Entering this past softball season, Polytech standout pitcher Shaina Reed had already put together a successful high school career, earning first-team all-conference and all-state honors in both of her first two seasons with the Lady Panthers.
Now, for the third straight season Reed has been named to both the Henlopen Conference First-Team, and the All-State First-Team.
Reed has been the anchor of the Lady Panthers pitching staff since breaking onto the scene her freshmen year, and along with a well-rounded and talented team they’ve seen a lot of success of the past three seasons. The Lady Panthers have advanced to the post season each of Reed’s three seasons on the team, earning a trip to the state finals in 2013, and the quarterfinals this year and in 2012.
While Reed is proud of her individual accomplishments, she’s still motivated to improve her game and help her team take the next step toward a state title in her senior year.
“It feels really great to be recognized state-wide,” said Reed. “I just want to continue to work hard to try to improve my game every year.”
Like any player, Reed’s game has changed throughout her three seasons pitching for the Lady Panthers. She admits she’s a different player now than she was three year ago, and with every victory notched she’s becoming more and more comfortable. At times a pitcher can try and do too much, putting the pressure of the game squarely on their shoulders. Over time, Reed has learned to trust her skills, while letting her defense do a solid job behind her.
“I think that my freshman season I was very nervous in the circle,” Reed said. “But now I think that after three seasons, I feel much more confident in my abilities and I always know that my defense has my back.”
After falling in the state championship game a year ago, the expectations were high for the Lady Panthers this past season. And while they came up short of their ultimate goal, Reed is confident the team will be back in the championship conversation come next spring.
“We struggled a little more this year than we’re used to,” said Reed. “We managed to make it back to the state tournament and I’m proud of my team for that.”