Seymour senior has deep connection to softball

Paige Kleber has been playing the game of softball for over 13 years, so it was only natural for her to play for the Seymour Owls once she entered high school.

Paige has a younger sister, Stephanni, on the team, and their father, Jason, has coached them on league and club teams in Seymour for several years.

“My dad (Jason Kleber) has always coached, so we always talk about it when we get home,” Paige said. “It’s something I’ve played since I was little and it’s something that my sister and I have always played.

“My dad actually runs tournaments for USSSA, so softball has been a big part of my life. When we’re not playing I’m usually out with dad at his tournaments and stuff helping so it’s always been a big part of my life.

The SHS senior like being involved in the action when it comes to softball, and that is one of the reasons she enjoys playing first base.

“All four years (in high school) I’ve played first base,” Kleber said. “I’m left-handed, so it’s a lot easier transition than most positions are for me. I like how I’m involved in almost every play.

“There is a lot of communication, and you have to be listening to the rest of your team. You need to know where your runners are and make sure as soon as you get the ball to be ready for a double play.”

At the plate, Kleber bats righty.

“I like my pitches right about belt-high,” Kleber siad. “I like them inside or down the middle. I don’t like them outside. I look to hit the first pitch. That’s my favorite pitch because it’s usually the one that they are going to give you that you have the best option to hit.”

She said she works on her hitting and fielding every day during practice.

“Practice is very important. I’ve been working a lot this year on staying down. I have a really bad habit of coming up too early,” Kleber said. “When I’m practicing I work a lot on outside pitches because I struggle to get the ball to right field. I pull almost everything down third base side. My sister (Stephanni) and I both play and we both pull a lot. We’re both really trying to work on it.

Paige said she and Stephanni pitched to each other a lot at home when they were younger, but now mainly work on their game at practice.

She said playing travel ball was a good experience playing against older kids and meeting players from other teams.

Kleber believes that the Owls can have a highly successful season.

“Our batting is going to help us a lot,” Kleber said. “We’ve got strong batting this year. We’ve got a lot of different players. It’s very competitive this year. It’s a matter of playing your position and doing it well.

Kleber is one of three seniors on this year’s team.

“The other seniors on the team, Rachel Kaufman and Emma Ramp are my best friends,” Kleber said. “Softball players are the kids I hang out with and stuff.”

She has enjoyed her time at SHS.

“I’m glad I chose to come here,” Kleber siad. “I’m definitely going to remember the coaches and the moments there, and all my friends. I’ll remember the wins and the small, little things. The bus rides are always really fun.”

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Name: Paige Kleber

High school: Seymour

Parents: Jason and Rebecca Kleber

Sibling: Stephanni

Sports: softball 4 years

Organizations: choir, D.A.R.E. role model

Plans after high school: attend IUPUI, study elementary education

Favorite food: chicken nuggets

Favorite TV show: The Office

Favorite musician: Billie Eilish

Favorite movie: Kiss and Cry

Favorite team: Florida State University