Morese leads ‘Nova sweep, sets homerun record

Jamie Augustinsky

The softball team is off to its best start since the 2002 season, and part of the reason for its success has been the outstanding play of Meghan Morese.

This past weekend, the senior catcher led the Wildcats to two wins against Lehigh in the team’s double-header home opener. In an 8-3 victory in the opening game, Morese connected on three hits. She also went 2-2 in the second game and had the team’s only RBI in a 2-1 win that completed the sweep. But this isn’t the first time this season that she has given Wildcats’ fans something to cheer about.

The team finished the tournament portion of its schedule this season at 11-4. Before the games on Saturday, Morese held the second best batting average on the team, hitting at .333. In a 6-3 victory over Western Michigan at the UCF Invitational in late February, Morese broke Villanova’s all-time homerun record, hitting the 28th and 29th long ball of her career. At the USF Under Armour Invitational earlier this month, she hit at .500 in five games with two runs scored, two RBIs and a .714 slugging percentage as the ‘Cats finished the tournament 4-1. Her efforts got her named to the all-tourney team and also allowed her to be named to the Big East Honor Roll for the week of March 9.

Athletic success is nothing new for Morese. At her high school in her hometown of Laguna Hills, California, she played three varsity sports: softball, volleyball and basketball. Morese lettered two years in volleyball and was named the MVP of her team in 2003.

She was named to the All-League softball team during her sophomore and junior years, and was the captain of the team in her senior year. That same year, she was named the MVP of her softball team, Woman Athlete of the Year and capped off her high school career by playing in the North-South All-Star Game.

During her first collegiate season in 2006, Morese led the team in numerous categories including batting average (.364), hits (64), doubles (16) and RBIs (39). She was also the team’s leading homerun hitter with 11 on the season, a total good enough to break the school’s single-season record.

Her efforts on the season got her named to the All-Big East first team. During her sophomore season, she again led the team in RBIs with 29 and had 10 multiple hit games.

Last season, her .352 batting average was the best on the team, as was her RBI total (37) and home run total (10). Her .611 slugging percentage was also a team high, and she finished the entire season with just two errors. At the conclusion of the season, Morese was named to the Second Team All-Northeast Region. She was one of only three Big East athletes selected to the team and the first Villanova softball player named to the team since 2004.

Since the softball season is just getting under way, there is still a lot to be seen from Morese, as she continues to lead the team and tries to make her final season as a Wildcat the most memorable one yet.