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Parents drive Mosch on, off softball field

South Florida softball pitcher Courtney Mosch has made some of her most important decisions based on the role her parents have played in her life, both on and off the field.

A native of Nazareth, Penn., Mosch learned to play softball at 7 with the help of her mother, Terry. Her career aspirations, however, came from her father Thomas’ profession.

Mosch dedicates her softball performances to her mother every time she steps onto the field.

“My mom was a semi-pro softball player,” Mosch said. “She got me into it and she has been the one that I went to pitching clinics with. This is all for her.”

On the field, Mosch began her collegiate softball career at the University of Syracuse. After spending her first two years as a pitcher, Mosch decided to transfer to USF.

Off the field, Mosch’s interest in gerontology began just before she transferred to USF.

Mosch is an intern at St. Joseph’s John Knox Village and will graduate from USF with a degree in gerontology – the study of the aging process and the physical, mental and social changes that older people face.

As a pitcher, Mosch made her mark in Orange history – holding 12 career statistics that rank in Syracuse’s top-10 career records. Despite her success, she was unhappy with the circumstances at Syracuse.

“I was unhappy with the program and the direction I felt they were going in,” Mosch said. “Luckily, I found Ken (Erisken) and he gave me the opportunity to play for a top program where I could become a better pitcher.”

While transferring to USF made Mosch happier on the field, she had to deal with missing an opportunity that would go a long way toward her future off the field.

“I worked at an assisted-living facility when I was in the middle of transferring here,” she said. “My dad was the head dietary aid, and I fell in love with these people. They became my grandparents, and the stories they had were unbelievable.”

Because she was a transfer student, NCAA rules required Mosch to sit out the 2006 season. She picked up, however, where she left off at Syracuse. Once Mosch became a pitcher for the Bulls in 2007, she led the team with four complete-game shutouts and was in the top six of the Big East in several statistical categories.Earlier this season, coach Ken Eriksen praised Mosch for her performance against Seton Hall University. Mosch helped the Bulls score five runs in a 9-1 victory over the Blue Devils.

“The epitome of what we’re on was probably a game with Courtney Mosch. She was a little bit passive in her approach to the plate – she was aggressive and it paid off,” Eriksen said.

Another meaningful experience for Mosch at USF occurred when the Bulls played the U.S. National Team and she was able to pitch against the defending Olympic gold medalists.

“It was the most amazing experience I think I’ve ever had,” she said. “It was incredible to face the best hitters in the world and just to be on the field with them and playing against them is something that not many people have the opportunity to do. I’m grateful that our team was able to play them.”

With this season marking the last year Mosch will pitch in a Bulls uniform, she said that playing at USF under Eriksen has been an amazing experience.

“(USF) definitely changed my life in the way I look at softball. I feel that (Eriksen) has helped me become a better person on and off the field,” Mosch said.

After graduation, Mosch plans to be an activities coordinator at an assisted-living facility and later, become the head administrator of her own retirement community.

“It’s in such high need, especially in Florida,” Mosch said. “It’s the most gratifying thing I could ever do. You have an impact on these people before they potentially pass away and I think that’s the most amazing thing in the world.”