Shaler’s Cordera reaps rewards of switch to 1st base
Wednesday, July 3, 2019 | 11:48 PM
Kelsey Cordera had an opportunity to do some different things during her senior year at Shaler Area.
Instead of taking her usual position in center field, Cordera was asked to play first base. It was the first time in three or four years she had played the position regularly.
“I was comfortable with it,” Cordera said. “It was a little bit more difficult communicating with the other infielders. When I was in center field, I was helping coordinate with the left and right fielders.”
Cordera adjusted and helped guide a scrappy Titans team to the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs. Shaler finished 11-8 before bowing out to eventual WPIAL champion West Allegheny, 7-5.
Her attitude and work ethic helped land her an opportunity to play at Edinboro. The Fighting Scots finished 22-19 last season, including a 12-8 record in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
Cordera, who didn’t consider any other schools, was drawn to the university by its education program.
“They have a really good education program there,” Cordera said. “I like the team and coach there. I didn’t really look anywhere else.”
Cordera taught other players a willingness to sacrifice for the program. Titans coach Tom Sorce talked to Cordera about changing during the winter to try to get a few other players in the lineup.
“She was an outfielder for most of her school career,” Sorce said. “She stepped up and said she’d be OK with moving to first base to help the team out. Her attitude is great.”
Sorce said Cordera put in a lot of repetition to prepare for the switch.
“She’s a nice tall target,” Sorce said. “She adapted well. She was so focused on learning the aspects of a new position. One thing is for sure: She took a lot of reps.”
When it comes to college, Cordera will settle back in the outfield.
College coaches have challenged her to hit for power. While she wouldn’t describe herself as a power hitter, Cordera will put in the work to fill that role.
She is planning to play a full travel-ball schedule to get the necessary work in.
“I just want to adjust with how pitchers are throwing at me,” Cordera said. “Just swinging the bat harder isn’t going to get you anywhere.”