By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
MOOREVILLE – Teri Richey had the top of Class 3A concerned. Then a sophomore, she emerged as one of the state’s top fastpitch pitchers, primed to help Mooreville retake control of a sport it had owned before Nettleton took that title away.
Two major shoulder surgeries later, Richey is left wondering what might have been. But she’s also still wondering what can be.
“It’s just been really hard, just trying to keep moving on, stay positive and get ready for college. It’s been really hard,” Richey said. “I start coming back and getting back where I was and have to have another shoulder surgery.”
The setbacks haven’t kept colleges from pursuing the hard-throwing right-hander. She has signed with Jones Junior College, a program emerging as one of the nation’s best.
The shoulder problems began late in her sophomore season. She had 14 strikeouts in a playoff win against Winona. Mooreville went to Winona for Game 2 the next day and she kept throwing the ball in the dirt.
“It had bothered me all season, but I hadn’t really told anybody,” Richey said. “I finished out the year. We lost to Nettleton in North (State) and I had surgery on June 16, 2011.”
The surgery was to repair a torn labrum. Richey missed the slowpitch season as a junior and started to throw in October. She pitched some last season, but said she didn’t come back from surgery as strong as she wanted.
With her senior year coming, she started feeling numbness and tingling in the surgically repaired arm and hoped it was tendinitis.
“I was hoping it would just be that, I’d get a shot and be good to go,” she said. “Ended up, I had to have a rib removed.”
It was thoracic outlet syndrome, a painful nerve complication, that caused her to have a first rib resection.
coaching up teammates
NMMC athletic trainer Donna Wesley said she has seen a different Richey emerge, a coach.
“She’s helping them see things they can do and I think they look up to her,” Wesley said.
Richey admits it’s tough to watch from the dugout, but Mooreville is in contention to make a playoff run and Richey is now using her knowlege to help her pitching teammates – Jessalyn Brown and Hallie Donald.
“Miss Donna is here for me when I’m having my little breakdowns,” Richey said.
“I love it too much to give it up.”