’re always putting in their time to help me get better.”
Walter’s primary position is centrefield, a position requiring a lot of speed, and she’s typically been a leadoff hitter in her career on the diamond, getting on base and trying to swipe a bag or two before getting driven home.
“I hit four home runs in my career so far,” she said. “I just want to hit for power and get on base more.
Walter has been playing at a high level recently and joined an Edmonton winter team.
“I go to four tournaments in the States and I miss about a week of school ever time I go,” Walter said. “My teachers have been really good and I’ve been able to get my homework ahead of time and get it done. It’s a huge effort but it’s totally worth it in the end.”
One of the girls off her winter team in Edmonton will be joining her at University of Mary. Softball is a chatty sport, with the diamonds swimming in encouraging banter directed at batters, pitchers, fielders and runners and that kind of environment is one of the things Walter likes about competing in the sport.
“They’re friends for life,” she said. “When you’re on a team and you play with them almost year-round, they become forever friends. You stay in contact with them and you build a really close relationship both on and off the field.”
While at school, Walter will major in physical education with minors in coaching and biology.
“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher since I was young and now that I’m competing in softball, I’ve always wanted to give back what I know to younger students,” Walter said. “I really want to focus on giving back to my community for all they’ve given to me.”
Walter would like to make the Canadian national team in the future but is focusing on school for now.
Walter was recruited by University of Mary Marauders head coach Stephanie Roan and will start play in the fall. They were 18-19 last year, including 9-15 in their Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The team has a pair of tournamets in February and March before they get into their regular season.
“It’s becoming pretty real now,” Walter said.