Behind the plate

You can put the “team player” tag on Seymour softball player Katie Suits this spring.

She is hoping to be Seymour’s regular catcher this spring, but she will also play some at first base.

In other words, she just wants to be on the field.

“I just love the game,” she said. “Growing up, the teams I played on, the travel teams, you meet new people and they become your family. You’re spending your summers with them. You get all these coaches that are good mentors for you that not only teach you about softball, but about life, too.

“There are a couple seniors I’ve grown up playing with since we were little. It’s fun to play with them. I started in T-ball, so I’ve been playing since I was 5.”

This will be Suits’ fourth season playing with the Indiana Mojo travel team out of Bloomington.

She said she enjoys being behind the plate.

“I love catching,” Suits said. “It’s probably my favorite position. You’re always aware of stuff and you’re always ready for the next play.

“It’s very important to get ahead in the count, because once you’re ahead you can kind of play with the corners and just really push the limits on a strike and a ball and get people to swing. We always try to keep them on their toes, switch it up, like the eye level and in and out. We try to keep it different all the time.”

In games, Suits calls most of the pitches.

Assistant coach Jay Schmidt calls some of the pitches when his daughter, Lo, is on the mound.

Suits said when she is in the dugout between innings, she looks over what the opposing batters have done in their previous at bats.

“Before we go out there I find out who is coming up, and what they did last time,” she said. “If the batters are hitting certain pitches, we have to make a change. You’ve got to make a switch and just keep them on their toes so they don’t get used to her and they don’t tie her up.”

Suits has been batting fifth in the order and said she enjoys the RBI opportunities.

“I look for a first-pitch strike because usually the pitcher wants to get ahead,” Suits said. “If it’s something I can hit hard I’m going to go for it. I’m usually really picky at the beginning. If I have two strikes I’ll try to foul it off and protect the plate.”

Suits said she enjoys the home games.

“I love Seymour, and I love the atmosphere we have,” she said. “I love when we’re at home. I like playing at Columbus North, and I also like Jeffersonville’s field.”

In her four years, Suits has enjoyed playing for both of her high school coaches, Brian Personett and Jerry Burton.

“They coach different styles,” Suits said. “We do different drills at practice. (Burton’s) lineup is different than we were last year. It’s different, but it’s not necessarily good or bad.”

Playing solid, fundamental softball is a key for the Owls, Suits said.

“We’re just going have to make sure we’re all on the same page, and what’s working, and that we’re pitching and catching,” she said. “We’ve just got to keep our errors at a minimum and keep hitting the ball.”

Suits said her favorite softball memory was when the Owls defeated Jennings County in the HHC tournament to advance to the championship game against Floyd Central, and a nine-inning win over Jeffersonville her freshman year.

She said another big memory came during her sophomore year against Bedford in the sectional when she hit a home run to send the game into extra innings.

In the winter, Suits played a key role off the bench for the basketball team.

“I was the sixth or seventh man,” Suits said. “I just came in to give our starters a breather, and get in there and rebound and play solid defense. I was more like a role player.

“I enjoyed the teammates that I had, and the coaching staff. We always made a way to have fun. It was a good four years.”

Suits’ high-point games this season came against Silver Creek and Austin as she scored 9 points in those games.

“I liked setting screens and getting other people open, getting people the basketball that will be playing it in the future,” Suits said. “I liked helping them get the points that they liked to get.”

She said the highlight for her in basketball was helping the Owls win the Hoosier Hills Conference her junior year.

“Winning it outright was a big deal for us,” Suits said. “I’d say the HHC is one of the toughest conferences in the state.”

The senior has enjoyed attending Seymour.

“I love Seymour High School,” Suits said. “It’s really cool. There some fun teachers in the athletic department. They are really great.

“Sports are a lot of fun, and I encourage people to just keep having fun and never take the fun out of the game, and play because you enjoy it, and not because people tell you to, or you have to make sure you take it one day at a time because it does go fast.”

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Name: Katie Suits

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Steve and Susan Suits

Sibling: Montana

Sports: Softball, four years; basketball, four years

Athletic awards: Basketball, 2015-16 conference champions, 2016-17 coaches award

Organizations: National Honor Society, youth group, show choir

Plans after high school: Attend Taylor University, play softball

Favorite food: Mexican

Favorite musicians: for KING & COUNTRY

Favorite team: Indiana University