Bianca Mora prides herself on being prepared to take on any role at any moment.
The rising junior and South Forsyth softball player plays multiple positions with more than one softball club, and she doesn’t see it as being asked to do more than anyone else. Rather, she sees her versatility as a necessity for becoming a marquee softball player.
“Role fitting and what you can do to help your team the best is big,” Mora, who plans to play mostly catcher for the Lady War Eagles this season, said. “Your role on your high school team won’t always be what it is on your club team, so it’s all about keeping your options open.”
Mora hasn’t played catcher as a regular starter for South before, but because of a fluid roster she’ll take on the position this fall. Last year, Mora spent time in the infield before moving to a designated hitter role for the second half of the season.
So, how is she so prepared to move to catcher? She’s been doing it for her club team, the Atlanta Vipers, which she joined two seasons ago. Her role with the Vipers, combined with her commitment to her high school club, has turned softball into a full-time commitment.
“During the high school season we practice Monday through Saturday, and there’s a lot of conditioning that goes into that,” Mora said. “(For club) we have practices during the high school season on Sundays, but we don’t start playing tournaments until the end of October and into November.”
Travel ball with the Vipers, who compete in select tournaments as part of the Amateur Softball Association (ASA), then restarts in March and runs up until the start of the high school season in early August.
Even during the winter months, Mora spends time conditioning indoors. In short, she stops to enjoy the holidays. That’s about it.
She doesn’t mind the hectic schedule, though it requires living life a little bit differently than her peers.
“If I go to bed late the next day it shows,” Mora said. “In the summer, especially, it’s a lot about taking care of your body because injuries are the only thing that can really stop you. You have to listen to your body on a regular basis and let someone know if you’re hurting instead of pushing through it and making it worse.
“I focus a lot on just catching up on my sleep and what I eat.”
Mora’s most recent tournament was a huge success. The Vipers went to Chattanooga for the ASA 16U Nationals and finished ninth out of 182 teams that entered the event. Her team has also competed in the Legacy Showcase in Atlanta.
“Teams from all over the country go to Legacy. It’s a big one in Atlanta,” Mora said. “It’s eight games spread out over four days. Coaches come and watch you and sometimes there are camps before the tournament to focus on individual skills.”
Mora’s now ready to showcase those catching skills and, hopefully, lead the War Eagles farther than they went last season. In 2014, South finished 23-7-1 (16-2 in Region 6-AAAAAA) before falling in the second round of the state playoffs.
For some athletes, commitments with club teams can marginalize priorities within high school teams. Mora doesn’t feel that way.
“I value the high school ball a lot because I get to play with girls I grew up with. It’s a fun environment with your closest friends,” Mora said. “We had an awesome year last year that was a ton of fun to be a part of, so hopefully this year we rebound and make it further in the tournament.”