Seymour’s Rieckers to play softball at IUPUC

Seymour senior Alexia Rieckers said since she had some success on the softball diamond in recent seasons, she decided she wants to play in college and she wants to play close to home.

With SHS softball teammates looking on, last week, she signed a letter of intent to play softball at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus.

“I chose to play softball in Columbus because I wanted to stay close to home so I can have my mom and my stepdad come and watch me,” she said.

This spring will be the first season for the IUPUC Crimson Pride to field softball and baseball programs, and those teams will play their home games at Ceraland. Rieckers said she has played some club ball at Ceraland.

Rieckers plays first base and pitches for the Owls, and she said she looks forward to filling those spots at Columbus. Softball is her only sport at SHS.

“I like all the sportsmanship and all the family members that come and see us play,” she said. “I like the home games. I like the student section. They bring a lot of spirit.”

She said on playing first base, “I like that you get most of the runners out and you can see the opportunities of making different plays. I have a short body, but I can still reach most of the high plays.”

Rieckers said she looks forward to being one of the Owls’ main pitchers this spring. Last year, it was split between her and Kendrick Sterling.

The right-hander said she throws a fastball, change-up, screwball, drop curve, rise and drop ball. She said the grip and release determines what kind of pitch it is.

“The drop curve is my favorite strikeout pitch when it’s a good day,” she said. “It comes in on the outside part of the plate. If they hit it, it should be a ground ball. The change-up is my favorite pitch because of how slow it goes. I use a C (grip). It looks like a C on my hand.”

She said her favorite part of batting is hitting doubles in the gap.

“I love when I get doubles and everyone is cheering me on in the dugout,” she said. “I just look for a pitch I can hit to the outfield. I like high pitches.”

Coaching the Crimson Pride will be Tommi Stowers, who was an assistant coach at Seymour last spring.

Stowers said, “I’ve always liked Alexia’s personality. She is an amazing teammate. She gives 110%. She is always ‘Yes ma’am, I want to be better every single day,’ and that’s the kind of culture I’m trying to create.”

“I knew when she reached out to me that I was saving a spot for this kid because she did so much for the Owls,” Stowers said. “We have talked and she will be 100% pitching and will be competing for first base.”

Emily Bobb, who replaces Jerry Burton as the Owls’ coach this spring, said she feels Rieckers can have a good season with the Owls and a good career at IUPUC.

“I’m looking for her to be a leader on the field being back as a senior,” Bobb said. “She has good experience. She has went through a lot of obstacles over her time as a high school player, tearing an ACL (her sophomore season) and being really resilient to come back from that.”

Bobb doesn’t know where everyone will fit in this spring, but she knows Rieckers will contribute in the pitching rotation.

“Me being a new coach, everything is up for grabs,” she said. “I don’t know exactly where everybody is going to fit in, but I do know she has played first base and pitched in the past, and we will need her on the pitching staff again this year.”

The Seymour head coach is excited for Rieckers to play beyond high school.

“I think she has a great opportunity in front of her (at IUPUC),” Bobb said. “She has already been coached by Tommi, which is an advantage. She knows what Tommi expects and what Tommi’s standards are, so I’m hoping it will be a smooth transition for her, and I look forward to seeing what she can do there. As a coach, I’m proud of Alexia. The athletic department and the softball program are elated for her.”