Quaker Valley graduate Shaheen is big hit for new softball team
Quaker Valley graduate Rachel Shaheen is making up for lost time as a member of the Mercyhurst North East softball team.
Shaheen, a freshman, joined the Saints late after leaving Liberty.
“She transferred at the break and we have asked her to do a lot of catching up for what she missed in the fall,” Saints coach Brian Dewey said. “She is our everyday second baseman.
“We are teaching her all of the ins and outs of that position. There is a lot to cover and remember, but she is picking it up quickly.”
Shaheen, of Sewickley, planned to walk on at Liberty, a Division I school in Virginia. When tryouts were not held, she moved to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Saints, who are in Erie County, before the spring semester.
In 33 games, she has compiled a .337 batting average, driven in 16 runs, scored 21 runs and stolen two bases.
The Saints are 19-14 overall and 4-0 in the conference.
“I am happy with the progress our team is making as a whole,” Shaheen said. “Looking back, we have already greatly improved our skills compared to where we were during spring training.
“However, on a personal note, I have not been performing to the capacity I know that I’m able to offensively. I have quickly learned that college softball demands a lot more, on and off the field, than both high school and travel ball.”
Shaheen, who is 5-foot-4, said Dewey has been patient as she learns a new position.
“I enjoy playing second base,” she said. “There has been much to learn and improve upon, because I’ve mostly played (shortstop), outfield and (in my junior year of high school) third base.”
“My goals for Rachel are to develop into a complete hitter,” Dewey said. “We are working on her short game, as well as pulling the ball more when the pitcher throws her inside.
“At second, our goals are to be more aggressive and feel when she has to be in a hurry and when she has a lot of time.”