If you feel that every event happens for a reason, a there’s a Mansfield softball player who couldn’t agree with you more.
Just as the district season was about to get underway, Mansfield High School’s Paxton Scheurer suffered an injury to her knee. Two physicians agreed that her torn meniscus would require surgery and an inevitable five-month recuperation and rehabilitation period.
When Scheurer went in for arthroscopic surgery, it was learned the knee was just sprained. Hence, the next day, Scheurer was in physical therapy and back on the field within two weeks.
The role for the then-junior took became quite different from her customary pitching, playing right field and power hitting.
Despite missing about three weeks with a knee sprain, Paxton Scheurer was tabbed her district’s pitcher of the year and also named to play in the Texas Girls Coaches Association All-Star Game in July.
“(Having the injury) taught me a lot of things,” Scheurer said. “I learned how to deal with injury and how to benefit my team in other ways. I kept pitching charts and gave signs. My teammates pushed me to come back and I wanted to get back to play with them.”
Because of the injury, the Lady Tigers were able to use fellow senior-to-be Elizabeth Shutt on the mound and then rotate pitchers once Scheurer returned.
“When we got to the playoffs, the defense was ready to work instead of just sitting there,” Scheurer said.
Despite missing about six games, Scheurer was tabbed the district’s pitcher of the year and also earned academic all-district honors. She was also recently named to play in the Texas Girls Coaches Association All-Star Game in July.
The focus for Scheurer, though, was still on her ability to produce at the plate.
She admits to not staying current on her pitching or hitting stats but recalls she was in the .400s, and because of the missed games, she returned to the field in a bit of a slump. She still managed to collect four home runs, but that’s off her mark of double-digit dingers the season prior.
Her power isn’t from her 5-5, 130-pound frame, she said, but from honing her skills over time.
She refers to herself as a “small power hitter, and I use everything in me to get on base.”
Many pitchers are swapped out for designated players for their hitting, but Scheurer said it surprises many that as a pitcher, she’s still one of the top hitters.
“Pitchers sometimes don’t hit and it surprises some when I’m up there,” she said. “But from an athlete standpoint I’m more of an infielder/hitter. If you can hit, a coach will find a spot in the lineup for you.”
That mindset is key in her plan to play at UT Arlington after her senior season.
UTA is building a program by attracting a number of key players from the area, and the thought of creating a strong, local fan base in Arlington is attractive to Scheurer.
“The commits I’ve seen are good ball players,” Scheurer said. “There’s a commitment to the future and it will be fun.”
Before then, though, Scheurer will continue her club team play for the Texas Glory-Shelton Gold team.
“I want to work on getting better every game and every tournament,” she said. “The whole team is going D1 and you have to fight for your spot. It’s like it will be in college, and it will prepare me for the years to come.”