Konner Dahlberg, who has committed to SDSU, helped RB win this year’s Game at the Lake against Poway.
Konner Dahlberg was on top of the world six years ago after pitching her travel team, Power Surge, to the 12U national softball championship.
She arrived at Rancho Bernardo High three years later with high expectations.
Dahlberg was ready to make her mark with the Broncos last season only to fall victim to a pair of freak injuries.
A concussion at the San Diego State camp in August was followed by a thumb injury — a stretched tendon — she sustained while diving to make a catch during practice.
“I was pitching behind a screen during warm-ups, but I wasn’t completely behind the screen so I took a shot off my forehead,” the 6-foot junior said. “It left a mark.”
The headaches lasted, off and on, for more than a month and forced the right-hander to leave school early a few times.
It took six months for Dahlberg to pass the California Interscholastic Federation’s concussion protocol.
“Chemistry is hard to learn when you’re dealing with a concussion,” Dahlberg said. “It was not a fun time of my life.
“It was difficult to sit and watch, especially when I knew I could have helped the team. I pitched less than two games.”
Those injuries cost her most of her sophomore year and pushed her contributions to this season for Rancho Bernardo, which opened the San Diego Section playoffs last week as the No. 4 seed in Division I.
Dahlberg has become the ace pitcher as well as hitting in the cleanup spot in the batting order during an injury-free junior season.
“She hasn’t even hit her potential,” Broncos coach Summer Boyle said. “It was frustrating seeing her on the bench all the time when we counted on her going into the season.
“If you look at her, you’ll see she has the build to get much stronger and that will help her pitching and her hitting.”
Ideally, Dahlberg said, she would like to pitch and hit in college.
“If it comes down to one or the other, I’ll pitch,” Dahlberg said. “I’d love to do both, but I love pitching too much.
“I’ve done it since I was 7. I like the feeling of striking out people and being in control in the circle.”
Dahlberg has committed to San Diego State.
“I wanted to stay in San Diego at all costs,” she said. “I wouldn’t last a week in cold weather.”
Her crowning moment thus far at Rancho Bernardo was pitching against Poway in the 20th annual Game at the Lake.
Dahlberg had three hits, including an inside-the-park home run, and a complete game in a 9-2 win, snapping defending Open Division champion Poway’s four-game winning streak in the lake game.
“Going into that game, we felt like this was our year to get Poway,” Dahlberg said. “No way were we losing this year. We just played relaxed.
“I just tried to finish the game after we got that big lead. I was tiring, but I pushed through it like the pitcher is supposed to do.”
Dahlberg describes herself as not very outgoing off the softball diamond, but she assumes a different personality in the pitching circle.
“I have a lot more confidence on the field,” she said. “I feel like I can get anyone out.
“I’m not going to yell and scream when I’m pitching. Keeping it calm and cool out there is best for me.
“I don’t pitch very well if I’m mad or emotional.”
The way her sophomore season unfolded, it would be understandable if Dahlberg was emotional every time she pitched.