USF catcher Lee Ann Spivey a leader on all levels

The Bulls primary catcher has flourished thanks to a pre college position switch

Lee Ann Spivey before practice, at the Lee Roy Selmon Athletic Center.
Lee Ann Spivey before practice, at the Lee Roy Selmon Athletic Center. (Joseph Narsa/Toronto Observer)

TAMPA, Fla. – A change on the field for Lee Ann Spivey led to a change in the clubhouse.

The third-year starting catcher on the women’s softball team at the University of South Florida spoke on Monday about becoming a leader with the team.

Spivey is a relatively new catcher, who was a first baseman before college, and has relished the position change.

“At catcher, I got to assume more of a leadership position on the team and I feel that’s where I flourish the best,” said Spivey standing near the trainer’s room at Lee Roy Selmon Athletic Centre. “I try really hard at practice to get to know my pitchers and know what pitches their comfortable throwing in a pressure situation.”

Spivey developed her connection with the pitching staff through off-field work.

The Palm Coast, Fla., native devotes her time to studying film and devising strategies on how the pitchers will approach the batters they’ll face.

“There’s times where I’ll be up watching film with my head coach and we’ll be talking, these hitters struggle specifically inside, and I have to know if I’m catching Sara (Nevins), or Erica (Nunn) or Susan (Wysocki) or Sam (Greiner),” said Spivey. “What their specific best inside pitch is going to be because you don’t necessarily want to throw to the hitters weakness, you want to throw to your pitchers strengths.

“I’ve learned you win a lot more games when you throw to your pitcher’s strength.”

Her influence has been felt on all levels. Spivey has positively affected the players and has helped the coaching staff.

Head coach Ken Eriksen had high praise for his junior catcher.

“That’s a coach on the field,” said Eriksen. “She’s actually calling her own ball game out there, she already knows the philosophy of what goes on, that makes my job easier to teach in other areas, it makes it easier for our coaching staff to go in to other areas and delve in to get better.”

A member of the 2013 USA junior softball team, Spivey has developed a deeper insight into her university club. She not only understands her team’s strengths and weaknesses, the Bulls catcher has higher expectations. Even a lengthy winning streak is viewed as routine for her.

“I expect nothing but a win from our team, no matter who we’re facing,” said Spivey. “I’m expecting us to win because I know we’re a successful team and I see us at practices, I see us in the games and I know what we’re capable of.

“So to be on a 9-0 streak right now it’s more so what’s expected.”

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