2014-07-24 / Sports

Mossfinds sweet spot with Brandeis

Agoura grad excels on and off softballfield
By Eliav Appelbaum


GOOD TIMES—Liana Moss, center, celebrates a home run with Brandeis University softball teammates. Moss, a 2013 Agoura High graduate, was the conference rookie of the year in the University Athletic Association this spring. Moss stars at shortstop for the Judges. GOOD TIMES—Liana Moss, center, celebrates a home run with Brandeis University softball teammates. Moss, a 2013 Agoura High graduate, was the conference rookie of the year in the University Athletic Association this spring. Moss stars at shortstop for the Judges. Liana Moss is more than just a softball player. She is a renaissance woman.

She double majors in biology and politics at Brandeis University in Massachusetts.

Moss spent part of the summer interning at Townsgate Pet Hospital in Westlake—she wants to be a veterinarian.

The Agoura High graduate has visited around 30 U.S. national parks on road trips with her family.

She had a guest spot on a college radio show, and she’s thinking of hosting a sports talk show with Brandeis softball teammate Amanda Genovese.

Moss is a talented photographer. She knows the lyrics to every Beyoncé song. The list goes on and on and on.


SLUGGER—Brandeis shortstop Liana Moss has evolved into a power hitter. She led the team with seven home runs and 19 extra-base hits. SLUGGER—Brandeis shortstop Liana Moss has evolved into a power hitter. She led the team with seven home runs and 19 extra-base hits. “She loves being busy,” Genovese said of Moss. “She really likes everything she does.”

Moss, 18, savored a breakout freshman season this spring with the Brandeis Judges.

She led the team with seven home runs, 19 extra-base hits and a .726 slugging percentage en route to being named the conference rookie of the year in the University Athletic Association. She played in Brandeis’ first win against Emory in school history after 30 consecutive setbacks. She was third on the squad with a .387 batting average and tied for third with 30 runs scored.

Moss has a bevy of interests, but when she steps on the softball diamond, she transforms into a focused, determined competitor.

“I love the game,” Moss said. “I genuinely and thoroughly love the game. For me, it’s a joy to step on the field every day.”

The game is a delicate balancing act.

“I love the cerebral aspect. It’s a very thought-provoking game. You have to be on your toes,” she said. “And I love the emotion. It’s a very emotional game. So many little things can create absolute joy or defeat.”

The former Charger roamed second base during her three varsity seasons at Agoura. She shifted to shortstop with Brandeis.

“It’s a high-pressure position,” she said. “I really like the cerebral aspect of it. I have to be thinking all the time, even if the ball is not hit to me. I’ve definitely learned to be more vocal. You have to see the field and communicate.”

Moss had to learn how to manage her time efficiently while juggling multiple responsibilities.

She’d get on a bus at 7 a.m. on a Sunday, ride eight hours to Maine, play a doubleheader, ride eight hours home and find time to finish homework, papers and labs.

Agoura head coach Chance Redmond called Moss “a coach’s dream.”

“ She is the epitome of a leader,” Redmond said earlier this week between games at a Huntington Beach tournament. “She’s the first one on the field, last one off. She hustles to everything. When you make rules or set expectations, she does everything. She’s one of those kids who lead by example. She has the ability to get others to work harder to keep up with her.

“She’s one of the best pure leaders I’ve had in nine full seasons at Agoura.”

Moss was not a slugger in high school, but she always hit the ball hard. One-hoppers off the outfield wall now go for homers. Moss says she hit a hot streak that lasted the entire season.

Redmond said the former Charger’s college success is no fluke.

“We preach attitude, effort and accountability,” the coach said. “Her effort is second to none. She’s always doing what it takes to get better. She always has a positive outlook and attitude. She was going to put in work to be the best player she could possibly be.”

Moss can be a little intense on the field. Brandeis teammates call her Crazy Eyes.

“She’s just a lot of fun,” said Genovese, an incoming senior center fielder who led the Judges with a .452 batting average and 29 stolen bases this spring.

“We call her Crazy Eyes—she gets this look on her face when she gets really into the game. We’re always like, ‘Settle down, Crazy Eyes.’ Then she laughs.”

Moss started playing softball at age 5, growing up on Westlake Agoura Girls Softball diamonds. A youth soccer standout, she suited up for one season on the pitch with the Chargers.

She’s an animal lover. Moss has two dogs, Fritz and Ellie, and grew up with a pet tortoise named Herman. She works with Life Animal Rescue and is active in the Pre-Vet Animal Appreciation Society.

According to her mother, she’s expressed a desire to be a veterinarian since she could talk.

Moss is also in the Nothing but Nets organization, which raises money to fight outbreaks of malaria in developing African countries.

The daughter of Laura and Ken, Moss has a younger brother, Micah, 15, an incoming Agoura sophomore who participates in soccer and track.

Moss will return to campus two weeks early on Aug. 17 to be an orientation leader for incoming Brandeis freshmen. She is committed to improving her hitting, defense and conditioning this offseason.

She’s already eager for the first pitch of the 2015 season opener.

“She’s living proof that hard work and great effort pays off,” Redmond said. “She’s representing her hometown really well. She’s making us all proud.”

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