SALEM — Senior Rachel Morrissey may not be the vocal type, but her bat has been making noise for the Salem’s softball team much of the season.
The overshadowed younger sister of former standout Brenna, who is currently a stalwart infielder at Georgia State, Morrissey was the hitting star yesterday in a 3-2 nine-inning victory over Timberlane in a terrific battle of two of the top teams in the region.
As the designated player (hitter), Morrissey had an RBI double and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Brittany Wallace to open the scoring for Salem (8-2) in the second and then scored the winning run in the ninth on a Rachel Murphy RBI hit after reaching base on a sharp single to left with one out.
“Rachel’s a captain and a quiet leader on and off the field,” said Salem coach Harold Sachs. “She’s had a lot of big hits for us.”
Coming one day after a 2-0 loss to Concord, Morrissey had one thought when she came to the plate in the ninth.
“Just to get on base anyway I could,” said Morrissey. “We were excited about this game after yesterday and I thought we regrouped and came together.”
As to whether she thinks she’s been overshadowed by her older sister, Morrissey said: “Not usually ... I’ve always looked up to her and use her as a role model.”
Morrissey’s final run made a winner of Kaitlyn Arsenault, who pitched a perfect final two innings in relief, striking out three, in relief of sophomore Katie Dawson.
Dawson took a 2-0 lead into the seventh, thanks partly due to some outstanding defense, highlighted by a sensational catch in deep left field by Meaghan Williams with two runners on base in the first inning.
“That was huge,” said Sachs. “Potentially, we would have been down 2-0 with a young pitcher on the mound.”