For The Tribune

laying softball throughout her career in Seymour has made Keia Blair a more competitive person.

“I think we’ve all become more competitive because we all want a winning season in the end,” Blair said. “Each game that we go out there ready to play and ready to win, that’s our goal.”

Softball started for Blair at a young age, when she played T-ball.

She did some pitching and was an infielder earlier in her career. But when she started playing for the Owls, she switched to outfield.

“I played more right field this season,” Blair said. “I like right field because I can read the ball a lot better in right field than I can anywhere else. Sometimes, I find it kind of difficult to read the ball, just judge how far up it is and how far back it is.”

For Blair, communication is important in the outfield, especially on line drives and not knowing whether to charge the ball or go back.

“I think we have really good communication in the outfield,” Blair said. “We’ve worked on that a lot this season, and I feel like we haven’t had any major collisions or anything. I think the communication with the infielders has been really good this year.”

Other challenges she has to contend with in right field are the sun and the wind.

“Right field is the sun field, and in our field, the sun is so bad during the time we’re playing,” Blair said. “You’ve just got to try and block out the sun, and I think if the ball is shorter, you should have enough confidence to get there and make the play to the best of your ability.

“Get to the ball right away. If it is over your head, you should have confidence that you are going to catch it. If you don’t have the mental attitude that you’re going to get there, then you’re not going to get there.”

Blair said when she goes up to bat, she prefers high pitches. She admits she has trouble with pitches over the outer half of the plate.

“I like balls a little high. I always go after the high ones,” she said. “Outside balls are really a struggle for me. I can hit inside balls pretty well. I stand further back in the batter’s box, and I hit to left field a lot.”

At the plate, Blair has worked on being patient and tries not to swing at pitches outside the strike zone.

“If it’s too high, I can lay off of it,” Blair said. “If it’s eye level, I’ll lay off of it. I just like to swing at pitches that are right at my chest. I have pretty good patience.”

Blair, one of six seniors on this past spring’s roster, said she enjoyed her teammates.

“I enjoy being with my teammates and making friendships and relationships with them,” Blair said. “I think this year, we have really close team bonding.”

This past season, the Owls made sure to get the most out of practices.

“I think practice is very important because how we practice is how we play in the game the next day,” Blair said. “If we have a good practice, then the next day, we tend to have a real good game. But if we have a bad practice, then it carries over to the next day.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”At a glance” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Keia Blair

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Elizabeth and Scott Heyne

Siblings: Chase, Maddie, Peyton, Paxton, Preston, Taylor and Zeke

Sports: Softball, four years; cross-country, one year

Athletics honors: Defensive player of the year in 2012, offensive player of the year in 2014

Organizations: National Honor Society, Latin Club, D.A.R.E. Role Model

Plans after high school: Attend University of Cincinnati

Favorite away field: Floyd Central

Favorite TV show: “Orange is the New Black”

Favorite musician: SoMo

Favorite movie: “A Cinderella Story”

Favorite quote: “You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it.”


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