Gonzales Cannon On-Line

Shiner secures state title No. 5

by Mark Lube, Gonzales Cannon Sports
June 12, 2015

Gonzales Cannon Article   |   Shiner Softball   |   Shiner Comanche Sports Home Page

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Shiner senior catch Tamara Hajek makes a successful tag out on Harleton’s Avery Underwood during Shiner’s 3-0 victory in the Class 2A state title game. (Courtesy photo by Stephanie Steinhauser)
[ NOTE: click on photo to enlarge ]
AUSTIN — Solid defense and pitching, clutch hitting have been great friends for the Shiner Lady Comanches all season long.

And the three-pronged attack was again there for the Lady Comanches as they blanked Harleton 3-0 June 4 in the UIL Softball 2A State Championship at Red & Charline McCombs Field at the University of Texas at Austin.

"It was a perfect game. Great defense; great pitching by CeCe (Darilek) and to get out that first inning the way we did was huge," Shiner head coach Steven Cerny said. "It was just a great team effort."

It is Shiner’s fifth state title in softball, tying them with rival Weimar for most state titles from any classification.

"Shiner softball has a lot of tradition and when I took over as head coach a couple of years ago, I knew it would be a lot of pressure. We had a good group of girls that worked hard and I am just proud of them," said Cerny, who serves as head football coach for Shiner and has coached baseball as well.

Once again, a stellar defensive effort that saw just two errors, two double plays and a shutout provided the push.

Cerny always makes sure his players get acquainted with stout defensive principles. He also stresses getting hits when they are most needed.

"We hit on all three cylinders at the right time," he said.

Harleton got a leadoff walk by Avery Underwood in the bottom of the first inning and got to second on the bunt sacrifice by Hailey Pyland. Taylor Pyland then got an infield single and Underwood went to third. Taylor Pyland took second on a wild pitch, giving the Lady ‘Cats runners at second and third. Ali Modisette was walked to load the bases. Morgan Underwood knocked the ball back to Darilek who tossed to Hajek for a fielder’s choice out on Avery Underwood to prevent the run. Randi Carol Philips then grounded out to shortstop Kailey Williams as Shiner got out of the mess and Harleton left three stranded.

Bethany Nevlud got a single down the third-base line to give Shiner success at its first batter of the second inning. Schuette reached second on an error and Nevlud got to third. Kassidy Bishop put a high shot into left field for a sacrifice RBI as Nevlud went home for the 1-0 Shiner lead.

Morgan Bullock got a leadoff hit for the Lady ‘Cats in the bottom of the inning. Dana Cooner then grounded out to third baseman Nevlud and the Lady Comanches completed the double play as Bullock was tagged out. Dakota Hawk then grounded out to Schuette at second to retire the side.

Things were relatively quiet until Nevlud’s two-out shot over the left field fence in the top of the sixth to give Shiner a 2-0 lead.

Shiner added a run in the top of the seventh. Bishop got a leadoff single and got to third on the error as Williams reached second. Bishop scored on the sacrifice RBI by Landman.

At the plate for Shiner, Nevlud was 2-for-2, solo home run and two runs scored; Bishop went 1- for-2 with RBI and run; Schuette hit 1-for-2 and Landman finished with one RBI.

Darilek earned her 24th win with a three-hit shutout, four walks and one wild pitch.

The victory was a fitting send-off for Shiner’s two seniors, catcher Tamara Hajek and designated player Lenae Kremling.

"Lenae and I asked the team for our graduation present, can you help get us the state title," Hajek said. "They did. Everybody worked hard; freshmen came through especially with Bethany’s (Nevlud) home run and the extra runs. It is just amazing."

Of course, the season was not completely smooth for the Lady Comanches

"Our season started a little shaky without the basketball girls. We were not sure about anything, who would play what," Hajek said. "We started building everything up, game by game and were doing the same practice routine; we started kicking butt at tournaments, working real hard on days like this and it paid off."

"The close games; beating Weimar (in the regional finals) to get here. It was a tough game but it really prepared us for the state tournament."

Cerny said the Lady Comanches had a great season with plenty of lessons learned on the way to the state title game.

"It went as good as it can get. We learned a lot of things. Played a lot of good teams. We prepared for this," he said. "I thought we got lucky in the state semifinals. We were about dead but got a big hit, got resurrected and got back on track in the title game."

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Shiner freshman Bethany Nevlud was selected as the title game MVP. (photo from post-game interview by Fox Sports Southwest TV)
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Bethany Nevlud won Class 2A MVP. In the title game, she went 2-for-2, two runs, RBI and home run. She had four assists on defense.

"I know that I work hard every day in practice with all of my teammates and they are there, pushing me and pushing me," she said. "My parents and my whole family were all there behind me and I thank every single one of them for my award because it is not just me; it is every one of them that have put forth effort into this and I appreciate everything, and am truly grateful for everyone that has been in my life."

The Lady Comanches had barely 24 hours after their 5-4 win over Hawley in the semifinals on June 3 before they took on Harleton but remained focused. " We pretty much came into today’s game from yesterday with a little bit of a breather," Nevlud said. "We came into today with the mindset we need to have fun as coach Cerny told us. Not a game to be worried and stressed about. This was going to be our last game of 2015 and to leave everything on the field. We did, leaving every ounce of blood, sweat and tears out there, and it paid off."

Box Score
      Class 2A State Championship - Thursday, June 4, 2015
      McCombs Field, University of Texas @ Austin

      Shiner 3, Harleton 0

      Score by Innings     123 456 7    R  H  E
      Shiner.............. 010 001 1 -  3  4  2
      Harleton............ 000 000 0 -  0  3  2

      S: CeCe Darilek and Tamara Hajek.
      H: Randi Carol Philips and Hailey Pyland.
      W — Darilek (24-2).
      L — Phillips (19-2).
      HR — S: Bethany Nevlud
      2A Game MVP - #12 Bethany Nevlud, Shiner

      Complete UIL Box Score for 2A Championship Game
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