Friday, June 1, 2012
Cal-Hi Sports State Athlete of the Week
By Harold Abend
MeShalon Moore helped Sacramento Shelton win CIF Sac-Joaquin Section title.
Sacramento Sheldon and catching standout Moore have eyes on College Softball World Series.
MeShalon Moore from Sheldon of Sacramento was just one of three Huskies to have a phenomenal stretch of games in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Division I playoffs.
The UC Santa Barbara-bound catcher’s current battery mate, senior Arizona State-committed pitcher Alexis Cooper, as well as Nevada-bound outfielder Danielle Wiltz, were also equally deserving of being honored.
Now, after Moore joined Cooper, whom she’s caught since both were 9 years old, and Wiltz in leading Sheldon to the playoff championship, the delightful, well-spoken 3.6 GPA student-athlete has been named the final girls ESPNHS Cal-Hi Sports State Athlete of the Week for the 2011-2012 school year.
In an 8-1 victory over Shingle Springs Ponderosa, the Sheldon backstop was unstoppable as a hitter. She was 4-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored.
For the entire six-game playoffs, in which Sheldon outscored opponents 75-8 combined, Moore was 14-for-22 with the one long fly, six doubles, 11 RBIs, and nine runs scored – and this output was only in five games after she was 0-for-4 in the playoff opener against Tracy.
Ironically, after Sheldon lost its last game of Delta River Conference play to Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove, the Huskies only qualified for the playoffs after Sacramento St. Francis lost a squeaker to Ponderosa the same evening.
Once in the playoffs, the five-time section titlists were not to be denied.
When Cal ace, and former Sheldon star Jolene Henderson, who pitched and won Cal’s College World Series opener on Thursday, attended an early playoff game, it gave Moore a spark.
“Jolene is one of my best friends, and when I saw her at our game it inspired me. Seeing what she’s done, I wanted to carry on in that tradition.”
Henderson wasn’t the only former Sheldon player now at Cal to come to that playoff game. Jolene’s sister, Danielle Henderson, was there as well. Another current Bear and former Huskies’ standout Lindsey Ziegenhirt came back to cheer during the regular season.
“For Jolene, Danielle and Lindsey to put that time in to support us while their own dreams are coming true really did help the girls,” said Sheldon coach Mary Jo Truesdale, who is currently in Oklahoma City doing some cheering herself.
Leadership and teammates
“Alexis, Danielle and me are all captains and we’re pretty close. I’m the motivational one. I try to pick up the team when they’re down without getting on them for making errors or mistakes. I try to help make it fun instead of a job.”
MeShalon Moore helped Sheldon of Sacramento to second straight section title.
“She’s kind, considerate and has a great, positive attitude, a true ballplayer with a great eye for the game. She takes care of everyone on the field and is a coach and mentor for the younger players,” said Truesdale, who in 30 plus years of coaching high school first in Michigan and since 1997 at Sheldon when it opened has won approximately 600 games.
“She’s one of those all-around players that can play other positions besides catcher. As a hitter she can hit the long ball or put one down when needed,” continued Truesdale, who retired from full-time teaching at Sheldon two years ago and now teaches one work experience class.
Getting the “Big Marble”
“She’s the type of coach that’s a motivator but when she gets upset she can be angry," Moore said of her coach. "We want to keep her happy because her happiness is a vibe we steal.”
Playing for Truesdale also means collecting the marbles with Sheldon’s colors the coach passes out after each win. For the section title, MeShalon and her mates got the Big Marble.
She’s an artsy sort
MeShalon doesn’t play any other sports, but she’s into art.
“I’m an artsy person. I took AP art and I do media arts, oil pastels and pencil work.”
Family of nicknames
“MeMe” is MeShalon’s nickname, but she’s not the only one with a nickname in the Moore household.
Her father, Bakyra Moore, a field worker for AT&T that played football and baseball, is nicknamed “Bam.”
Karen Moore, her mother and an office worker at AT&T, doesn’t have a nickname and wasn’t much of an athlete, but the same can’t be said about MeMe’s big sister.
Following big sis
DeJanee “Dej” Moore was a multi-position star for Sheldon last year and is now at UC Santa Barbara awaiting MeMe’s arrival in the fall.
“Coach Brie (Galicinao) scouted us as a package and wanted both of us,” remarked MeMe, who is undecided on first-year courses but has an eye on becoming an architect.
“It’s kind of cool going to the same school as my sister and its easier on my parents.”
Player: “Buster Posey, the catcher. He’s amazing.”
Actor/actress: “Kristen Stewart.”
Music: “Old school R and B.
Food: “Asian soup Mami. A friend introduced it to me.”
Car: “A vintage BMW.”
Vacation spot: “New York. My dream is to go there.”
Things MeMe looks forward to in college
“Being with my sister, playing softball with the team and being on my own and responsible for myself.”
Advice for young girls
“We put on a clinic called Baby Magic, and when the little girls came up to me and say they want to be like me, it makes me feel real good.
“My advice to them is always work hard and never take a day off even if you want to – and never give up on your dreams. In class just study, study, study and get good grades. It’s not just about softball.”
You can send AOW nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them to us @CalHiSports. Don't forget to follow Harold Abend on Twitter: @HaroldAbend