GVSU softball senior Teagan Shomin making most out of final season

GVL / Emily Frye      
Softball vs SVSU on Sunday March 25, 2018.

GVL / Emily Frye Softball vs SVSU on Sunday March 25, 2018.

Kellen Voss

In the world of collegiate and professional athletics, young men and women usually improve their abilities as they advance through their respective sports. However, when it comes to Grand Valley State softball player Teagan Shomin, she has experienced a lot more growth mentally than physically as she reflects over her time here at GVSU.

The senior has emerged as a source of leadership among her teammates and coaching staff. More importantly, Shomin said she’s ready to lead this team to another conference title and a deep postseason run, all while playing her favorite position: third base.

“It’s a position where I can do more and think less, and that’s the kind of person I am,” Shomin said. “I have so much respect for pitchers, catchers and outfielders because I could never do that.”

Shomin broke out for the Lakers in 2017, finishing her season batting .319 with 53 hits, 32 runs, 11 doubles, two triples, three home runs and 17 RBI. She really is a prime example of what it means to be a student athlete, as she has made the GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team two years in a row.

One would think that with all this softball success, Shomin has been in love with the game of softball her whole life, but that is simply not the case. Despite being the daughter of a high school softball coach, Shomin’s favorite sport growing up was hockey.

“I learned how to skate when I was young, and I was very passionate about it,” Shomin said. “I stopped playing my freshman year of high school because none of the kids I played with went to my school, so I couldn’t really hang out with them.”

From there, her athletic focus shifted away from the ice and toward the ball field. She played all of high school, and despite growing up here in West Michigan, she never expected she would end up at GVSU.

“I wanted to get away and out of West Michigan, but then around my junior year, there was a softball camp going on at GV,” Shomin said. “My dad convinced me to go. After the camp, the previous coach offered me a spot, and everything felt right. So I went for it, and it’s been one of the best decisions of my life. 

“You could say it was very much a happy accident.”

Shomin is picking up right where she left off last season. In 24 games—all of them starts—she’s already accumulated 34 hits, 15 RBI, seven doubles and three home runs.

But when asked how she has improved here at GVSU, Shomin didn’t mention any statistics or any of the technical skills she’s learned. Instead, she gladly spoke of her improvement mentally on this team and how satisfied she has been during her time here.

“I’ve improved as a person more than anything else,” Shomin said. “In terms of mental skills and handling difficult situations, I’ve grown so much as a person. One day, I’m not going to be able to hit a ball, but I’m still going to be a decent person. I’m okay with that. I’m definitely a different person than I was four years ago.”

When she finally hangs up her glove and cleats forever, Shomin will remember all the time she spent with her teammates and will take away many important life lessons as she transitions into the “real world.”

“I tell this to the freshmen as much as I can: Relax, it’s just a game,” she said. “Remember to smile, good vibes only, and enjoy it. You won’t remember the stats; you’ll remember how you felt being a part of a team and having a family of teammates. It’s a great feeling.”

This season is a little less than halfway through for the Lakers as they head into the thick of conference play. The GVSU softball team has gotten off to an impressive 19-5 start, highlighted by a current 11-game winning streak.

Just like the rest of her teammates, Shomin has a lot of confidence in her team. With that confidence and the realization of her impending graduation, she knows there are still many things she wants to accomplish as a team, including winning the GLIAC conference tournament and the rings that eluded them last season.

“Right now we’re doing well, and everyone is a leader in their own way since we’ve established such a positive mindset and family culture here,” Shomin said. “I want another conference title and the conference tourney, which we are very capable of. I can’t wait to make that race and hang with all my friends on this team, soaking it all in and not getting wrapped up in the little things.”

GVSU looks to stay undefeated in conference play this weekend, as they travel to Ohio and Detroit for doubleheaders with Tiffin and Wayne State this weekend. Games at Tiffin are at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday, March 30, while the games on Saturday, March 31, at Wayne State are at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.