NEW PORT RICHEY — Gulf High softball player Nikki Sedivy surprised many last season.
The catcher had a better than .400 batting average with four four home runs, and was noticeably a clutch hitter when the Buccaneers needed it. This season, Sedivy is no longer a secret behind and at the plate and that has changed the senior’s approach.
“I had a really good offseason last spring,” Sedivy said. “This season I was just focused on signing with a college, so I didn’t have as much time to practice. It’s been all about bringing myself back down to being all about just getting hits and getting on base.”
This season, Sedivy is hitting .316 this spring. Gulf coach Rick Hohenthaner said Sedivy was pressing at the plate earlier in the season.
“Mostly this season we have been working on pitch identification and the realization that home runs aren’t just going to come, you walk into them,” Hohenthaner said. “She’s not neccessarily going to see the good pitches that she saw last season. Her strikeouts were starting to mount up a little bit because she was pressing and trying to get out of her slump she was in. She realizes to get the moment and seize the moment instead of looking for a home run.”
Sedivy seized the moment last Tuesday against Class 5A-District 8 rival River Ridge. Sedivy’s one-out, two-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted Gulf to the crucial 3-2 victory.
“I’ve had to step back and tell my teammates that we’re not gonna hit home runs all the time,” Sedivy said. “It was the confidence boost I needed and getting back to what I was doing last season. I’ve become less picky as a batter and it’s improved me for the better.”
“Every team in our district is going to rely on their upperclassmen to win them a district championship and Nikki knows what it takes to lead this group,” Hohenthaner said.
Correspondent Andy Villamarzo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.