Lorelei Schmidt said she began playing softball in Seymour at age 7, and it has been her favorite sport ever since.
“I started with baseball when I was 6 because my brothers played so I had an interest early on,” she said.
When Schmidt switched to softball a year later, she knew then that she wanted to be a pitcher.
“I asked my first softball coach (Mike Wright) if I could try out pitching for an inning in my first Rec League game and I fell in love with it,” Schmidt said. “I continued pitching the rest of my career, and I have throughout high school.”
In her freshmen her, Schmidt acted as a relief pitcher while also playing outfield and second base.
Over the past two seasons, Schmidt has started in the circle. When she isn’t pitching, she’s in the outfield.
She says she throws a curve ball, change-up, drop and rise.
“My No. 1 pitch is probably my curve,” Schmidt said. “Getting ahead is the key to getting batters to strike out or hit an easy ground ball for an out. When you’re ahead in the count, the batter can’t wait for their favorite pitch. They have to hit whatever you pitch them.”
During games, Schmidt adjusts to different batters.
“After the first time through the lineup, I work on upsetting the hitters’ timing,” Schmidt said. “I throw more change-ups and ‘junk pitches.’’’
When not on the mound Schmidt said she enjoys playing right field.
“In the outfield I enjoy running to track down long fly balls,” Schmidt said. “You have more chances to not only make the routine plays, but also the tough plays.
In the infield there’s not as much time to react to a ball that’s hit to me, so I like that I don’t have time to think or worry about making an error. I just rely on my instincts.”
Schmidt said communication is a key to playing error-free defense.
“Without communication, it’s really hard to know the situation and what to do,” Schmidt said. “It’s important to always talk to your teammates before and during plays to let them know what to do or to make sure they have your back.”
The senior started out batting right-handed, but switched to hitting left-handed at age 11.
“Hitting is where I feel most comfortable in softball,” Schmidt said. “I really enjoy finding gaps in the other team’s defense and placing the ball where they aren’t. Last spring I typically hit third, fourth or fifth.
“When I’m batting, the first pitch is the pitch I look for a specific pitch. Typically, I wait for the outside pitch for my first pitch and set up to hit it to left field. If the ball isn’t outside, I’ll take that pitch.”
She has played travel ball for the past several years and played in tournaments in Panama City, Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and several tournaments in Indiana.
“Travel ball has changed the way I play the game,” Schmidt said. “I’ve gained so much experience through travel. It showed me that I needed to work hard on my skills to be able to compete with other teams. It helped me develop my pitching and hitting, and prepared me for success in high school.”
Lo has played on several teams coached by her father, Jay.
“He’s developed me into the player that I am today,” Schmidt said. “As my hitting and pitching coach, he’s always pushing me to work hard to help my team.”
She said she believes the Owls can win the sectional this spring.
“Everyone has to be 100 percent focused on what they need to improve in their game,” Schmidt said. “Talent-wise, we are able to compete for the sectional championship. It will take teamwork and positive attitudes to make that happen.”
Schmidt said she has had a lot of good experiences at Seymour.
“I’ve enjoyed all the people I’ve met and become close with,” Schmidt said. “Being part of the band for four years changed my entire high school experience and I’m so glad to have been a part of that.
“I’ve enjoyed my teachers that have helped me along the way. Going from being home schooled to being a very involved high school student has been a big change for me, but I’m so glad I could make that transition at SHS.”
[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Schmidt file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]
Name: Lorelei Schmidt
School: Seymour High School
Parents: Jay and Kim Schmidt
Siblings: Sierra, Laurin, Sam, Abby, Joe
Sports: softball 4 years
Athletic highlights: advancing to HHC tournament championship game, 2016 MVP, second team all-state
Organizations: band, National Honor Society, Latin Club, Immanuel Lutheran Youth
Plans after high school: attend Indiana University and study speech-language pathology
Favorite food: pizza
Favorite TV show: I love Lucy
Favorite musicians: Jon Bellion/Houndmouth
Favorite movie: School of Rock
Favorite team: Indiana University