With its series sweep of Center Point on Friday, Shiner is one step away from a state tournament berth.
Shiner catcher Holly Haas protects the plate against Ganado earlier this season. Shiner faced Ganado for the District 28-1A title in April. Angeli Wright, Victoria Advocate
The 27-4 Lady Comanches, currently ranked as the top team in Class 1A by the Texas Girls Coaches Association, will take on Mart this weekend for a chance to head to Austin the following week.
Here are five keys to their success this season:
One through nine, the Lady Comanches can hit. They have gotten contributions from senior Amber Ramirez to freshman Kristin Schacherl. Everyone has power and good control of the bat. Throughout the season, every person in the lineup has had a key hit.
Ashley Shimek is 20-0 as a pitcher this year with an ERA somewhere below 1.00. It's good to have a pitcher of her caliber, but just as important to have players such as Julianna Rankin and Holly Haas, who was the team's primary starter last season, and others able to pitch well behind her.
VERSATILITY IN THE FIELD
Several players on the Lady Comanches switched positions at the start of this season. Coach Brandon Siegel said that he expects each player to be an athlete, and part of that is being able to handle multiple positions. As a Class 1A program, he said, everyone needs to be able to take on the responsibility of multiple positions because the team doesn't have the luxury of specialization.
Shiner trailed Center Point in Game 1 on Friday before the team came took the lead in the fourth inning. As Siegel put it, the Lady Comanches got hits and plays when they needed them most, and have all season long.
SENIORS WHO'VE BEEN THERE
Holly Haas and Ashley Shimek were both members of the 2008 Shiner softball team that went to state, and got to experience what this kind of playoff run takes. It's valuable to have players who have been there to continue a long tradition of success.