For The Tribune

Lutisha Gregory said she enjoyed being part of the Seymour Owls softball team the past four seasons.

“Playing defense, I loved the anticipation, and you really don’t know what’s going to happen next,” she said. “I just loved the ‘not knowing’ part of it. Mainly I played in the outfield. I like left field because it gets a little bit more action than right.”

In the outfield, it is important to communicate with teammates on fly balls at all positions on the field.

“If there is a ball in the gap, or what we call ‘the bloopers,’ those are balls that you really need to communicate on to avoid a collision, so you’re yelling ‘I got it’ so you’re drop-stepping and going hard for the ball,” Gregory said.

Gregory focuses on positioning while playing defense.

“Normally it is the outfielder going for the ball because they can see the positioning a little bit better because they’re running,” Gregory said. “It is easier to run forward than go behind, so you are calling off the infielder.”

Gregory said the hardest ball for outfielders to catch are the line drives.

“Sometimes they are hard to judge, especially if they are really high up in the air, whether you really need to get back or if they’re just going to come straight at you,” she said.

Batting right-handed, when Gregory stepped in the batter’s box she expected to be thrown a strike on the first pitch, especially when facing Hoosier Hills Conference teams.

She said she always tried to be aggressive on the first pitch and tried to drive the ball through the infield and into the gaps.

“We had some very good pitchers in this conference,” Gregory said. “I like pitches waist-high and outside. You just have to be prepared for anything. Every pitcher has her favorite pitch, and ones that are working good for her that day, you just have to go with what’s working for her.

“When you’re up at the plate, it’s just you and the pitcher, and that’s the whole game. It’s up to you to make a play for your team to get some runs on the board.”

No matter what sport you play, Gregory said she thinks that it’s important to play with confidence.

“Especially in batting, you have to go up knowing, thinking, ‘I’m going to hit this ball,’ especially when we play the teams in our conference,” Gregory said. “You have to believe that you’re going to hit the ball or make the play. If not, you’re going to go up there scared and more likely choke.

“I think practice is really important because if you’re putting 50 percent in your practice, then you’re not going to give 100 percent during the game.”

When she started her career, Gregory played T-ball with the boys.

She said travel ball was a good experience.

“Playing on more than one team, every coach was different; everybody does stuff different ways,” Gregory said.

“I was able to play on multiple teams through one season, so the fact that you don’t just get to play one game and take the whole week off helped. I got to play games back-to-back.”

At a glance

Name: Lutisha Gregory

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Doug and Sara Gregory

Sports: Softball, four years; cross-country, two years

Athletic awards: Softball — mental attitude 2013

Organizations: National Honor Society, band, Key Club

Plans after high school: Attend IUPUI, major in chemistry (pre-med)

Favorite food: Macaroni and cheese

Favorite TV show: “Chicago Med”

Favorite movie: “Black Coffee”

Favorite athlete: Amanda Locke


Q: Did you enjoy your time at SHS?

A: “What I liked about SHS it was kind of big, yet small, so everybody knows everybody. The teachers really care about if you’re getting something out of their class, and if you’re not, they’re willing to take your questions and try to answer them as well as possible.

“It’s been a lot of fun and I think it’s really prepared me for college.

Q: What was it like playing with this year’s softball team?

A: “I think going into this year we had a lot of good things happen during the travel season, and we have a very talented freshman class coming in. We all get along fairly well. We’re all singing and dancing on the bus. We meshed together well.”

Q: Favorite away field?

““My favorite (away) field is Jeffersonville. It is a very nice facility and is all enclosed, the netting and everything.”