KP’s Gorman: A Captain, an All-star & a Winner in Softball

Ken Hamwey Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
April, 2019
Article Body: 

Meghan Gorman has all the attributes, all the credentials and the ideal mindset to be a captain of King Philip Regional’s softball team.
Elite programs usually rely on talented, team-first players to be in leadership roles and there’s no doubt that the 18-year-old senior shortstop fits that mold.
Coach Norm Beauchemin, who guided the Warriors to a State Championship in 2016, is quick to list the positives that have made Gorman a two-time Hockomock League all-star and a Boston Herald All-Scholastic choice.
“Meghan has a high softball IQ,’’ Beauchemin noted. “She’s athletic, a super competitor and very coachable. At shortstop, her field awareness is excellent, her arm strength is superb and she will effectively dive for the ball and get a key out. She makes tough plays look easy and some of her plays border on being mind-boggling.’’
The Wrentham native, who started as a freshman at second base on the State title squad, also excels as a hitter. Her batting average as a freshman was .371, it jumped to .436 as a sophomore and was just shy of .500 last year at .493. As a junior, she led KP in runs (33), RBIs (34) and tied for the lead in stolen bases (11). As a sophomore, she led the Warriors in home runs with six.
Her dynamic attributes and her stunning statistics make her a special player but it’s her mental approach and team-oriented style that make her a breed apart.
“As a captain this year, I’ll strive to lead by example,’’ Gorman said. “But, I also want to be a good communicator and I want our younger players to know that I’ll be helpful and supportive.’’
The 5-foot-3 Gorman has compiled some exceptional statistics but those numbers aren’t what motivates her. “I don’t focus on stats that much,’’ she said. “I strive for team success first and I try to be an unselfish player.’’
Gorman’s athletic achievements and her academic approach (honor-roll student) didn’t go unnoticed with college recruiters. Central Connecticut was quick to offer her a full scholarship and she chose the Division 1 school during her freshman year.
“I liked the campus (New Britain), the atmosphere and the program,’’ Gorman noted. “(Coach) Bri Gleason was helpful and stressed that if I keep working hard, playing time will come.’’
Before she becomes a collegian, Gorman is hoping her final campaign at KP will be another successful venture. The Warriors, who have bowed out of the playoffs the last two years in the Sectional semifinals, will need to replace seven graduated starters but Gorman isn’t worrying about KP’s prospects. Her goals, for the team and for herself, are rather lofty.
“Qualifying for the tourney, getting to the Sectional final and being Hockomock League champs are our key objectives,’’ Gorman emphasized. “We may be young but we’ve got the talent to go deep in the playoffs. I’m confident we could even compete for a State title. As for myself, I want to limit my errors at shortstop. Although I don’t constantly focus and think about my statistics, I wouldn’t mind hitting .500 or clouting 10 home runs.’’
An aggressive fielder who can charge the ball and rely on her range, Gorman is both aggressive and patient as a hitter. “I’ll go after a pitch early if it’s good,’’ she said. “But, I don’t mind running up the count. I bank on quick hands, bat speed and a compact swing.’’
Gorman’s best game of her career occurred last year against Dighton-Rehoboth. The Warriors trailed by a run in the seventh inning. “I hit a walk-off homer and we won by two,’’ she recalled. My top thrill, however, was being part of the State title team of 2016. It felt good to start as a freshman. It was a great way to begin my softball career and it was wonderful to be part of an elite program.’’
Gorman will share the leadership reins with KP’s other senior captain — pitcher Faith Turinese, a quality hurler last year. “Faith is a calm competitor,’’ Gorman said. “She gets her share of strikeouts and she keeps her walks low. She’s aggressive towards the hitters and she’s also a threat as a hitter. The rest of our teammates will do a capable job replacing our graduated seniors. Our younger players are talented and eager to get their chance.’’
Gorman is quick to laud her coach for much of KP’s perennial success. “Coach Beauchemin is a great guy with a great heart,’’ she said. “He’s an excellent motivator who gets everyone’s best effort. He doesn’t get rattled and he shows lots of trust in his players.’’
KP opens its season on April 1 hosting Sharon, but Gorman is acutely aware that Taunton and North Attleboro will be the squads aiming for the Kelly-Rex Division title. “Taunton eliminated us in the Sectional last year,’’ Gorman recalled. “They’re traditionally strong and North Attleboro always has a capable team.’’
Relying on a competitive philosophy that stresses winning, reaching one’s potential and having fun, Gorman fully grasps how athletics (she also played five seasons of varsity ice hockey) can teach valuable life lessons.
“I’ve learned to never take anything for granted,’’ she said. “I suffered a broken leg before going into the eighth grade. I was playing for a club team and I learned the importance of overcoming adversity. Sports also teach leadership and how to learn from mistakes.’’
A fan of the Red Sox’ Dustin Pedroia because of his “scrappy style,’’ Gorman, who started playing softball as a five-year-old, no doubt will display Pedroia-like efforts in her final season as a Warrior.
As a student-athlete, Meghan Gorman is the total package. She was a State champion as a freshman and she’s maintained a team-first attitude as her career has progressed. Another State title would be fitting for this senior — ideal bookends for a first-class competitor.