At the very beginning, the nerves showed.
“The first game I started, everyone saw how shaky I was,” Greene said. “Bridget did a good job of calming me down, and after my first couple of innings I was fine.
“She is a good senior idol.”
Greene looked like a seasoned veteran against Evergreen Park on Thursday during the Astros’ 12-1 South Suburban Red victory.
Abby Horton and Greene each had two hits and two RBIs for Shepard (13-7, 7-4). Greene struck out seven en route to the pitching win.
Brooklynn Hohman doubled and scored for Evergreen Park (7-11, 3-7).
Greene (5-3) has 65 strikeouts in 68 innings. On Thursday, she allowed just four hits. She stranded six, and showed her finesse during a fourth-inning jam.
In that one, Evergreen Park loaded the bases with one out, the highlight a double by Caiti Smith.
Greene responded by striking out Hohman on a wicked changeup, and got Jazmine Estrada looking.
The change-up caught more than a few Evergreen Park hitters off guard.
“That’s my favorite pitch,” Greene said, laughing. “Getting some innings in this season feels good.”
McDermott, a St. Francis recruit, is enjoying the view.
“It’s awesome,” McDermott said. “Kelly is my neighbor down the block, so I drive her home after every game. We talk about the game the whole way there.
“It’s awesome watching her pitch. I love it. When I was sitting out, I would keep track of pitches with coach (Kelsey) Clifford. It was fun to say, ‘Let’s do the change-up, let’s do it.’”
As a junior, McDermott broke the program record for career strikeouts. She suffered a pulled muscle in her back during the summer, and saw limited innings at the start of her senior season.
McDermott played left field for the Astros on Thursday. It was her first game back after being cleared by her doctor.
“I have never been more pumped during a warmup before,” McDermott said. “Getting out there was awesome. In the next few weeks I’ll ease back into (hitting and pitching).
Clifford, meanwhile, hasn’t hesitated in handing the ball to Greene.
“We knew that Kelly was coming,” Clifford said. “We didn’t necessarily have her in a starting role this season. We had her seeing innings here and there, but we were really looking at her to play outfield.
“When things went down (with McDermott), Kelly had to step up to the plate. She did that times 10. It’s really good to have her.”