By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
Signal Sports Writer
Former Vikings’ catcher Amy Moore played a long, illustrious softball career, earning the Valencia native an induction into the Great Britain Softball Hall of Fame.
The Valencia alumna’s career is highlighted by a high school national championship, a conference championship with University of the Pacific and a bronze medal with Great Britain in the European championship.
Moore played for Great Britain for eight seasons before briefly retiring in 2019. The catcher is set on a return to the field this summer for Great Britain.
The hall of famer had no one to thank more than her family who were there for her throughout her playing career.
“It’s a true honor and I’m super blessed,” said Moore. “I wouldn’t be there without the people that lift me higher: My family, my friends and my teammates.”
Moore started playing at 6 years old before developing into a standout at Valencia. Moore has always been surrounded by stiff competition. In fact, on her very first co-ed baseball team, she played alongside Trevor Brown (San Francisco Giants) and lifelong friends Melissa Brown (Tennessee Volunteers’ softball) and Jessica Schults (USA softball) .
The hall of famer always wanted to be involved in family activities, especially sports with her older brother Kevin.
“Amy has always emulated her brother. If he played sports; she was going to play,” said her father, Steve Moore. “As a toddler, she would have to sit between her mother and me at Kevin’s basketball games, because she was always trying to run out onto the floor to join the game.”
The catcher joined Donna Lee’s team at Valencia her freshman year and won the 2007 national title in her sophomore campaign.
“I loved it. I was on a dominating team,” said Moore.
Even though she won a national championship, Moore noted some of her best memories were playing against some of her closest lifelong friends in Brown and Schults.
Moore was so competitive she resisted every urge to talk and laugh with her friends because she did not want to give away any edge to an opposing team.
Lee was always impressed with her catcher’s demeanor.
“Amy caught every single pitch of the 2007 season,” said Lee. “She called her own pitches. High school catchers don’t do that. She was catching a future All-American who was always in the spotlight. She batted .358. She was such a student of the game and she always found a way to get on [base].”
Moore continued her playing career at University of the Pacific, somewhere she could continue to thrive on the field and in the classroom.
Education was huge in the Moore household, something her father wanted for Amy and Kevin more than anything.
“Education is something you can’t take away,” said Kevin. “Softball opened that door for her, gave her those opportunities.”
Amy graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business in just three years. She later went on to earn a master’s in administration.
Amy still found herself back on the field and helped University of the Pacific win the Big West Conference in 2012.
“We won the first conference championship, super excited,” said Amy. “[We’re a] smaller school not really known for softball.”
Great Britain came to see Amy play in the NCAA softball tournament, inevitably notching the catcher a spot on the national team. Steve was born in Great Britain, gifting Amy eligibility to make the roster.
The hall of famer played for Great Britain for eight seasons, going to four world championships and four European championships.
“Softball has given me more than I could ever imagine,” said Amy. “I’ve been to almost 30 countries through softball.”
However, things would take a chaotic turn in 2017.
In August, Moore batted .444 at the European Championship. She also racked up six RBI, three doubles and two triples.
“It was probably one of the top moments of my softball career,” Moore told The Signal shortly after the game.
Then in October, Moore was injured in the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in Las Vegas. Amy broke her foot in the pandemonium but managed to find safety with her now-fiancée Christina Zambrana.
The injury and trauma also briefly sidelined Moore in her side gig as a Dodger ball girl.
Moore would heal and return to her national team in time for the World Championships in Japan the next year, a memory Amy holds dear.
“That was amazing,” she said. “It gave us the ability to go to the world championships in Japan the next year and everyone got to come. My family and fiancée got to go to Japan.”
The team would fall short of qualifying for a spot in the Olympics, but even after the Route 91 shooting, Amy is a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
Her grand ceremony would be made virtual thanks to COVID-19 but the inductee still felt more than honored.
“Even though I wasn’t able to experience the ceremony, we were super blessed,” said Amy. “No one can take this away from me.”
Moore was still giving softball lessons in her brief retirement but will now return to the field in Barcelona for the upcoming European championships. Now that the catcher’s father is retired and her brother is able to travel, Amy is more inclined than ever to return to the field so her whole family can watch her play in person.
She got messages from her coach about how it’s never too late to get the cleats back on as well as messages from teammates over her potential return.
Amy, an active hall of famer, will take the field for Great Britain at the end of July with all of her family there to cheer her on.
“My family has always been my No. 1 supporters and to have them there watching me play the highest level of softball is really something special,” said Amy. “I don’t take anything for granted and I am super blessed to have the family I do. Their support and love means the world to me. I hope to make them proud!”