Morgan Fusco is an excellent choice as the 2021 Miss Maine Softball recipient.
When asked during the preseason last spring what strengths his Fryeburg Academy softball team had, Coach Fred Apt told reporters his team would be strong up the middle but would have to develop on the corners. The skipper said the Raiders were very strong at catcher and he was counting on Morgan to lead them.
Morgan is an outstanding catcher who improved as a hitter as the season progressed. Morgan is a catcher who takes a past ball personally. She blocks everything not allowing base runners to advance.
The Raiders got off to a good start to their season with Emelia DeSanctis striking out double-digit opponents. You have to believe her comfort level was enhanced by having Morgan as her catcher. Emelia was a pitcher who liked to nibble on the corners, and Morgan was highly skilled at framing strike three.
On offense, Morgan was a powerful dead pull hitter, who was particularly adept at hitting with runners on base. She also had the power to go deep. As the Raiders progressed in the playoffs it was Morgan who showed the team the way. Morgan had the power to knock the ball out of the park.
In the early season, Fryeburg played a home-and-home two-game set with Sacopee Valley. Morgan hit her first home run in the opening game against Sacopee much to the delight of the capacity hometown crowd. The second home run of her season came a few days later in Hiram, Maine.
When interviewed after the game, Coach Chris Dutton said, “I think that ball is still going.”
Morgan worked the count in her favor, then pulled the trigger on the long ball. Her power hitting had a positive effect on Katie McIntyre, Camden Jones and Ella Bruno, who also went deep for the Raiders.
Morgan was always at her best in the most pressure-packed situations. An example of this was after Cape Elizabeth took a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the Regional Final at St. Joseph’s College, Morgan came up in the Fryeburg half of the inning and knocked one over the right-field fence to let the Capers know the Raiders were still there, and they could hit their pitcher, who came into the game advertised as the best in the state. Cape went on to win a close game win the state championship the following Saturday in Brewer Maine.
Maybe it was the way Morgan Fusco walked up to the plate that made you take notice, or the way she stormed in the right-handed batter’s box reminiscent of a Major League power hitter, thrashing her way into a comfortable batter's stance when she prepared to hit or maybe it was the Fryeburg crowd cheered loudly when her name was called as next to hit or maybe it was just the grit with which she played the game that makes Morgan Fusco the right choice for the prestigious honor of being named Miss Maine Softball 2021.
We love you, Morgan, we appreciate you and we will miss watching you play at home but will be following your career on the diamond at Colby. Hope to see you in the future cheering on the Raiders. Good luck and thanks.