Shiner coach Brandon Seigel's worries about freshman softball pitcher Heather Haas being able to overcome the stress of the postseason have officially been put to rest.
Freshman Heather Haas will be the starting pitcher for Shiner when the Lady Comanches play Bosqueville in the Class 1A regional final on Thursday at Round Rock McNeil High School. Shiner ISD Photo
In fact, Haas has raised her game in the playoffs, compiling a 4-0 record with a miniscule 0.91 ERA. She struck out nine batters in Shiner's 5-2 victory in Game 1 of their Class 1A regional semifinal series against Thorndale on Friday, then finished off the Lady Dogs on Saturday with a five-inning one-hitter in the Lady Comanches' 12-0 rout that sent them into Thursday's regional final against Bosqueville.
For her efforts, Haas was named the Advocate Athlete of the Week.
"I was concerned to some extent about whether or not she would be able to handle the pressure situations, but she hasn't skipped a beat," Siegel said.
"This is exciting," Haas said of the playoff experience. "Not too many freshmen get a chance to go this far."
Haas stepped in at the beginning of the season to become the Lady Comanches' No. 1 pitcher. Entering Thursday's 7:30 p.m. regional final game against Bosqueville at Round Rock McNeil, Haas has a 17-3 record and 1.07 ERA. She has struck out 239 batters in 141 innings. But most impressively, she has allowed only 19 bases on balls all season.
"I don't like it when batters get on base without earning it," Haas said.
Haas throws six different pitches - fastball, changeup, drop, rise, screwball and curve - and has excellent command of all of them, especially for a freshman.
"She's a very smart girl," Siegel said. "She's real conscious of all the aspects of pitching. She just has a lot of talent and ability."
Haas hopes her talent and ability help lead the Lady Comanches to the state tournament.
"That's been my goal ever since I started pitching," Haas said. "I'm kind of surprised they (the playoffs) haven't been harder. But as long as we keep working hard, we'll do well."