Notebook: Moreno Named NJCAA Dist. 2 MVP

Sheldon High School graduate Shea Moreno had a breakout collegiate softball season in Oklahoma this spring. She’s playing in the Junior College National  Softball Championships this week in Arizona. (photo courtesy Seminole State University). | 



By John Hull | 

Seminole State University of Oklahoma will play in the second round of the National Junior College Athletic Association’s women's softball championships later today against Florida Southwestern State College. What that has to do with sports in and around Elk Grove is that former Sheldon High School standout Shea Moreno will be in the lineup for Seminole State.

Moreno has had such a great season in Oklahoma this spring that last week she was honored as the NJCAA District 2 Most Valuable Player. She’s batted a hefty .704 this season, playing primarily at third base. Moreno had 21 homers, 99 RBIs and 35 stolen bases in 49 games. Her slugging percentage was an incredible 1.348.

“I really don’t know,” Moreno admitted when asked how she managed to bat over .700 to this point of the season. “I had in my mind that when I went to the plate I had nothing to lose. I just let myself have fun.”

It helps, too, that Seminole State has some good softball coaches, too. The Trojans were 45-4 this season entering the 16-team national softball championship tournament being held now in Yuma, Ariz.

The road to the small rural town of Seminole in central Oklahoma is quite a circuitous one for the 2018 Sheldon grad. She initially went to UCLA but was redshirted her first year and ended leaving there, playing at San Mateo State in 2019. Then COVID-19 hit.

“I had a few losses in the family and I dropped out of school,” Moreno explained.

This spring she wanted to get back on the diamond and in the classroom. A year ago Moreno committed to Mississippi State. Because she was behind in college credits, Bulldog coach Samantha Ricketts phoned a former player, Amber Flores, the head coach at Seminole State. Moreno and Flores hit it off and she was on her way to school in Seminole, about an hour outside of Oklahoma City.

“(Flores) is really good with us,” Moreno said. “She looks at us as humans, not just another softball product.”

Moreno has actually learned to appreciate the rural life of middle America during the past few months, as well.

“I’ve learned a lot of things,” she said. “I’ve now learned the difference between a cow, a heifer, a steer and a bull.”

Moreno has finished sophomore year in college and is on her way to Mississippi State to major in Business in the fall. She earned his Associates of Liberal Arts degree two weeks ago.

Larson finishes 2nd, again

For the third time in three weeks of racing on NASCAR’s Cup Series, Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson has finished in second place. On Sunday he was runner-up to Chase Elliot at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Tex. NASCAR red-flagged the event after 54 of a planned 68 laps of the 3.4 mile road course and then called it when the rain failed to abate.

Already NASCAR media is putting Larson up as the favorite for the Coca-Cola 600, the traditional Memorial Day weekend race coming up on Sunday.

Playing Pebble Beach

On a personal note, I dropped a mark in my golf bucket list Monday when my two sons treated me to 18 holes at Pebble Beach Golf Club in Monterey. I won’t tell you what I scored, but let me say that it is worth whatever it costs for green fees, a caddy and tips (my sons won’t tell me how much). I never was more nervous on a tee box as I was on the first hole knowing where I was playing.

I quickly rebounded and played quite well, birdied number four and parred the seventh hole (the par three on a rock that sticks out into the ocean). I am a 16-handicap and quickly discovered how good the scratch golfers and pros must perform in playing Pebble successfully. Shot placement is essential along with a quality short game. The traps MUST be avoided on this course. My caddy was raking sand all day.

If you are a low to middle-handicap duffer you must put this course onto your golf bucket list, as well.

I now know what golf in heaven will be like.

 


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