Murphy a coach on field for Deptford

Deptford's Annie Murphy likes to take charge out on the field. "If I can give them advice, I'll help them out," she says.
Deptford's Annie Murphy likes to take charge out on the field. "If I can give them advice, I'll help them out," she says. (AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer)
Posted: March 30, 2014

Annie Murphy ran in from center field to Deptford's huddle in front of the dugout before her team's at-bat in the second inning.

With Murphy not due up in the inning, she led a team cheer before walking over to the lineup card.

"Carly, Makenzie, Lexi, then top of the order," said Murphy, a senior outfielder and Boston College softball recruit.

Rather than sitting on the bench with most of her teammates, she proceeded to watch the inning, and most of her team's at-bats, on top of a bucket of softballs just to the left of the cage surrounding home plate, in a spot where she could get an unobstructed view of the righthanded batter's box.

The bucket was also the same seat her coach, Bill Hoskins, used when she was in the field.

Even for a scrimmage, she likes the vantage point to see what pitchers are throwing. She also likes to sit there so she can be in a good spot to help her teammates.

This season, Deptford could start as many as six sophomores and two freshmen. Murphy is one of two seniors on the team and is taking a "coaching-type role," according to Hoskins.

"She's always on top of things, and it's like an extension of the coach having her around," Hoskins said. "When we're out there coaching the bases, she's in here like a bench coach telling them, 'You need to take second on that play,' or, 'Look at the pitcher. She's just thrown a couple of balls, so wait.' "

"I can see how they are doing, and, if I can give them advice, I'll help them out," Murphy said. "I just have a good relationship with all the girls on the team, even the freshmen. I think we have a good team chemistry."

Last season, Deptford went 9-14 and upset sixth-seeded Sterling, 11-1, as an 11th seed in the first round of the South Jersey Group 2 playoffs. Murphy knows last season will be difficult to replicate with so many young players.

"That would be the best scenario," Murphy said. "I think we have potential to be .500 and make it a round in the playoffs, but one day at a time. We are so young. I'm one of two seniors on the team, so it's kind of difficult."

Last season, Murphy hit .553 with a .906 slugging percentage. She had 47 hits, including six home runs and 10 doubles, and finished the season with 108 career hits.

Murphy does not look to help only her teammates - she's critical also of her own game. She wants to hit for more power this season and prepare herself to challenge for a starting spot at Boston College.

"That's a big deal for me," Murphy said. "It's a fresh start. I don't know anyone. No one knows who I am. I just want to go in there and make a difference and hopefully start."

"She is a perfectionist, and she's always working," Hoskins said. "She always wants to get better. If she goes 4 for 4, she wants to hit the ball harder or score more runs. She's that type of player."


ncarroll@phillynews.com

@NickJCarroll

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