Hatti Moore’s return is a game changer for Mizzou softball

Hatti Moore, Missouri’s top catcher, is returning for one more year, choosing to use her extra year of eligibility that the NCAA offered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moore’s announcement comes on the same day as reports confirming that hitting coach Chris Malveaux will be leaving the program.

This is a massive break for the Tigers. Not only does Moore provide experience and stability behind the plate, she also posted a solid .320 batting average this past season with 17 home runs.

The La Grange, Texas native has been a welcome presence for Mizzou pitchers since taking over the starting role as a freshman in 2018. While she wasn’t a standout hitter that year, posting a .174 batting average, Moore had her breakout year in 2019.

That season saw Moore’s batting average skyrocket from .174 to .307, due in large part to her power hitting. With 10 home runs and 41 RBIs, Moore established herself as part of the powerhouse offensive lineup that defines Mizzou softball today.

Moore has kept her average above .300 every season since 2019, and slugged above .500 every year in that same span. She has been nearly flawless in the field, posting only 10 errors over her entire career at Mizzou.

The tangibles are plain to see. A strong bat who is an almost guaranteed run-getter every time she steps to the plate, and a confident presence behind the plate who was part of a battery that threw a no-hitter to qualify for a Super Regional, Hattie Moore is one of Mizzou’s most valuable players.

But it may be the intangibles that make Moore’s return such a big deal.

With Hattie Moore, the Tigers maintain consistency at the position where it matters most. The value of having a catcher who is familiar with both the team’s philosophy and the opposition cannot be understated.

Moore will no doubt take a leadership role, as a 5th year senior, and will be able to pass on her knowledge and experiences to the incoming freshmen. That leadership will be incredibly valuable, as the Tigers will look to one-up themselves next season and qualify for a WCWS.

Between her familiarity with the Tiger system, her leadership capability, and her skills at the plate and behind it, Hatti Moore’s return may wind up having a greater impact on Mizzou softball than whoever replaces Chris Malveaux as hitting coach.