REED CITY — Rikki Saez will be a freshman for the Reed City softball program next spring and has focused her summer days on getting ready for the sport.

Saez has been playing on the 13-14-year-old team during the summer. She was in Little League ever since the T-ball level. By playing in the Local Area Teams (LAT) League, Saez was able to get a taste of high school ball this summer.

“It’s more intense, you have to always be thinking,” Saez said of the high school level. “It’s pretty different than Little League.”

In Little League, pitchers might struggle with their control more so than high school when fielders like Saez have to be ready on every pitch.

In Little League, Saez was a center fielder. During summer ball, she was at third base and right field.

She likes third base “because I don’t usually play infield and it’s more intense than outfield,” Saez said. “The first time I played third base in a game and I was kind of scared and nervous. When I got the ball, I threw it straight to first.”

She likes center field.

“When you get a flyball out there and run to it and you dive...I’ve seen my brother Josh do it (during baseball),” Saez said. “It inspired me to want to dive one time and win a game for us.”

She hasn’t had the chance yet to do that.

“But I want to,” Saez smiled. She’s confident in her timing in order to know when to dive and when to play the ball on the hop. She’s also confident with her arm.

Her hitting “is OK, compared to Little League and high school ball, it’s so much different,” she said. “They made me learn a new method, how to stand and how to swing.”

Summer ball has helped Saez in improving on her ability to stay away from bad pitches.

Her 13-14-year-old team had a 7-1 record. The summer season ended at home recently with a nine-game win streak for the high school team.