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2011 IN REVIEW: No. 6 Shimek leads Shiner to title

Dec. 26, 2011 at 6:26 a.m.

Ashley Shimek was a converted middle infielder who took over in the circle on a permanent basis after the Lady Comanches lost the district opener to Ganado. She had three wins, but had pitched sparingly to that point. But coach Brandon Siegel needed the other players who could pitch full time at positions they were stronger, and that meant Shimek took over in the circle. The senior would go on to pick up wins in the next 21 games. She finished with an ERA well below 1, a 24-0 record and nine shutouts. Shimek was named the TSWA's Class 1A player of the year, District 28-1A's MVP and was the MVP of the 1A state tournament. Her work earned her 2011 all-area MVP honors from the Advocate.

Even though the Shiner Lady Comanches clinched their second state championship in four years with a win over Grapeland, it was a loss to Ganado that changed the fortune of Shiner softball in 2011.

After losing the District 28-1A opener, Shiner coach Brandon Siegel gave the ball to Ashley Shimek and the Lady Comanches never looked back.

Shimek finished with a perfect 24-0 record, including wins in Shiner's last 21 game to close out the year.

Shimek stepped up her game in the big stage of the Class 1A final.

Against Grapeland and ace pitcher Summer Groholski, Shimek pitched a gem. She allowed just two hits, struck out five and didn't allow a base runner after the fourth inning in a 1-0 Shiner win.

Although Shimek was named the tournament MVP, it wouldn't have been possible without some underclassmen coming through in pressure situations.

In the championship game, freshman Kristin Schacherl and junior Ryah Michalec hit consecutive doubles in the top of the sixth to give the Lady Comanches their only run.

Another freshman got the Lady Comanches to the state tournament with a swing of a bat.

Meagan Chumchal stepped up to the plate in Game 3 of Shiner's regional final against Mart and hit a three-run homer that put Shiner up 9-8.

The Lady Comanches won by that score and returned to Austin the following week to claim the state title.



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