The Rhode Island Slow Pitch Softball Hall of Fame inducted it’s first-ever class recently, and a handful of locals made the list, which included some of the sport’s most influential players, coaches, umpires and sponsors that have come from RI.
Warwick native Brenda Morrison made the list as a player, as she is not only one of the top slow pitch softball players to come from RI, but is one of the greatest all-around athletes that the state has seen.
Morrison began playing softball for Warwick PAL, where they went on to win several NIT’s. She later played for Vets, and was named to the All-State team for both softball and basketball during her high school career. Morrison went on to play basketball for St. John’s University, earning All-Conference honors and helping guide the team to the 1988 Big East title.
Morrison was eventually named to the Vets athletic hall of fame, as well as the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. She went on to play for numerous softball clubs as well, including New England Lemonade, Foxwoods, East Coast Drama and OSS. She was named an All-Tourney selection in the USSSA Northeast Nationals.
“It’s very humbling, I’m just a quiet person that plays the sport that she loves. I was there with a lot of good ballplayers, a lot of good coaches, and a lot of good sponsors,” said Morrison, whose love for the game began when she was a young girl. “I used to watch my mom play when I was 5 years old. I remember running around the parking lots while she was playing into her women’s league. I thought that I would play for a long time, both softball and basketball. But softball is my first love.”
Morrison has taken some time off from the sport recently, but admits that she still has the itch to possibly resume her career to some extent moving forward.
“I’m retired, I haven’t swung a bat in about a year which is good. Other than a fund raiser tournament that I coached in that has been it. I miss it a little bit but it has been nice to take a year off. If I decide to do anything, it will probably be senior ball,” said Morrison.
She was also honored to be recognized by the slow pitch softball community, which includes many of her former teammates and coaches.
“This ranks pretty high up there. In college when we won the Big East for basketball, that was a pretty big one, going to nationals when I was younger was a big one. This is nice to be recognized for all of those years playing,” said Morrison. “It’s an honor every time you get recognized by your peers.”
Although fast pitch softball has become more common in the state, especially at the youth and high school levels, Morrison believes that slow pitch softball still has a place in the state, and feels that this new hall of fame is important to honor those past and present who have had a part in the sport.
“I think it is very important because of the amount of people that have played and still play,” said Morrison. “There are a lot of teams around here that travel up and down the East Coast. It’s important to honor those people that have brought the sport up. It’s important because it is still big, I don’t think it’s going anywhere.”