TAMPA, Fla. – University of South Florida senior Lindsey Devitt leads her Bulls in more ways than one.
Last year she topped the team in six offensive categories with a monstrous .379 average/.418 on base/.565 power slash line, earning National Fastpitch Coach’s Association Mideast All-Region First Team honors, and helped the Bulls secure their second consecutive regular season title.
Even with all her talent, the Jacksonville, Fla. native knows that she still has to come to work every day.
“Having the young guys look up to you is huge,” said Devitt. “It’s a good feeling but it’s also like you got to come grind every day because they’re looking up to you.”
It’s this kind of mentality that has cemented Devitt as a top player and leader on the club. She appeared in 61 of 62 regular season games as a junior and has started in 24 of 25 games so far this year.
Coach Ken Eriksen is in his 23rd season with the USF softball program and knows exactly how to motivate his star infielder.
“I tell her when she’s bad and I tell her when she’s good,” said the coach. “Lindsey’s a black and white type of person.”
Devitt describes her relationship with Eriksen as “very upfront,” saying, “He doesn’t sugar coat things with me. He knows what I can handle and what I can’t.”
At the same time, Eriksen knows that Devitt is a special player and has built a strong trust with her.
“Lindsey’s one of those girls right now that if she comes in and says something, you’re listening. She’s that type of person.”
This season got off to a slow start by Devitt’s lofty standards. The infielder is hitting .250 with just seven runs batted in over 24 games. However, the senior has shown signs of finding her groove in recent weeks with eight hits over her last seven games – a .348 average over that stretch.
“[My issue] right now is mental,” said Devitt. “My swing’s going to be there. Athletic ability is going to take over so it’s back to the mindset of being positive and dumbing it down at the plate.”