Going into the 2017 softball season, Seymour senior Lo Schmidt faced a tough decision.
The tendonitis in her arm, which carried over from her junior year, continued to ail her pitching arm.
Seymour’s ace — she went 9-4 in 2016 in a record-setting season — could try to tough out the throbbing pain or play full-time in right field.
“I had tendinitis last year, and thought I would be able to pitch again this year,” Schmidt said. “It kept getting worse and worse, and then I had a neck injury. It just wasn’t a good season for me to pitch, so I decided to just focus on my hitting.”
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While she moved away from the ring, Schmidt kept a positive attitude throughout the offseason and continued to put in work.
Spending almost four nights a week in the batting cages, the ball started to look bigger to Schmidt.
Once the spring rolled around, Schmidt became one of the biggest offensive threats in the state.
For all her efforts this season, The Tribune has named Schmidt the repeat Jackson County Softball Player of the Year.
Schmidt led the Owls with 33 hits, including seven doubles and a pair of homers.
Hitting in the No. 4 spot, Schmidt had 23 RBIs and an outstanding batting average of .524.
“I hadn’t ever hit there until this year,” Schmidt said of hitting in the cleanup position. “I really liked batting fourth. Hitting fourth on the team is kind of a big thing, Just being a senior, everyone kind of looks up to that for help.”
Schmidt credited her offseason practices in the hitting facility for her offensive accomplishments.
“I had a lot more time in the barn this year,” Schmidt said. “I was able to pretty much go out and hit whenever I wanted to.”
At the plate, Schmidt always looked for the right pitch.
“From the very beginning you get to pick what you want to hit and go with it,” Schmidt said.
In 2017, the Owls matched last year’s record-setting year with another 18 wins.
“Our chemistry was really good this season,” Schmidt said. “We (seniors) had been playing together since we were 8 years old,” Schmidt said. “We just kind of knew each others’ strengths and weaknesses. If someone was down, we knew how to pick them up. The whole vibe of the team was good.”
On top of that, the Owls made it to their first-ever sectional championship game.
At season’s end, Schmidt was named to the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association All-State second team for the second straight year.
She also made the All-Hoosier Hills Conference first team for the second consecutive season.
While all of the individual accolades are nice, Schmidt prefers the memories made with her teammates.
“I will never forget the girls I’ve played with here at Seymour,” Schmidt said. “We all grew up playing together. It was fun playing with the senior girls for one last season.
“I’m probably going to miss my friends the most. They were the ones I hung out with, even outside of softball.”
Schmidt said she doesn’t’ plan on playing on softball in college, but hopes that this year’s senior group pushes the younger players to continue working hard.
“We made history this year,” Schmidt said. “Hopefully everyone will still be excited next year when we leave. We want them to keep pushing the program in the right direction.”
Joining Seymour’s Lo Schmidt on the 2017 All-County team:
Rachel Kaufman, Seymour, sophomore
Season highlights: All-HHC, Owls’ Co-MVP. 29 hits, 4 HR, 2 3B, 7 2B, 28 RBIs, .367 AVG. IP 70, K 55, W 24, ER 38, 9-3 record.
Tori Snook, Seymour, junior
Season highlights: HHC honorable mention. 31 hits, 8 2B, 2 HR, 16 RBIs, .373 AVG.
Katie Suits, Seymour, senior
Season highlights: Owls’ Coaches Award. 22 hits, 4 doubles, 11 RBIs, .367 AVG.
Faith Rebber, Seymour, senior
Season highlights: Owls’ Best Defensive Award. 19 hits, 1 3B, 14 RBIs, .297 AVG.
Mikayla Moore, Seymour, sophomore
Season highlights: Owls’ Most Valuable Pitcher. IP 79, K 39, ER 21, W 11, H 54, 8-4 record.
Haley Mobley, Seymour, sophomore
Season highlights: Owls’ Mental Attitude Award. 23 hits, 2 HR, 2 3B, 4 2B, 12 RBIs, .338 AVG.
Jami Bryant, Brownstown Central, senior
Season highlights: 27 hits, 3 2B, 16 RBIs. IP 171, K 138, H 236, W 27, ER 66, .944 fielding percentage.
Leah Stidam, Brownstown Central, senior
Season highlights: 17 hits, 4 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBIs, .950 fielding percentage.
Addie Krieger, Brownstown Central, freshman
Season highlights: 33 hits, 7 2B, 1 HR, 23 RBIs
Claire Poulton, Brownstown Central, sophomore
Season highlights: 24 hits, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 21 RBIs, .945 fielding percentage.
Savannah Harweger, Trinity Lutheran, junior
Season highlights: 39 hits, 5 2B, 1 4B, 2 HR, 13 RBIs, 36 runs, .833 fielding percentage.
Jodi Goecker, Trinity Lutheran, junior
Season highlights: Academic All State Honorable Mention. 30 hits, 6 2B, 1 3B, 22 RBIs, .990 fielding percentage.
Amanda Wright, Trinity Lutheran, senior
Season highlights: Cougars’ MVP, 22 hits, 6 2B, 2 HR, 18 RBIs, .860 fielding percentage.
Jaryn Holtsclaw, Trinity Lutheran, freshman
Season highlights: 26 hits, 6 2B, 22 RBI, .907 fielding percentage.
2017 All-County Honorable Mention
Haley Westfall, Seymour, senior
McKenna Curry, Seymour, senior
Kate Snook, Seymour, freshman
Taylor Russell, Trinity Lutheran, senior
Vidalis Montanez, Trinity Lutheran, sophomore
Morgan Gabbard, Trinity Lutheran, junior
Kaitlin McVey, Crothersville, sophomore
Brittany Ross, Crothersville, senior
Zoe Fountain, Brownstown Central, freshman
2017 Jackson County Softball Player of the Year
Lo Schmidt, Seymour, Senior
Season highlights: 33 hits, 2 HR, 7 2B, 23 RBIs, .524 AVG.
Accolades: All-State second team, All-Hoosier Hills Conference, All-Academic, Owls’ Co-MVP.