Moultrie key to UF softball

Senior Michelle Moultrie led the Gators in several offensive categories last season.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Friday, January 27, 2012 at 4:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 27, 2012 at 4:27 p.m.

Florida senior standout Michelle Moultrie admits she has even surprised herself with her rise from freshman walk-on to All-America player.

“I never would have thought that I would come this far,” Moultrie said. “Coming out of high school, I was just hoping I would make the team and everything, so this is all great. It's been so much better than I ever imagined.”

The 5-foot-4 Moultrie, who led the Gators in hitting as a sophomore with a .389 mark, really came into her own last season, setting single-season school records for batting average (.443), hits (101) and stolen bases (31) and earning Co-Most Outstanding Player honors at the 2011 Women's College World Series after helping lead the Gators to an NCAA runner-up finish.

“I think the first thing you have to look at is she obviously had a tremendous amount of athleticism to begin with,” UF coach Tim Walton said. “That wasn't something I coached up or taught her, she had that already.

“But this is as low maintenance of a human being as I've ever been associated with. She comes to work, she asks very few questions, she creates her own energy, she works hard, she does the things that you ask her to do and she'll do whatever it takes.”

Most recently, Moultrie played with the 2011 USA Softball National Team, which won gold medals at both the World Cup of Softball and the Pan American Games.

“We were very fortunate to have Michelle play with Team USA in the summer and then in the fall,” Walton said. “She's really brought back a different edge verbally. She's really taken on and embraced that senior leadership role.”

“It was a really great experience playing with Team USA,” Moultrie said. “I got to see the top pitchers from around the world, and it was an amazing experience. I think it has definitely helped me develop into a better player. Being an outfielder on that team, playing with other All-Americans and getting to know each other's style, we all exchanged tips and helped each other improve. That was really cool.”

The future certainly looks bright for Moultrie, an Academic All-America who was recently selected to the 2012 U. S. National Team.

“She doesn't really have an ego — she just enjoys playing the game,” Walton said. “Honestly, if she was playing some other sports, there would be a book written about her at the end. That's just how good of a human being and how good of a story she is and how much she has come full circle as an athlete at the University of Florida.”

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