SHINER - Sophomore second baseman Alyssa Strauss didn't think her 2- for-4, three-RBI performance in Shiner's Class 1A regional quarterfinal victory last week over Falls City was anything special.
After all, she was just joining the crowd.
The Lady Comanches had 17 hits in their 19-0 five-inning rout of Falls City, including a two-run homer by Strauss, the first of her career.
"We worked hard in practice all last week on our hitting and we had to adjust to the (slow) speed of their pitcher," said Strauss, who also had an RBI triple in the win and was named the Advocate Athlete of the Week. "Coach pitched slow to us in practice so we could adjust and it worked."
Strauss almost had two home runs against Falls City. Her triple just missed clearing the center-field fence.
"Her triple hit the center-field fence and rolled back almost all the way to second base," said Shiner softball head coach Brandon Siegel. "Another foot and a half or two feet and she would have had two home runs."
Strauss has also played a key role defensively for the Lady Comanches. She was Shiner's starting shortstop as a freshman on last year's team that reached the semifinals of the state tournament. This season, Strauss was asked to switch to second base and she has flourished at her new position.
"Second base was one spot we had to replace early on in the year," Siegel said. "I tried a number of people there and she felt comfortable with it and we moved another player to shortstop. So far, it's been good for us."
The Lady Comanches (20-6-1) will face D'Hanis (16-8) in a one-game regional final playoff Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Converse Judson softball complex. Shiner, which returned all 10 starters from last year's state semifinal team, got off to a slow start this season, but is peaking at the right time, according to Strauss.
"This season started out kind of rocky," Strauss said. "But as the season progressed, we progressed as a team. I'm not surprised at all with this team because I know what we can do."