Senior first baseman Morgan Greenwood has always enjoyed watching longtime friend and DePaul teammate Jessica Cothern swing the bat.
Well, except maybe when she’s watching from the on-deck circle — which was quite often back in their days together at Providence.
“We were always back-to-back in the hitting lineup whether it was three and four or two and three,” Greenwood said. “I remember her pulling foul balls and almost hitting me.”
Cothern, a junior catcher, got a kick out of that flashback.
“Oh, yeah,” Cothern said with a laugh. “There were a couple of times where I almost killed her. Back then I pulled the ball way more than I do now.”
These days, both are hitting it straight and far.
It was a real eye-opener checking out the DePaul stat sheet the other day and finding out that the Nos. 1 and 2 hitters in batting average are Cothern (.371) and Greenwood (.351).
And they’ve shown power, too, for the Blue Demons (23-9).
In Saturday’s 8-6 victory over Seton Hall, Cothern broke open what had been a one-run game with a three-run homer. It was her fifth of the season. Greenwood was next and hit her fourth home run.
Back-to-back, just like in the old days.
“It’s been pretty cool,” Greenwood said. “It really does feel like old times. I can still remember when she would always look at me and say, ‘OK, it’s you and me, Mogee.’”
The moments worth remembering at Providence were many.
For Greenwood, the highlights began her freshman season when the Celtics advanced to state in Class 3A. She was remarkably poised for a freshman that year, hitting .417 with five homers and 29 RBIs.
It was a trend that continued throughout her career at Providence, which included all-area honors three times.
The summer before her first year at DePaul would bring Greenwood’s greatest adversity when she suffered an ACL injury. She had just 21 at-bats as a freshman, primarily as a pinch-hitter.
“I was rehabbing a lot,” Greenwood said. “I started to get back going in my sophomore year, but I really didn’t feel like myself until my junior season.
“That was hard, coming in from high school where I started all the time. It was a very humbling experience. I really feel like that is what pushed me to come back stronger.”
Cothern also left a significant mark at Providence, earning all-area honors twice. During her senior season in 2016, Cothern was the GCAC Red Player of the Year.
Her main reason for selecting DePaul had more to do with its medical curriculum, but she certainly embraced the opportunity to rejoin her old teammate.
“Morgan has always been somebody I can go to for help in classes because we are both science majors,” Cothern said. “When I found out we were going to the same college and she wanted to be a doctor, it just seemed really comforting to have her around.”
And the fact that Greenwood swings from the left side while Cothern bats from the right hasn’t stopped them from helping each other hitting-wise.
“We bounce critiques off of each other about what we see,” Cothern said. “If I see Morgan doing something, I’ll mention it to her and she’ll say, ‘Oh, I didn’t even think about that.’
“It’s cool to have somebody on the side you can always turn to that you know has seen your swing for years and can offer advice.”
Even if it’s to stay alert in that on-deck circle. Greenwood still ducks.
“Yeah, sometimes,” she said, laughing. “Especially when that change-up comes.”