SANTA FE — Shelbi Sunseri is a freshman in name only, which is why Lady Indians softball coach Trish Leidy has had no problem entrusting her on the mound this season.
Sunseri will get the chance to continue instilling that trust for Leidy and Santa Fe as they prepare to take on Tomball Memorial in a best-of-three Region III-4A second-round series that begins today in Rosenberg.
“She’s a freshman, but she is very mature for her age when it comes to handling herself on the mound,” Leidy said. “She knows how to settle down and fix things when they need to be fixed.”
Leidy saw that firsthand during the Lady Indians’ (22-8) playoff series win over Lamar Consolidated last weekend. After Sunseri tossed a two-hit shutout in the series opener, she was hit hard early in a Game 2 defeat. Undaunted, Sunseri bounced back in the decisive game with a home run en route to also pitching a 9-0 shutout.
The ability to adjust didn’t belong only to Sunseri, as Leidy credited her team’s focus toward extending their season as a major factor in the Game 3 win.
“They learned from the second game and grew more as a team,” she said. “I think they their desire to keep fighting back helped push them in the end.”
Tomball Memorial (20-9) comes into the series with an eight-game winning streak, including a sweep of Houston Reagan in the first round. The Lady Wildcats will also be counting on an underclassman on the mound, as sophomore Trystan Melancon has taken the bulk of the pitching duties and also hitting better than .460 at the plate.
The fact that the Tomball Memorial was able to advance at the expense of an undermanned Houston Independent School District team will have no impact on what the Lady Indians will expect, Leidy said.
“If a team’s good enough, it’s not going to affect them in the least,” she said.