McALESTER — McAlester senior Cheyenne Selman started her senior year with high hopes. She’d led the 2012 Lady Buffaloes to a district championship and won District Pitcher of the Year as a junior, and she said Friday she’d hoped to accomplish even more.
But even before the season started, Selman said, she started feeling back pain. And then, about midway through the season, the pain got really bad.
After meeting with Landon Christy, a chiropractor in Denton, Tex., Selman learned she’d jammed the sacroiliac joint in her left hip.
“It was just jammed from the repeated jumping off and landing on my left leg,” Selman said.
“It kicked up again when were playing school ball at the Shawnee Tournament (from Aug. 29-30). ... From there on out, the pain just got worse and worse.”
The injury forced coach Justin Bond to shut down Selman as far as pitching, and she pitched just nine innings after Sept. 9. She continued batting, but the injury affected her swing as well, causing her batting average to drop from a season-high .517 on Sept. 9 to .396 at the end of the season.
“Swinging did hurt my back,” Selman said. “One of the things that Dr. Christy told me when I was down there, he said that when I was pitching, the reason I couldn’t throw strikes, is because subconsciously, I was changing the way I was pitching to work around the pain.”
Selman has been pitching since she was 7. Home-schooled through fifth grade, she played three years of softball with Frink-Chambers, winning a state title with Frink as a seventh-grade player, spent her eighth- and ninth-grade years at Savanna and then transferred to McAlester.
Unable to play varsity as a sophomore because of her transfer, Selman played on the JV team. She became the team’s pitching ace and one of its best hitters as a junior, enjoying the tight bonds formed with her teammates.