RIPON — Ripon hasn’t been to the Sac-Joaquin Section softtball playoffs since 1996.
But the times have changed.
Morgan Ormonde, who signed her National Letter of Intent to play softball at Presentation College – a NAIA and Catholic private school in South Dakota – was a key part of that change. Ormonde helped lift her ball club to a second-place finish in the Trans Valley League at 9-3 (19-7 overall) and end the school’s 16-year playoff drought.
“The feeling of making it to the playoffs, I can’t explain,” said Ormonde, one of two Ripon seniors on this year’s team bound for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V postseason. Nicole (Kaiser) and I have both really been wanting this.”
Ormonde, who has started at left field this season for the Indians, is already listed on the 2013 Presentation roster as a 5-foot, 2-inch infielder. She is also the only player on the squad hailing from California.
“Coach (Erin Dickhausen) put me on the roster as infield, so I’m hoping for second base,” Ormonde said. “That’s my primary position.
“I want to try and impress and be a starter my freshman year. And I just want to work on improving my skills throughout college.”
Ormonde received a partial athletic scholarship from coach Dickhausen and the Saints, who will be joining the NAIA this year and will be a charter member of the North Star Athletic Association in 2013-14. According to Ormonde, Presentation has been showing her interest since the end of her junior year at Ripon High.
Ormonde batted .312 this season with eight runs scored and three RBIs. Defensively, she was a also solid piece in the outfield. She was that same type of utility player in the offseason playing travel ball for Sierra coach Nick Olmo and the California Odyssey for two seasons.
“She has a lot of desire for the game,” Olmo said. “She turned out to be a great outfielder – a lot of speed and great on the bases. She’s always a threat to steal that extra base just because of her speed. Great attitude, and is one of those kids you’d like to coach.”
Academically, Ormonde will be headed to Presentation to major in psychology.
“I want to be a psychologist for adolescent and foster children,” she said.
She also has high hopes for her final game(s) in an Indian uniform.
“I want to at least win our first-round game,” she concluded. “But if we can go all the way and win a section (championship), that would be great.”
Ripon will open up the SJS Division V Tournament on May 16 at 5 p.m. on the road against Marysville High.