Simpson concludes softball career at Salisbury
McDonough graduate now set to start teaching
After years of learning an abundance of lessons on the softball field and in the classroom at Salisbury University, Port Tobacco native and McDonough High School graduate Molly Simpson is now set to embark on a career of teaching them.
Simpson recently concluded her softball career at Salisbury by being named the East Coast Athletic Conference Division III South player of the year. The senior second baseman batted .444 with 14 home runs, 55 RBIs and scored 59 runs as the Sea Gulls finished the season with a 37-6 record.
Simpson, whose older brothers Gary and Chris Simpson were also Salisbury graduates, was one of four Sea Gulls seniors to make the All-ECAC first team. Simpson had previous been an all-conference first team choice in 2014.
“Before the season, I just told myself to relax and have fun because it was going to be my last season of competitive softball,” said Simpson, who is trading in her glove and cleats to begin teaching sixth grade math at Calvert Middle School in Prince Frederick. “I’m not one of those players that looks at the stats, but all year long people kept telling me how well I was doing. But the stats didn’t matter to me because we were winning and I was having fun.”
Simpson’s success as a senior was partly inspired by a humbling freshman season. Salisbury advanced to the NCAA Division III playoffs and, although Simpson traveled with the team, she was not among the players who were dressed for the postseason. It was a minor setback, but one that she learned from.
“We had 25 players on the roster my freshman year and all of us could not go to the playoffs,” Simpson said, “so I was one of the players that didn’t dress for those games. I was at every game and it was a fun time, but it was definitely humbling not being able to play.”
Simpson credits Salisbury head coach Margie Knight for helping to improve in all aspects of her game, especially after transitioning from third base to second base prior to her junior season.
Simpson rapidly became comfortable in her new role and her confidence at the plate soared over the past two seasons.
“Coach Knight was a big reason for my success and my accolades,” Simpson said. “I wasn’t even aware that I was in the running for player of the year. When they told me I was surprised. I mean, my teammates and my coaches kept telling me how good I was doing all season, but it wasn’t even something that I was looking at. I just loved being around my coaches and my teammates.”
Simpson played softball at McDonough and also played for the Southern Maryland Shockers from the 14-and-Under squad through the 18-and-Under team. During her days with both teams she became accustomed to facing numerous potential NCAA Division I and Division II players in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference, which helped her make a quick adjustment to Salisbury.
“We always played a lot of good teams in SMAC,” Simpson said. “Those teams in Calvert County were always really good. It was a little but of a jump going to Salisbury, but I felt like I was ready after facing a lot of those girls from Northern and Huntingtown. They were always really good.”
Simspon noted that a big part of her college career was bolstered by her family support. Her father, Gary Simpson, and her uncle, Donnie Mister, rarely missed a game and her mother, Molly Simpson, and grandmother, Mary McGinty, were also frequently in attendance. McGinty even brought an added measure of cheer.
“My family support was just incredible,” Simpson said. “My father and my uncle Donnie were at almost every game. They hardly ever missed me play. My mother came to a lot of games and my grandmother was like the adopted team mom. She would bring Holy water and bless the field before every game. It was really something to see.”