The Keller softball team’s 2017 state championship run was lead by sophomore outfielder Amanda Desario — literally.
The Lady Indians lead off hitter and all-state tournament selection came through in a big way in Austin, and former Keller coach Bryan Poehler (former standout Keller pitcher Christina Gywn-Barton is the new head coach) said Desario is the kind of teammate every player needs.
“Amanda is very passionate,” Poehler said. “She was close with the Class of 2016 seniors, and I feel that really helped her be confident in the locker room and on the field. She is a good communicator in the outfield and a great teammate in the dugout.”
I love to lead off and get on and look into my dugout and see all my girls cheering me on. I hop up and down on the base, screaming ‘Let’s go!’ to get them going a little bit.
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Desario, who hit .500 with nine doubles, four triples and 25 stolen bases this season, said that the team’s run to state was something she will never forget.
“I thought it was amazing, setting foot back onto that field again,” Desario said. “We knew once we were there, we had it in the bag. We knew what talent was heading our way but we just took deep breaths and told ourselves, hey, we have been here before, so need to sweat it. Just treat it like a regular game. My team was amazing — we started off strong and finished strong even with our two rain delays. We just never stop grinding and played for the gold.”
Poehler said that one of Desario’s greatest attributes is her speed, but the Keller outfielder has no intention of resting on her laurels.
“I plan on building up my core and legs in the off season,” Desario said. “I got a few injuries this year and I want to make them strong. I always want to work on getting better. There is always stuff to work on — nobody is perfect, and I would like to work on my hitting and outfield work.”
The pressure of being the lead off hitter can be unnerving for some athletes, but Desario said it is something she welcomes.
“I love to lead off and get on and look into my dugout and see all my girls cheering me on,” Desario said. “I hop up and down on the base, screaming ‘Let’s go!’ to get them going a little bit. I think we get as far as we do because we are just so close to each other, and we get loud.
“I try getting my dugout pumped up when I’m on the bases because that’s how rallies get started and we feed from that excitement, and we just know if someone messes up, the girl right behind her can pick her up.”
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