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All-Area 2009: Morgana Dallas the right fit for Buhach Colony softball

Buhach Colony's Morgana Dallas softball player of the year
SUN-STAR PHOTO BY MARCI STENBERG Buhach Colony's Morgana Dallas softball player of the year Merced Sun-Star

Morgana Dallas loved her spot in the Buhach Colony lineup.

The senior shortstop had two hitters with speed in front of her in Kayleena Flores and Daisy Ledesma, who always seemed to be on base.

Dallas also had protection behind her in the form of cleanup hitter Cassie Kalapsa, who hit .353 with five home runs.

Still opposing pitchers did their best not to let Dallas beat them.

All Dallas did was hit a jaw-dropping .598 with 14 doubles, two homers and 26 RBIs.

After helping lead Buhach Colony to a third straight Central California Conference title, Dallas is the Sun-Star Softball Player of the Year.

"I knew coming into the year we would have a very young team," Dallas said.

"We had five or six sophomores playing and I knew as a senior, I had to step up my game."

How did Dallas do it?

She attacked the ball.

The four-year starter isn't bashful at the plate. Dallas looks for something to hit the moment she steps in the box.

"I know a lot of girls like to take a pitch to see it," Dallas said.

"A lot of times, that first pitch is right down the middle. I'm aggressive from the first pitch. Especially, with runners on base. I want to drive in those runners."

Dallas was a nightmare for opposing teams with runners on base.

"She's good at getting the bat on the ball," Golden Valley coach Sam Croninger said. "That's what made her tough. With the players in front of her on base, you couldn't pitch around her.

"That's what made her that much more dangerous. She puts the ball in play and she puts the ball in play with power."

Dallas finished just shy of a .500 batting average last year.

She wanted to hit that mark this year.

"I didn't quite make it last year so I wanted to hit .500 this year," she said. "To almost hit .600 ... I surprised myself a little bit."

Dallas, who will play at the Santa Clara University next year, picked up softball at a young age.

Her father, Bobby, has coached her at just about every level, including at Buhach Colony.

"Every thing I've learned, I've learned from him," Morgana said. "When I was younger, I know he was a lot harder on me than the other girls.

"I know it was for my own good and I can thank him for it now. I'm going to college and living my dream."