When Lake Dallas senior catcher Shelby Nelson committed to playing softball for Tarleton State as a freshman, she loved everything about the school. She instantly fell in love with the Texans’ softball program. She loved the academics.
But as the next couple of years passed, Nelson realized that Tarleton State was not the perfect fit for her. That’s why she decided to decommit from Tarleton State before summer ball started this year and restart the recruiting process. She sent emails and videos of game highlights to colleges with the hope that another school would be interested in attaining her services.
The University of Central Oklahoma came calling not long after. Nelson took her official visit to Edmond, Okla., campus a few weeks ago. On Sept. 17, Nelson made it official with the Broncos, giving a verbal commitment to play softball for Central Oklahoma.
"Whenever I committed to Tarleton, I was just a little too young," Nelson said. "I feel like I rushed myself into it. I loved everything about Tarleton. As I grew up, I just realized that it wasn't the right fit for me.”
In regards to Central Oklahoma: "Honestly, I liked everything about it,” she said. “I loved the coaches. They create good bonds with all of their players. Beautiful facilities. It's not far from home. I just love the way that coaches plan everything out for the kids and how much they actually care."
Named the District 6-5A Catcher of the Year last season, Nelson posted a .500 batting average with 10 home runs, 25 RBIs, 23 runs scored and 11 walks for the Lady Falcons. That display of power came not long after she underwent offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum. Powered by Nelson’s bat, Lake Dallas clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2016.
Nelson said that she was pleasantly surprised by her offensive production, especially coming off of the type of injury that she sustained.
"It definitely helped my confidence,” she said. “I couldn't have done it without my teammates. Every step of the way, they were always pushing me. They were always very positive and very caring for me no matter what. I definitely have to give credit to them. But whenever I stepped on the field, I was a little nervous. But I told myself to push through this and fight no matter what."