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Sydney Seger starts senior season with a historic bang

IUS softball senior sets career home run record in first game of 2019 season

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Sydney Seger starts senior season with a historic bang

Sydney Seger loads herself up before hitting off a batting tee during batting practice

Sydney Seger loads herself up before hitting off a batting tee during batting practice

Brandon Miniard

Sydney Seger loads herself up before hitting off a batting tee during batting practice

Brandon Miniard

Brandon Miniard

Sydney Seger loads herself up before hitting off a batting tee during batting practice

Brandon Miniard, Staff Reporter

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Note from Author: Sydney Seger’s career stats are accurate as of February 15

The IU Southeast softball team started their 12th year of existence off on the right foot, sweeping a season-opening doubleheader at Alice Lloyd College. It was what happened late in the first game that made the start even more significant.

In the Grenadiers final half-inning of the five frame contest, first baseman Sydney Seger cemented her place in the program’s history books by belting a two-run home run over the center field fence, adding onto an already lopsided deficit against the Eagles. That was her 18th career homer, surpassing current assistant coach Brookelyn Visker for first all-time in that category.

With her five runs batted in between the two victories over the Eagles, she also surpassed Jordan Batliner for second place all-time in that category. She now has 125 career RBI, six away from Visker’s 131.

“It was very satisfying,” Seger said of the home run, “Just going into the season, there’s was that pressure, thinking you have to get one more to get this record.”

Along with those two achievements, Seger holds numerous other positions in the program’s offensive record books. She is currently second all-time in hits (166), doubles (37), and total bases (267), seventh in runs scored (93), and tied of ninth in triples (5).

A product of Evansville Mater Dei High School, Seger immediately found herself in the starting lineup from the start of her freshman season with the Grenadiers. She would hit her first collegiate home run on March 15, 2016, in the second game of a doubleheader against St. Mary-of-the-Woods. She would finish 2016 with five homers and 44 RBI, following it with 12 more over her next two seasons, which also saw her drive in 38 runs each.

“After I hit that first home run, it pretty much solidified that I was meant to play college softball,” Seger said. “I’m glad I was there with the people I was there with and with the coach that I have.”

Her coach, Joe Witten, was very supportive of Seger, going so far as to call her “probably the most prolific hitter in the program’s history.” Despite her career being a historic one by many standards, it wasn’t always an easy one.

“She loves to hit and she could reach several records this year if she stays healthy,” Witten said. “She’s had a few setbacks like most of them do. It seems like when we play, it’s always cold.”

One of those setbacks included finding out that she had a torn labrum in her right hip last season, which required an extensive amount of physical therapy as well as surgery in the summer of 2018 to repair the damage.

“A specific physical therapist, Clinton Morris at Kort, definitely helped me through a lot of pre and post-physical therapy,” Seger said. “Then I had a concussion right before softball started, which was unexpected. It was the same type of deal, I did some physical therapy and luckily I had some good teammates, including a good roommate in Emily Weiss.”

Before coming to IU Southeast, Seger admitted to relying heavily on her teammates, coming from an Evansville Mater Dei program that won at least 20 games in each of her last two years of high school. Moving from a large high school softball program to a much smaller college one ultimately helped Seger in her own personal development.

“I was very dependant on other people in high school, and coming to IUS, especially with there being only two seniors my freshman year, there’s a lot of stepping up,” Seger said. “We didn’t have any seniors my sophomore year, we were composed of sophomores and freshmen, so I definitely had to find how to be independent in some ways.”

Now a few games into her final season, Seger believes that this Grenadier squad, the program’s largest since 2014, they have a chance to compete for a River States Conference title, and even a chance to go to the NAIA National Tournament.

“I told Emily Weiss after our first game, I think if we’re ever gonna do it, it’s this year,” Seger said. “I’ve never been so happy to play with a team before because we click and get along very well. We all even know everyone’s tendencies even after one game.”

The Grenadiers will take be at Georgetown College for a doubleheader on Wednesday, followed by their first home doubleheader of the year on Thursday against Cardinal Stritch University. The first game of that contest is set for 1 p.m.

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