Donhauser makes her mark for Kenmore West
Whether it’s mowing down opponents in the batters box or just by being the sweet, likable young lady her new teammates have come to know and love Shelby Donhauser is making her mark on Kenmore West softball this season.
Originally breaking into the varsity ranks as a member of the Williamsville-North Lady Spartans, Will-North’s loss became the Blue Devils gain when Donhauser’s family moved into Ken-Ton this year and she transferred to Kenmore West.
“I was nervous at first,” Donhauser said. “But once I got here everybody made me feel welcomed. I really feel like I’m a part of the team now. Everyone welcomed me very nicely. I love it here!”
Donhauser said that they way her Blue Devils teammates welcomed her into their family right away helped her feel at home able to perform at her best right away.
“I feel like I’ve been here for years and that I know these girls,”she said. “I think (our trip) to Florida was a big part of it. We got to bond and everyone has been really nice and supportive.”
Working with an impressive 7-pitch mix that includes fastball, change-up, curve, screw ball and drop curve, Donhauser has shown good command of her pitches, she works both side of the plate well and mixes her fastball and off-speed pitches very well.
Feeling good about how she has been pitching Donhauser quickly added that she still has a lot to learn and feels very fortunate to be able to work with pitching coach Joe Catalano everyday.
“He’s a great coach,” Donhauser said.”I’ve worked with him before, but only in camps or pitching (lessons). But truly, as a softball coach, he’s one of the best I’ve ever had.”
Blue Devils captain and starting catcher, Kate Miller, feels Donhauser’s wide range of pitches is a huge plus in keeping opposing batters off balance.
“It gives us a lot more freedom to mix it up and make sure the batters aren’t expecting what’s coming,” said Miller.
Getting the ‘W’ in the Blue Devils 7-3 win over Kenmore East on April 26, Donhauser collected two key hits and notch 10 strike outs.
Donhauser was fearless against a good hitting Bulldogs team as she pounded the strike zone with fast balls, and had the guts to throw her off-speed pitches even when she was behind in the count.
But Donhauser’s talents are not limited to just the pitching circle, as she has arguably been even more effective in the batters box. Recording multiple hit games on a regular basis nobody in the Blue Devils line up is crushing the ball with the same kind of consistency as Donhauser has during the first month of the season.
As of press time Shelby was batting .607 with seven doubles, three home runs, 11 RBI to go with her 3-2 record and 38 strike outs.
“I gotta tell you, in 17 years of coaching and I shouldn’t say this, but I haven’t had a hitter this hot,” West coach Matt Chimera said with a chuckle as a near-red faced Donhauser laughed too. “Hopefully we can keep it going. I know we’ll keep it going, maybe she won’t be quite as hot, but she’s a great hitter.”
A great hitter, a great pitcher and a great kid, too.