When Carrie Shere returned to the team last season from injury, Trinity coach Bob Osborne said he noticed something was missing.
“Confidence,” Osborne said. “That was going to take a while to get back.”
In January before her sophomore season, Shere underwent her second hip surgery, on her second hip. Although she recovered ahead of schedule, Shere, who lives in River Forest, spent the season on the bench.
Now, the junior is healthy for the first time and in the starting lineup as an outfielder.
“It’s been a long journey for her,” Trinity senior pitcher Chase Machain said. “It’s so great to have her on the team.”
Shere, who bats sixth in the order, entered this week batting .357 with three home runs, 10 RBI and nine runs scored for the Blazers, who improved to 10-2 overall and 4-0 in the GCAC Red after Friday’s 13-3 win over Loyola.
“I remember last year she would worry about hurting her hip, and she wasn’t as explosive as she could have been,” Osborne said. “Last year was tough for her, and I felt bad for her.
“But she’s getting comfortable again. She’s one of our best hitters and a very good defensive outfielder.”
Shere said her hip problems started before she got to Trinity and were related to her extensive athletic commitments.
When she was 13 years old, Shere tore the labrum in her right hip and needed surgery.
“It just starting hurting one day, but I continued to play through it,” she said. “But it got worse. I remember one game diving for a ball, and I felt a pull. I later went to the doctor.”
Shere said she was feeling better as a freshman and played basketball and softball for the Blazers. But not long after that, Shere’s left hip started to hurt and she eventually needed more surgery.
“I did everything I could to come back as early as possible,” she said. “I did all of the exercises, both at physical therapy and on my own to build up strength and get my mobility back.”
It wasn’t until she played with the Illinois Chill during the offseason that Shere got herself in peak physical condition.
“I was nervous to see how the season would go,” she said. “But the summer went well. I put in the time to be ready for my junior season.”