Spring 2021 Magazine

Tennessee pitcher Matty Moss stops play to pray before recording final out, advancing to Super Regionals

The Tennessee Lady Vols softball team was one strike away from advancing to the Super Regionals when senior Matty Moss, the team’s shutdown closer, called timeout. Her catcher came out to the mound, the two clasped hands, exchanged a few words, and laughed. The game ended with a strikeout two pitches later.

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So what strategy did the women discuss on the mound?

“It was a prayer,” Vols co-head coach Karen Weekly explained to reporters after the game. “That’s what Matty does. When Matty needs to calm down she calls the catcher out and says, ‘Grab my hand.’ I don’t know who does the praying, if it’s out loud or silent because I’ve never been part of it, but it’s a prayer. That’s what Matty does … I love it. If that’s what gets Matty to calm down she can pray every pitch.”

Whatever Matty is doing has worked this season. Moss has a 2.54 ERA and 112 over 104.2 innings, and was named an SEC Pitcher of the Week in March. Her 7.80 strikeout-to-walk ratio is 10th in the nation. Moss’s junior year was an inconsistent mix of brilliance and poor performances, but this season Moss has been one of the pillars of the Lady Vols’ run to their third consecutive Super Regional appearance.

Moss’s Instagram account reflects the role her faith plays in her life. The first word in her profile says simply “Jesus,” and Moss mentioned in 2017 how her faith in God leads her to a positive self-image:

No. 12 Tennessee’s next challenge is the fifth-seeded Florida Gators. The best-of-three series begins Friday in Gainesville, Fla., and the winner will advance to the Women’s College World Series, which Tennessee hasn’t reached since 2015.

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