Softball: Adelstein likes high-pressure life in the circle

2012-04-13T00:00:00Z Softball: Adelstein likes high-pressure life in the circleDaniel Gaona Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 13, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Mountain View softball coach Jill Malina saw Shayna Adelstein as more of a hitter last season.

This year, she's seeing the right-hander as a pitcher, too.

Adelstein, a junior, is undefeated in the circle at 5-0 with an 0.29 earned-run average while also maintaining a .378 batting average.

"I have total confidence in her," Malina said. "She's been playing really well. Her hitting has been tremendous for us.

"She's a clutch player, and I'm really proud of her."

Adelstein had minimal time in the circle as a sophomore because she took a back seat behind a pair of seniors who are now playing on college scholarships. Once they left, Adelstein took full advantage and has not let anyone down. Here's a look at her season to date:

Dominance in the circle

In 24 innings, Adelstein has given up only 19 hits and one earned run. She also has a pair of complete-game wins over Tucson.

She has struck out 14 batters but said she is more of a ground-out pitcher.

Adelstein has six different pitches: drop, rise, screw, curve, change and fast.

She said the drop is her bread and butter. Pitching coach Pete Gaalswijk agrees.

"It's the most effective, and I like throwing it the best," Adelstein said.

She said the curve is probably her second-best pitch, especially against slappers or left-handed batters.

"Usually it jams them, and I can get them out," Adelstein said. "If I throw a curve to a right-handed batter usually they go after it or can't get to it or ground out."

She wants the ball

Adelstein lives for the high-pressure situations and loves being in them. The mental side of the game is one of her favorite parts.

"You don't have as much pressure in other sports that you do as a pitcher in softball," Adelstein said.

She's been working on keeping her composure in those situations to avoid giving up a hit or making a mistake. "That's the moment you should have the most fun because that's when it all matters," Adelstein said.

Malina said not getting many chances to pitch last year has caused Adelstein to step her game up even more.

"Shayna has been playing exceptionally well," Malina said. "She was very good last year, too, but she's definitely stepping it up in the leadership role this year, on and off the field."

Clutch at the plate

Being a pitcher has helped Adelstein's bat. She leads Mountain View with 14 RBIs on 17 hits including three doubles and a home run.

Adelstein said she puts herself in the pitcher's shoes when she goes to the plate and wonders what she would throw herself.

"Knowing the spin of the ball," Adelstein said, "if it's inside I know they're throwing me a screwball, and that kind of stuff helps."

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