Story and photos by Chet Piotrowski Jr
Charleston pitcher Karah Moore hadn’t set out to break the school’s all-time win record set at 40 by Emily Price in 2019.
She was just happy to be the number two pitcher behind Price.
“I know Emily Price holds the record,” Moore said. “She’s had a big impact on my pitching career. Years ago before she went off to college, she would work with me on my pitching and hitting. It would be awesome to match, if not beat, that record.”
But after posting an 18-1 record her sophomore year, two shy of the season record set by Price in that same season, she began to wonder.
“It wasn’t a goal I set out to get,” she said. “It was just kind of convenience after my sophomore year. I was like ‘Whoa! I got close to the season (record). My next two years I might be able to make my way up to the career (record). I wasn’t really pushing to get there, but I was like ‘That would be cool if i got it’. I’m really happy that we got to this point.”
This point is Friday.
Moore’s opportunity could come in a doubleheader at Apollo Conference foe Mt. Zion (20-5, 7-1 Apollo). If Charleston (18-3, 6-2 Apollo) sweeps the doubleheader, the Trojans could leapfrog Effingham who sits in second and land in first place.
“I think it would be great to do it against Mt. Zion,” she said.
Varsity softball coach Blain Mayhall said it’s not an easy task to accomplish.
“It’s one of those things to do where it’s hard to do,” he said. She digs in there and I trust her out there.”
“Karah is a gamer,” he said. “She has been. She came in when I coached her in middle school and wanted to prove something. She did that every year. She had her chance in eighth grade and hasn’t really looked back since. She pitched a little bit in seventh grade, but took a huge step in eighth and took that and ran with it. You want that. You challenge them and they step up. I couldn’t be more proud of her for that.”
Mayhall said Moore understands that not every pitch needed to be over the plate.
“Amber (May) would say it, so I’m going to say it since she’s not here, but, when we’re up in the count, you don’t always have to throw a strike when you’re up in the count,” he said. “Move the ball around, get them to chase, make them hit your pitch. She really bought into that because, as a pitcher, it’s what you want to do — strike everyone out. But when you’re ahead 0-2 or 1-2 ( in the count), you don’t have to throw them what they want to hit. She’s really worked on that from her sophomore year on, and that’s what I’m probably most impressed with.”
Her battery mate, senior Erin Blair, says Moore has grown both physically and mentally.
“She’s gotten mentally stronger,” Blair said. “You can tell our bond has gotten better, too. We trust each other to do whatever we need to do out there. She’s just gotten better.”
Blair said Moore owns mistakes and doesn’t point the finger when they happen.
“She’s always going to be positive,” she said. “She’s going to own up to a mistake – you can trust her to not blame anyone else and take responsibility and be there for her team.”
Senior Maci Mayhall said she’s literally watched Moore improve from second base.
“Her ball moves, like crazy!” she said. “I can see it all the way out at second base. I can see that ball movin’. It’s awesome. I think it’s really big for her to get and achievement for the team as well.”
Mayhall said she brings considerable energy to the diamond.
“Karah has a lot of energy,” she said. “Always. I know that if she’s having an off-day, she knows that we have her back and that she has ours as well.”
Moore says she definitely tries to bring energy. “I know every one has bad days,” she said. “I try to hold myself accountable and – do – and some days I don’t. I try to bring good vibes to the dugout for the girls and lift everyone up because everyone has bad games.”
Moore credits having a great team behind her in helping her get reach this achievement.
“If I didn’t have them behind me,” she said. “I wouldn’t be at this point.”