Casey Schmidt, Glenelg, softball

Q & A //

May 13, 2010|By Glenn Graham, The Baltimore Sun

Glenelg senior Casey Schmidt, a standout in volleyball and softball, is making a lasting impression as she winds down an athletic career during which she has earned eight varsity letters.

Ask her what has been her best moment and she doesn't have to go back far. On Monday, the pitcher-first baseman hit a two-run home run over the fence in the eighth inning that led the No. 6 Gladiators (17-2) to a 6-3 win over Howard to capture Howard County's regular-season title. It was the second homer of the game for Schmidt, who is batting .458 with 22 RBIs while going 11-0 with a 0.69 ERA.

A setter and outside hitter in volleyball, Schmidt helped the Gladiators reach one state final and two other state semifinals.

In softball, the Gladiators have won two county championships and last year reached the state semifinals.

Schmidt, who maintains a 3.4 grade-point average and also is a member of the school's symphonic and marching bands, has been a captain the past two years in both sports. She plans to play both at Grove City (Pa.) College, located just north of Pittsburgh.

Question: What was it like rounding the bases after hitting the game-winning home run against Howard?

Answer: It felt amazing. [Coach Dean] Sheridan had given me the bunt sign the first two pitches. I was up at the plate feeling aggressive, and he finally gave me the hit sign. I remember rounding third and I was like: "Thank you, Mr.Sheridan; thank you, Mr. Sheridan." I was just so thankful that he had enough faith in me in that situation.

Q: What's it going to take to win a state title?

A: We definitely know there's a bunch of tough teams in Class 2A — there's Easton and a lot of good teams on the Eastern Shore. But we have a really talented team, so I think we definitely have a good chance of competing. Something Mr. Sheridan always tells us throughout the season is when it's a championship team, that's when you're not worried about yourself. When you get a big hit in the sixth inning, it's not for you, but the team. And it's when you're happier for someone else getting a hit to help the team rather than you getting a hit to get your batting average up a couple points.

Q: How hungry are you to win a state title?

A: Until you've been to a state final or a state semifinal, it's hard to describe the feeling of getting all those games in and going on the winning streak to get there. So winning a state title would be a perfect end to my senior year. It's something I've been striving for my four years.

Q: How can last year's run to the state semifinals help the team this year?

A: We had a very young team last year, and it will help us because we'll be used to coming up against teams we haven't seen before. And we'll come in with a good attitude, knowing that we just want to play well and not worry about what we've heard about the other team. It's really just about taking it one game at a time and playing as hard as we can.

Q: What are the keys to being a good captain?

A: For volleyball and softball, it's really different for me. In softball, if you don't get a hit or if you strike out, you can be angry for a little bit, but after that, you can't let your anger influence the team. You can't let it show on your face for very long because then your team can lose some confidence and momentum. In volleyball, it's about being on the court and playing hard the whole time and always keeping a positive attitude.

Q: What's the best part of having your father also be the coach?

A: Probably being able to talk to him about the game afterward. After every game, we kind of debrief about what happened. He knows my swing better than anybody, so if I'm … in a hitting slump, he can tell me, "Well, I know how you swing, and you're not getting your hands back far enough." He's seen me play more games than anybody.

Q: How did you decide on Grove City?

A: I had a couple friends that have gone on to play Division I, and I decided that I couldn't pick one sport or the other. It also was really important for me to be at my school a lot and make sure I met new friends outside of sports to be a little more well-rounded.

Q: What's it going to be like being away from home?

A: I know it's going to be a very different place because of the Steelers/Ravens rivalry. My sister went to Grove City, and she said, "Casey, you can't be a Ravens fan and you can't be a [Washington] Caps fan." Or I just can't tell anybody!

Q: What are you going to try to get out of the last few weeks of high school?

A: I guess I'm just going to try to appreciate Glenelg as much as I can because I know when I come back to visit, it won't be the same. I'm going to miss my teachers and a lot of my friends are going … to school far away. So I just want to take these last weeks for what they're worth.

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