A-K Valley Senior Spotlight: Deer Lakes’ Delanie Kaiser

Monday, May 15, 2023 | 10:02 AM

The Deer Lakes softball team has a clear goal this season. After finishing as WPIAL runners-up to Avonworth last year, the Lancers want to finish what they started.

“We want to get back to the WPIALs,” said senior center fielder Delanie Kaiser, a key part of the Lancers lineup. “We are still figuring out who goes where and what is needed for us to gel together. We have good team chemistry, and the goal is to get back to the WPIALs.”

Delanie is the daughter of Rachel and Joseph Shurina. She is a member of the National Honor Society, French National Honor Society and the volleyball team. She was a three-year captain on the volleyball team and a three-year starter in volleyball and softball.

Avonworth is our biggest competition in the section,” said Kaiser. “Their pitcher is great, and they hit from top to bottom. We learned a lot from playing them twice this year about what we can and can’t pitch, and I hope to see them again.”

Kaiser took some time out of her busy schedule to sit down and answer some questions for a Senior Spotlight Q&A:

How long have you been playing softball for and why did you choose that as your sport?

I’ve been playing for about nine years since I started when I was 7. I think at the time, a lot of my friends and my brothers were playing either baseball or softball and I thought it was interesting.

This season, you moved from playing third base to center field and have two freshmen with you in the outfield covering the corners. How have you stepped into the leadership role and what was the transition like?

My sophomore year, I played right field, so I knew what it was like to play in the outfield at this level. I’m the only senior, and this wasn’t a big adjustment. I’m happy to step up to the plate here. I keep the communication up in the outfield and tell them where the ball goes, whether that’s in or out. They’re good ballplayers, and I can trust them.

Where else have you played on the field?

I used to catch, play shortstop, first base, outfield and used to pitch. Basically everywhere.

What makes a good center fielder in your opinion?

I think if you are going to play center field, you have to have good leadership qualities. A center fielder typically presides over everyone, and you have to be able to talk to the infield as well.

You are the leadoff hitter. What type of mentality do you go to the plate with?

I’d love to hit one over the fence; however, I know I’m not that type of hitter. A lot of times with the leadoff hitter, you should see as many pitches as possible and be hesitant when swinging at the first pitch. That approach particularly is working for me.

Your freshman year was interrupted and lost due to the covid-19 pandemic. How do you think the pandemic changed things for you as an athlete and for all sports?

The time off made me appreciate my sport more and get rid of the bad mechanical habits I picked up. On the collegiate level, more opportunities came out of it as players were able to be eligible a year longer, and I wish we had that too on the high school level.

What is your favorite part about the outfield?

I love to track fly balls. It is so much fun and the two other outfielders are my best friends. I’ve not only taken on leadership, but I have made two new friends in the process. It’s nice to branch out and play a different part of the game.

What are your expectations for the rest of your senior season?

I have high hopes and no matter how it ends, I had a great career with a good team. I’ve played with a lot of the girls and coaches since I was 8 years old, made history and love playing with the girls and under good coaches.

What are your future plans?

I plan to attend Chatham University to major in mathematics and education while playing volleyball.

What is one piece of advice you’d like to leave with your teammates?

Play as one.


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