Victoria Advocate AdvoSports

Shiner aims to keep district's state streak alive
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
by Antonio Morales, Victoria Advocate Sports Article   |   Shiner Softball   |   Shiner Comanche Sports Home Page

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Shiner’s Kassidy Bishop celebrates with Madison Jalufka after scoring a homerun against Weimar on Saturday at Morck Softball Field at TLU in Seguin. The team won 6-5.
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all photos by Richard Hoang, Victoria Advocate
When the Southeastern Conference won seven consecutive national football championships, it quickly earned the reputation as the best conference in college football.

In the world of Texas high school softball, District 28-2A has produced four consecutive state championships, and five of the past seven, which has helped it gain notoriety as one of the strongest districts in the state.

Shiner, which won the first of those four consecutive titles in 2011, will attempt to extend the streak to five when it begins play at the UIL Softball State Championships with a semifinal matchup at noon Wednesday against Hawley at McCombs Field in Austin.

"Our district is one of the toughest in the state," Comanches coach Steven Cerny said. "Weimar, Flatonia, Ganado, everybody has great pitching, a lot of tradition. So it takes a lot to get out of our district.

"The district that we have right now plays a style of softball that is fast-paced, puts pressure on your defense, and always has good pitching. So when you get to the playoffs, you've basically seen everything and prepared for every situation that may come about."

This is the first time Shiner (29-5-1) has reached the state tournament since its 2011 triumph.

The Comanches, who haven't had the chance to build a scouting report on the Bearcats (29-2) yet, are excited about the opportunity they've presented themselves with, but Cerny contends they'll treat this game as an equal to every other one they've played.

There was a possibility Shiner could have ditched that mindset when it faced Weimar, a team that had won two consecutive state championships and knocked out the Comanches each of those years, in last week's regional finals.
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Shiner’s Cece Darilek makes a pitch against Weimar on Saturday at Morck Softball Field.
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But Shiner stayed the course and reversed its fortunes against its district foe with a two- game sweep.

"I was very pleased with our approach against Weimar," Cerny said. "We got in some major jams, and we were able to keep our composure and work our way out of it. That's what really impressed me about this team, the way they were able to handle the tough times."

Age has been nothing but a number for the Comanches this postseason, as they've received contributions from pretty much every grade level.

Freshman Kailey Williams hit a home run in a regional semifinal victory, and classmate Bethany Nevlud went 3-for-4 with three RBIs in Game 2 against Weimar.

Junior Cece Darilek has been stellar on the mound this postseason, and senior Tamara Hajek is the team's emotional leader.

All of that has led to one of the most balanced teams Shiner has had under Cerny.

"Shiner is very big on softball," Cerny said. "It starts with the little league program, so when they come in as freshmen, they're ready to play. We just have great chemistry. We're young, but we have a good blend of juniors and a couple of seniors there as well. It's a perfect blend right now."

A mix Cerny hopes can produce yet another state title.

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