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State softball preview: Resolute senior catcher nurtures growth of Canterbury's program

ST. PETERSBURG — Macey Hall, Canterbury's four-year captain at catcher and, appropriately enough, future nursing major at Florida State, notices a lump under the sock of teammate Chelsea Weiland, who's taking batting practice three days before Monday's 7 p.m. Class A state semifinal against Lake Worth Christian at Plant City Stadium.

Moments earlier, Weiland fouled a pitch off her left shin. Now, the shin looks grotesque.

"Coach, I think Chelsea's hurt," Hall says to Jody Moore, who looks at the leg, agrees and takes the bat out of Weiland's hands.

Add amateur physician to the list of roles Moore performs for the Crusaders. It's one of a handful Moore entrusts to the senior.

Hall came to St. Petersburg from Winter Park when her father, Mac, took over as Canterbury's head of school. Macey was the first-ever middle-schooler to start at Trinity Prep, a 3A state power with two titles.

Trinity Prep had tradition. Canterbury had … well, nothing.

"I cried when my dad told me we were moving because I just saw myself having such a better opportunity at Trinity with softball," Hall said. "When we visited Canterbury, there wasn't even a softball field. I was like, 'What am I going to do?' "

Canterbury was lacking players, but given Hall's pedigree, Moore figured she could spot an athlete. Moore had Hall round up athletes for softball tryouts.

"She was like, 'What girls on your volleyball team have good swings?' Because if they have good swings, they'll be able to throw," Hall said.

Two years ago, Hall saw something in Sarah Fleming. "She had a lot of power … and I saw that she was fast," Hall said of Fleming, who now starts in centerfield.

Hall, the recruiting coordinator.

Canterbury went undefeated during Hall's first season and won a district title, but lost 11-0 to an experienced Cambridge team in the region semifinals.

Moore thought the Crusaders needed to be tested during the regular season; Hall agreed. So traditionally strong St. Petersburg Catholic and Northside Christian were added to the schedule.

"So after sophomore year I was like, 'I think we're ready for next year.' 2008 was our first year," Hall said. "I feel like I'm coach's voice to the team."

Hall, the schedulemaker.

As Hall watches practice, she marvels at the strides the program has made in four years, reaching its second straight final four.

"If anyone could have watched us from Day 1 to now, it's amazing," she said.

"Some players are good, but never share it, so to speak," Moore said of Hall. "She's saying the right things to the girls."

A leader, a quasi-coach, a heck of a ballplayer. She's all that and more.

Hall, the face of the Canterbury softball program.

State softball preview: Resolute senior catcher nurtures growth of Canterbury's program 05/09/09 [Last modified: Saturday, May 9, 2009 9:26pm]
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