Player of the Year Mohrfeld committed to success
Falls shortstop named NOW Player of the Year
Menomonee Falls - In the game of life, like anything else, there are chickens and then there are pigs.
And according to Menomonee Falls girls softball coach Wendy Wolff - and in the most flattering sense possible - NOW All-Suburban Player of the Year Hailey Mohrfeld is a pig.
"It's all about the commitment level," Wolff said. "There's a quote I like to show the kids all the time. It goes like this: 'The difference between being involved and being committed is like a ham and eggs breakfast. The chicken was involved but the pig was committed.'
"Hailey has a lot of God-given talent but also a lot of integrity and heart, too. She exudes her commitment level in everything that she does."
And Wolff knows what she's talking about. You see it in Mohrfeld every time she expertly cuts a corner on a bag trying to extend a single into a double. You see it when the first-team all-state selection commands respect from her shortstop's post when a new batter comes up and she aligns the defense correctly. ("My Dad always said that I knew where the plays were going before they happened," she said.)
And on rare occasions, you will hear Mohrfeld's heart and her passion directly.
Such as after the early season loss to West Allis Hale that put the Indians in a hole in the Greater Metro Conference race.
"It was a wake-up call," Mohrfeld said, "and in the post-game huddle I did yell at the girls, which surprised even me. I mean, I'll let everybody know if I'm not happy with what's going on out there or with the effort, but I rarely yell.
"But I wanted them to know that we had a chance to do something special if we just played like we could."
And the Indians took that speech to heart, ripping off 19 wins in a row, earning a share of the GMC title and not losing again until the WIAA sectional semifinals.
"We always give the captains the opportunity to speak before and after the games," Wolff said. "Hailey's a very proper kid and polite, so for her to speak like that took us all aback.
"But it was the right thing to do."
Fellow All-Suburban choice and Indians pitcher Nicole Zywiec describes the ripple effect of Mohrfeld's intensity.
"It's really, really cool," she said. "It gets everybody fired up especially when we see how hard she works and how much dedication she puts into it. You see her effort and it makes you want to work hard enough to be just half the player that she is."
The intensity manifests itself in other ways, too. Far from being a specialist or a one-trick pony, when Mohrfeld entered high school, she was everyone's dream athlete, doing volleyball and more significantly basketball for two years.
In fact, she was a prominent basketball player on the varsity, but then softball began separating itself from the other sports. Her ability started to assert itself and decisions had to be made.
"And I chose to stop playing basketball," she said. "That was very hard. But by then I had started working with this hitting coach out of Horicon and he lengthened by swing and we (she and other teammates) started going to the Frozen Ropes (indoor batting facility in the area) in the off-season getting ready.
"It all really helped."
Sets her goals high
She was second-team Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association All-State last year and also earned the Division I scholarship from UW-Green Bay.
After this season of lofty achievement, her ambitions are not small when it comes to Green Bay, either. The Phoenix got to .500 in the Horizon League this spring and Mohrfeld is part of an excellent recruiting class, including a pitcher off the 2010 WIAA state champion Kaukauna team. She thinks the team can move up quickly.
Academically, her ambitions are lofty, too. Her finishing class rank at Falls was fifth out of 391 with 5.74 grade point average on an accelerated 6.00 scale, and she wants to major in the challenging field of physical therapy.
And her legacy with the storied Falls softball program is secure. Just as she looked up to other Indians players when she was younger, she knows others are looking up to her.
"I remember when I was in middle school, my dad and I would look at the box scores (for Falls), and we would go to some of their games and talk to the players," she said. "I could see that that was my team, that was going to be my future."
"She's the best we've ever had," said Wolff, who is in her sixth year with the program. "She just does a lot without being asked to … just a ton of intangibles. She's set the table, raised the bar and lifted expectations for everyone who comes after her."
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