Bitburg's Moore heads All-Europe
Stars and Stripes June 13, 2003
It might be her third straight time as an All-Europe first-teamer, but senior right-hand power pitcher Tanja Moore of Bitburg is far from blasé about the selection.
“It’s one of the honors not everyone can get,” she said after being named to the 2003 All-Europe softball team by a selection panel composed of Vickie Murphy of London Central, Daniel Vasquez of Bitburg and Kent Grosshuesch of Ramstein and chaired by DODDS-Europe athletic director Karen Seadore. “I’m really grateful to get it.”
Moore might be thankful for her selection, but the operative word in her case is deserving. According to Lady Barons’ coach Vasquez, Moore’s senior season broke down to a 7-1 record with 56 strikeouts in 37 innings pitched, a 2.45 earned run average and an oppoinents’ team batting average of .174. She threw twice as many strikes as balls in spite of her fire-balling style.
“Her only loss on the mound was by one run to three-time Division I champion Lakenheath in our first game of the season,” Vasquez said. “She pitched three one-hitters and a two-hitter. Her regular season was highlighted by a five-inning one-hitter against Mannheim when she struck out 14 batters in five innings and faced just two batters more than the minimum.”
Things went just as well for Moore during the European Division II tournament, where she won three games, including her third straight championship game. In the tournament, she allowed a total of nine hits, fanned 22 batters and held the opposition to a .145 batting average.
Moore accomplished all that, she said with her usual game, hard stuff over the plate.
“I just throw fastballs,” she said, admitting freely that she didn’t try to change speeds or move the ball around in the strike zone, the only location she cares about. “I try to throw strikes.”
Offensively, Vasquez said, Moore went 7-for-9 at the plate during the tournament, a 339-point improvement over her already gaudy regular-season BA of .439, and driving in five runs to add to her regular-season total of 21 RBIs.
“I’d rather be on offense,” she said. “That’s where you win games.”
Maybe, but you’re more likely to win games with the 2003 edition of Tanja Moore on the mound even if she didn’t bat.
“I had a new pitching coach this year, Angie Campbell,” Moore said. “She really helped. We worked on always staying focused and putting it out of my mind and going on if something went wrong or I got a bad call.”
In addition to Campbell, Moore was quick to credit some others for helping her to a third straight All-Europe team — the four-time European champion Lady Barons.
“It was all teamwork,” she said, praising a group which has stayed mostly the same during a four-year stay at the top of Division II but is now breaking up. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. I just pitch the ball. They’re the ones who get the outs for me.”
Bitburg’s team feeling was fully apparent last month at Landstuhl, when a choked-up Moore shared tears of joy with her teammates after they had run the table with that fourth crown. Three weeks later, feelings remain high.
“Every time I think about it, I still get kind of emotional,” she said, “when I think about how hard we worked and how much we accomplished.”
Moore hopes to accomplish a bit more in her sport.
“I’d like to play college ball,” she said, “but I don’t know where. It depends on where my family goes.”
Moore’s indecision is a product of her years in Europe with stints in England, Turkey and Germany. She has never attended a Stateside camp and is therefore athletically unknown in the country where she and her family are scheduled to be reassigned this summer. “She’s the rock of Bitburg softball the past three years,” Vasquez said.