Growing up in the Houston suburb of Pearland, a young Rebecca Berreth liked to keep active. Like many young girls, she loved being outside and playing sports. However, she played a few more sports than many other little kids. It seems there were few games she would not try, few teams she would not join.
“I played volleyball. I did gymnastics for a long time. I played basketball. I ran track in junior high,” said junior shortstop Rebecca Berreth. “I played soccer.”
No matter how many teams she was on and how many different sports she tried, Rebecca always had a clear favorite, one sport that came most naturally to the six-year-old slugger.
“Ever since I was little softball was always my favorite,” Berreth said. “My mom especially liked me to play other sports because it kept me well rounded, but I always knew that I would always end up playing just softball at some point.”
For the Trinity shortstop, there was no doubt. It was always softball to which her heart and future were irresistibly stitched. It was always softball, but it was not always shortstop. By the time she reached high school, Berreth had chosen her sole sport, casting the others aside for the only one that really mattered to her. It was as a player at the 5A Pearland High School, where she settled into the role of second baseman. It was at second that Berreth felt most at home, confident in her own game and comfortable about her place in the larger one. Yet when Berreth arrived at Trinity, the coaches took advantage of Berreth’s lifetime of middle infield experience, having her replace a graduated shortstop. The new position and its responsibilities managed to throw Berreth off of the consistent rhythm she had built in her years on the diamond.
“There’s a huge difference even though it’s still middle infield. It’s a lot different, you’re kind of the captain of the infield. You definitely get a lot more balls hit to you and a lot harder hits so it was a huge adjustment,” Berreth said.
“The shortstop that came before was a talented player and team leader,” Berreth said. The shoes left by the previous infielder for Berreth fill felt even bigger for a first-year with no experience in the particular position. Berreth’s first season as a Tiger was one that challenged and pushed the player both physically, mentally and emotionally.
“I had some games where I really struggled where I was like “˜I’m just not really good enough,'” Berreth said. “A couple times when I cried to my assistant coach. Typically I would never do that but it was just really emotional. For someone who was always like felt very comfortable in their position and knew that they could do well to go from that to feeling like you’re not good enough and you just aren’t even almost capable of playing that position.”
It is sometimes the times that push you the hardest that make you the strongest, but only if you learn to push back. Rebecca pushed through.
“Mentally telling yourself: I’m gonna make mistakes, but I’m gonna get better. I just need to keep working,” Berreth said.
Flash forward to present day. Berreth, a junior, has proven herself a capable shortstop, who has become a valuable asset to Trinity softball. Last year she was twice awarded SCAC offensive player of the week, earning a position on the SCAC All-Tournament team, All-SCAC Second Team, and NFCA All-West Region Third Team. Berreth has a batting average of .372 and over the course of her three years at Trinity, has learned to love the position she never thought she’d play.
“Once you become more comfortable [at shortstop], it is very rewarding kind of feeling. You are the captain of the infield and you know that your teammates look to you,” Berreth said. “I thought I would never like it as much as second base, but I think I was wrong.”