Homewood-Flossmoor softball player Morgan Tate has a natural maturity about her, Coach Corinne Zimmerman said. It’s easy to see that while talking to the senior first baseman.
Tate knows exactly where she gets it, too.
“It’s my parents (Shaun and Tiffani),” she said. “They always instilled in me to keep my head up. It’s just one play, keep going. It’s a game. Once you make a mistake, get the next play. Have a short memory. Don’t dwell on the bad stuff.”
As a kid, conversations on the ride home after games were about more than just moving on from her mistakes, though. Tate said her parents taught her early that other players can feed off of her energy so she needs to be aware of it.
“My attitude matters to my teammates, to the game I’m playing. If you have a good attitude then it translates to the atmosphere you bring to your team,” Tate said.
The next lesson was to never get too high up and never get too far down, no matter what’s happening on the field. That even keel and sense of responsibility is why Zimmerman believes Tate will do well at the next level and even when she’s finished with softball.
“She understands that there’s always a next play, a next game. Hard times will pass. Great times will pass,” Zimmerman said. “I can always trust her to hold her teammates accountable because she holds herself accountable every single day. That’s going to take her super far in life.”
It’s worked out well, so far. She earned a college softball scholarship to Claflin University in South Carolina.
It’s worked out well for Homewood-Flossmoor, too. Tate is the anchor of the Vikings’ defense. Zimmerman calls her “the rock.”
“She’s dependable. Everyone knows she’s going to make the play. Bad throw? She’s going to make the play. Great play? She’s going to get the next play,” Zimmerman said. “We need that, 100%. She’s the stability in our dugout and on the field.”
In the batter’s box, Tate’s a run-producer, a middle-of-the-order bat that the Vikings need. As of April 13, she carried an on-base plus slugging percentage of .935 and a team-best seven RBIs.
“She’s that dependable player on the offensive side, as well,” Zimmerman said. “She always does something with the ball and she brings it every day.”
Her intangible contributions may be her most important ones, though.
Tate is the senior who keeps other players in check, Zimmerman said. It’s not about pointing fingers, though. Tate says it’s more like making everyone aware in a comfortable and non-threatening way that there are standards to H-F softball.
“That’s just my personality,” she said. “I have teammates that do that for me so I want to be that for other people. I feel like that translates to my teammates. We piggyback off of each other.”
Tate will graduate this spring. She thinks about the legacy that she wants to leave with the Vikings. Statistics, wins and titles are important to her but there’s more to how she wants people to look back on her time at H-F.
“I want to be that positivity. I want people to remember me as a smiling face,” she said. “I want people to remember a good person on the field and off the field.”