Outfielder Monroe makes up for lost time with Nordonia softball

Roger Gordon
Nordonia Knights

Riley Monroe was supposed to start in the outfield in her first varsity season on the Nordonia softball team last year.

Then the pandemic wiped out the season.

This year, Monroe, a senior, has more than made up for 2020’s lost season as a starting outfielder for the Knights who hits in the two-hole.

“The two-hole is very important to keep the fire going,” Nordonia head coach Marissa Rizzo said. “Riley is our best bunter. She bunts for hits a lot. No matter who’s on base or what’s going on, she’ll get the runner over to the next base. She’s able to get something going in the first inning. She sets the tone at the beginning of the game.”

Monroe has consistently improved in the batter’s box all season long.

“We’ve been working on her hitting all year,” said Rizzo. “I think repetition and practice have helped her. She’s put in a lot of hard work this year because she wants to succeed and wants the team to succeed this season.”

Last week, all but one game were washed away by inclement weather, but the one game Nordonia got in turned out to be a 16-6 victory at Massillon Washington Thursday that was called after six innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

The Knights improved to 7-16 on the season.

Monroe was a big part of the win. She singled twice, knocked in three runs and scored three times.

For the season, Monroe is hitting .273 and has seven RBIs, 20 runs scored, one double and seven walks. For good measure, she has stolen 11 bases.

Monroe, who also played volleyball for Nordonia, shines defensively, too.

“Riley is a super outfielder,” Rizzo said. “She’s quick. She gets a really great jump on balls. She has a good arm, too. She’s definitely our leader out in the outfield because she’s out there with two sophomores. She definitely helps guide them.

“She’s a really great leader overall, too. She has really great energy all the time both at practice and during games. Her energy definitely feeds into everyone else on the team.”

Monroe, who plans on attending Ohio State University, is super-coachable and a joy to have around, according to her coach.

“Riley is just a really great, bubbly kid, and she’s super-smart,” she said. “She gets really great grades. There’s nothing you don’t love about Riley. We’re going to miss having her next year.”