By Brian Kalish, CentralWisconsinSports.net
It was a banner year for Pacelli softball as the team won the WIAA Division 4 state championship, and the accolades continue to roll in as senior Sami Kay Shafranski was named to the third team all-state by the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association.
With an eye-popping stat line for 2015, it’s no wonder Shafranski earned a place among the best in the state.
Shafranski hit .500 for the season with an on-base percentage of .574 and slugging percentage of .630.
While the stats are impressive, Pacelli coach Ann Molski said that Shafranski’s leadership and focus on the team over any individual accomplishments is what sets her apart.
“I feel that she is the best outfielder in the state,” Molski said. “It’s what she brings to the plate, not just skill-wise, but her desire to help everyone be better and that real team focus is what stands out about Sami.”
An illustrative example of Shafranski placing the team’s needs over her own occurred when she was asked to move to from outfield to shortstop this season. Though the move may have had an impact on individual accolades, Shafranski did not hesitate to make the move.
“She said, ‘Coach, I want to go to state,’” said Molski. “For her, it’s always about the team and the higher goal.”
Shafranski said that much of her success can be attributed to the network of support surrounding her.
“It felt pretty awesome to make it onto the all-state team; it’s a great honor and I really couldn’t have done it without all the help I’ve gotten from my teammates, coaches, and family,” Shafranski said. “I actually found out through my dad, he texted me and let me know that I had made it. I was just really excited, I couldn’t stop smiling.”
Shafranski felt that winning the state title this year had added significance with a group of close-knit seniors anchoring the team.
“It was so special winning state this year,” Shafranski said. “When my fellow seniors and I started our Pacelli softball careers as freshman we also made it to state and it was almost magical you could say to be able to do it again our senior year. The entire team put in so much work this year and it really paid off. Our team formed a bond that never can be broken, we all are such great friends that it was just that much better when we won. We got to share it with people we truly care about.”
Though difficult to pinpoint one moment in her career at Pacelli that sticks out as the most memorable– because there have been so many memorable moments– Shafranski did say that her sister Christonna catching the final out in this year’s state championship game was special.
“I was just so proud of her in that moment and was so happy,” Shafranski said. “It’s something I will never forget.”
The prep softball season ended just weeks ago, but Shafranski is still on the field playing for Fire Pro this summer, and she will continue her softball career at the collegiate level next year at Upper Iowa.
“I really hope to improve my game and make it more versatile,” said Shafranski. “I am really looking forward to learning more about the game as well. I’m not sure what success will look for me exactly, but as long as I achieve the goals I have for the future that will be a success for me.”