BACK IN THE FIELD: Trinity outfielder comes back strong in senior season

For The Tribune

Sami Newmister wasn’t able to play softball her junior year at Trinity Lutheran due to a shoulder injury.

That didn’t stop her in her senior season.

She said she is glad she returned to the diamond this spring where she split her time between left, and center, field, and first base. She also played second base and caught in the past.

“I’ve had a lot of fun,” she said.

Newmister was on two sectional-winning teams at Trinity. She also helped the Cougars win a sectional in volleyball her junior year.

Her main position this spring was center field.

“Out of every position I’ve played, probably left field is my favorite,” Newmister said. “Center field is all right. It’s a little different judging the depth of the ball and everything like that so it’s taken a little bit to get used to.”

Newmister said it took communication between her, left fielder Maddie Bell and right fielder Chloe Criswell to make plays on defense.

“I know their strengths and their weaknesses, which way they can move quickest and everything like that and so I tried to help them out and get the balls that they couldn’t get to,” she said. “If we didn’t communicate, we were looking straight up into the air and we didn’t know where everyone was so communication was a big deal because you could really hurt someone just by running into them and having a collision, plus you could drop the ball and have someone score.”

Newmister said she also had to call out who was going catch pop ups in front of her.

“Talking is a big deal being in the outfield, especially when you’re charging in on a short ball and you have your infield charging hard at it too, and you have to call them off if you can get it,” Newmister said. “Talking is a big deal in softball that I don’t think a lot of people understand how big of a deal it is. You’re basically you’re ‘blind’ or something when you’re trying to field a pop fly or something because you’re looking straight up and can’t see anything around you.”

She batted fifth this spring, and had a lot of opportunities to drive in runs.

“I’ve always been a contact hitter just so I could move the runners and I’ve never been a power hitter,” Newmister said. “This year we really worked on it a lot because being in the fifth position is just halfway so you have to somehow get on so the other people can hit you in. I think I really stepped up a lot, not just getting RBIs.

“My strong suit was actually (pitches) outside. I would much rather have an outside pitch. I think I see it better. Doing that and being a contact hitter I could place the ball pretty easily to where I wanted a little pop over the second base or in the gaps in the outfield between center and right.”

Newmister said she enjoyed the home games.

“I love playing on our field,” she said. “I believe our field is one of the best fields that we play on. It’s pretty level, the grass is amazing. There’s no clumps in our outfield.”

She said her favorite away field was New Albany.

She talked about the importance of practice.

“Without practice you can’t work out your kinks,” Newmister said. “I know a lot of people say you need game knowledge, and I’m a true believer of having enough game time, and experience actual games because you don’t get that in practice.

“In practice you get time to ask ‘what do I do if this happens,’ or ‘in this situation what am I doing?’ In the outfield you have to know if you’re throwing home, if you’re throwing to second, if you’re hitting your cutoff, and what you do if the ball is in the air or on the ground.

In volleyball, Newmister enjoyed working as a setter.

“I loved volleyball,” she said. “It was a great atmosphere.”

Newmister liked attending TLHS.

“I enjoyed the nurture you have in the small community, the loving individuals that you’ll always have in Jackson County,” Newmister said. “You see your teachers in church on Sundays, you see them out in the community and they recognize you.

“I enjoyed the one-on-one time you get with people. You pretty well know everybody in the school. The academics challenge you, but you never just are left alone. You’re always given help if you need it.”

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Name: Sami Newmister

School: Trinity Lutheran High School

Parents: Steve and Sherida Newmister

Sibling: Spencer

Sports: volleyball 4 years, softball 3 years

Athletic highlights: 2 softball sectionals, 1 volleyball sectional

Organizations: student ambassador, choir, culture club

Plans after high school: attend Western Kentucky University, study criminology

Favorite food: pasta

Favorite TV show: One Tree Hill

Favorite movie: Benchwarmers

Favorite team: North Carolina