Mandi Moore fullfilled her long-time dream to be a college softball pitcher Thursday afternoon when she signed a national letter of intent to play for Indian Hills Community College next season.
“She’s strong; she pitches very well,” IHCC softball coach Jim Overturf said. “I think we need that strength as a freshman to go with the couple of sophomore programs that are returning. I think Mandi is going to bring very good experience out of a very good high school program, and we’re excited to be able to keep those kind of softball players and those type of athletes at home.”
Moore enjoyed quite a bit of success as the Bulldogs’ No. 1 pitching option last season. The hard-throwing Bulldog finished with a record of 20-6, which was good enough to get her named to the CIML Metro All-Conference first team. Her career record is an impressive 44-9. Moore struck out 124 batters and boasted a 2.60 ERA.
“I think her strength relies on that she does have good velocity, number one,” Ottumwa softball coach Frank Huston said, “and number two, she’s improved her movmement pitches, her curve ball and her rise ball.
“Mandi has shown continuous improvement throughout her career, and we expect an outstanding summer for her this year. The IHCC softball program will be a perfect fit for her as she continues her play at the next level.”
Moore agreed that IHCC will be a great place for her to continue her career.
“It’s close to home, so the parents are happy,” she said.
“They [IHCC] always have had a good softball program, and I’ve always come out and watched them, so I thought it was good fit.”
Moore’s only weakness last season was her control got a little erratic at times, but she always managed to right the ship. And her high-velocity fastball often had hitters swinging after the ball was restling snugly in Beth Overturf’s glove.
“I’m hoping just to make sure everything’s a lot more accurate and just steady-going and not backtracking or anything like that,” Moore said.
She cited her calm demeanor as one of her big strengths as a pitcher.
“I like having the confidence that I have and having the mindset that I do, because I tend to not worry too much about stuff,” she said. “I don’t get too frustrated.”
Moore will be joined on the Warrior team with Ottumwa teammate Overturf. She said having a friend and former Bulldog on the team will help ease her transition from high school to college.
Some of Moore’s most memorable victories came against high-quality teams. After enduring some of her rockier outings of the season, Moore had two clutch performances at regionals that helped Ottumwa qualify for the state tournament. The Bulldog ace yielded only one unearned run and five hits in Ottumwa’s 8-1 triumph over Des Moines Lincoln, a team she had lost to earlier in the season.
She followed that splendid performance with a workmanlike effort against seventh-ranked Waukee, which helped the Bulldogs pull out a 5-4 victory to advance to the state tournament.
Moore also turned in an impressive performance in a high-pressure game against then top-ranked Des Moines East. Moore exuded a sense of poise and mental toughness on the mound that helped Ottumwa upset the Scarlets 7-2. Another gritty performance by Moore came during Ottumwa’s 8-2 victory over Ankeny — a team that was ranked No. 1 at the time — in Ottumwa’s own Softball Classic. Although she gave up 10 hits to the Hawks, the hits were so scattered that they did little damage.