CSUN outfielder Carissa Sherman is not going to skip a beat at the start of her senior season. After being unable to play for two seasons due to two separate injuries, she is suiting up and taking the field once again.
Her first injury came during the fall of her junior year in 2015. She was going through a workout during practice and dislocated her cuboid bone in her foot. After rehab during December of that year she came back and fractured the same bone taking her out of the 2016 season.
“Rehab was challenging because I felt that I could play and make my way back on the field,” Sherman said about her first rehab assignment. “I felt I had control over managing the pain, but I was not allowed back on the field.
During the 2016 season Sherman found a vital role for the team. She was still brought onto the team and gave everything she could by being a vocal leader in the dugout. She also gave guidance to her team’s other outfielders.
Sherman was fully participating in the first practice in the Fall of 2016, almost a year after the initial injury. She was involved in a throwing drill for outfielders. As she received the ball and made a crow-hop towards home she landed wrong on her right leg and went down.
She not only tore her ACL but her meniscus which caused her to miss the entire 2017 season.
The 2017 season should have been Sherman’s senior year, but she spent it like she did her junior season dealing with another bad injury.
“My role instantly changed back to me bringing my knowledge to the team.” Sherman said about the 2017 season.
For most practices Sherman would be in the softball clubhouse, scout pitchers and find the tendencies of the ace pitcher from other schools. This would help the team during games. Sherman would notice a movement from the pitchers and bring her knowledge to the team.
“I changed my mindset and decided I was going to accept what had happened and I understood it was out of my control to change the situation,” Sherman said about her ACL tear that led her to share her knowledge and become more than vocal support.
Elizabeth Bird, the CSUN softball team athletic trainer has been working with Sherman through the rehab for her ACL and meniscus tear. “I think being a fifth year senior has its perks, and she knows the importance of rehab.”
Sherman worked with Bird for about two to three hours a day during the beginning of rehab, but her hours have reduced to one to two hours a day.
“I think the biggest challenge Carissa has is when she is healing from one injury something else comes up,” said Bird about Sherman’s challenges.
Taylor Nate is one of Sherman’s closest friends and former teammates who has helped her through her injuries. Nate was also a leader of the CSUN softball team for the past two seasons.
“Strong and determined. There is no other way to describe someone who had to go through back to back to back injuries and have had a sport you’ve dedicated your whole life to taken away,” Nate said about her friend. “I think her senior season will be great! I believe she is going to be better than before and will lead her team to a championship.”
Sherman has knowledge of the game unlike any of the other girl on the field. She has been scouting and almost an extra coach for her team. “Her knowledge is such an asset to the program,” Nate added about Sherman.
“I feel content and confident going into season. I became stronger through my injuries and know that what I have is what I have,” Sherman said about going into her last season.
During practices in January, coach Tairia Flowers has had Sherman not only in the outfield but also at second base. Her knowledge and vocal ways in the infield have helped a young team.
“Carissa is one of the best softball players I have ever had the chance to play with. Her injuries and the journey to come back have made her stronger, a harder worker and more resilient than anyone I have ever met,” Nate said about Sherman.
The CSUN softball team starts their season on February 9th in Tempe, AZ for the Kajikawa tournament hosted by Arizona State. CSUN home opener is on March 9th when CSUN kicks off Matador Classic Tournament.