CHEYENNE – Deciding whether to run track or play softball wasn’t easy for Marissa Moorehouse.
She loves both sports, and the opportunity to be part of the inaugural season sanctioned by the Wyoming High School Activities Association was hard for Moorehouse to pass up. Especially since her older sister, Michaela, was suiting up for Cheyenne South.
“I was really torn,” she said. “I chose track because I love it. I really love running. By doing track, I get to do four sports in a year.”
Moorehouse’s performance at the Class 3A state track and field meet shows she made the right choice.
She ran one of the 200-meter legs on Torrington’s state record-setting 1,600-meter sprint medley relay team. She also was on the state runner-up 4x400-meter relay squad, placed fifth in long jump with a mark of 15 feet, 9½ inches and competed in the 200.
“I’d say I made the right decision,” Moorehouse said with a laugh.
The junior – who also plays volleyball and basketball for the Lady Trailblazers – is back on the softball diamond batting leadoff and starting in center field for the Cheyenne Extreme-Wysocki under-18 squad. Coach Xia Wysocki is even trying to put use Moorehouse’s speed for Extreme.
Moorehouse is a natural right-handed batter, but has been working on hitting left-handed. The thought is she can get to first quicker from the left-handed batter’s box and then wreak havoc on the base paths.
Moorehouse was primarily bunting for base hits at the season-opening Extreme Weekend tournament.
“She has done a great job of jumping in with both feet and taking that task on,” Wysocki said after that tournament. “She hit a lot of balls in the infield and beat them out.
“She has a good swing righty, but she can have more fun as a lefty. We’re going to push it and eventually learn to swing away and put the ball over people’s heads left-handed.”
Moorehouse has gone 5 for 12 (.417) with a double and two RBIs. She also has two stolen bases, which is tied for second-most for Extreme (2-6).
“I like hitting left-handed,” Moorehouse said. “You’re already further down the baseline than you are when you are as a right-hander. With my speed, I stand a better shot at getting on base and causing trouble.”
Michaela Moorehouse said this isn’t her younger sister’s first time experimenting with switch hitting. She toyed with it as a youngster when their parents coached them with the Torrington Twisters.
Marissa Moorehouse’s biggest concern about choosing track over softball was that she would be a season behind her peers. She did her best to keep up by working out with Michaela whenever she practiced in Torrington.
“We went to the gym and did tee work and pitched some,” said Michaela, who spends her summers playing for Extreme-Galicia. “It was great having her there to help keep me motivated to practice on days I wasn’t coming to Cheyenne to practice with South. We were able to really help each other out.”